Tennis at the high level is very much a sport of one-upmanship and the four Grand Slams are not different in that respect. Be it new facilities such as retractable roofs, the number of stadium courts or prize money there is always competition between the quartet and the US Open has once again taken the lead when it comes to prize money.
This year’s tournament at New York’s Flushing Meadow, which begins in earnest on August 30 and runs until September 12, will officially offer the richest purse in tennis history, at over $US22.6 million, with the singles winners pocketing at least $US 1.7 million apiece.
In total the prize fund shows a 7% increase of $US 1 million from the 2009 figure but because of the configuration of the US Open series, the singles champions that succeed Juan Martin Del Potro and Kim Clijsters can potentially earn an extra $US 1 million.
Rafael Nadal’s prize fund from the two most recent majors amounted to the US dollar equivalent of $2.9 million with fractionally more going into the Spaniard’s account from Wimbledon than the French Open.
The US Open series was inaugurated in 2004 as a way to focus more attention on North American tennis tournaments by getting more of them on domestic television. Points are awarded for each event in the ten tournament series and in 2005 Kim Clijsters became the first player to win $2.2 million (the largest payday ever in women's sports) by beating Mary Pierce of France in the US Open final.
Three years later Roger Federer won the US Open series and went on to win the US Open, winning $1.4 million plus the US Open Series bonus of $1 million, bringing his prize winning total to $2.4 million.
The US Open series involves ten events beginning with the Atlanta Tennis Championships on July 19 followed a week later by the WTA Tour’s Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California and the ATP World Tour’s Farmers Classic in Los Angeles. The following week the men head across the country to the Legg Mason Tennis Classicpresented by Geico in Washington DC while the women move down the West Coast for the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego.
Masters 1000 series action comes next in Canada on the ATP World Tour at the Rogers Masters presented by National Bank in Toronto while Cincinnati’s Lindner Family Tennis Center is the venue for the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open. Week 5 sees a straight swap with the women heading north to Montreal and the men going in the opposite direction to Cincinnati.
Then the two tours finally meet on August 22 for the Pilot Pen Tennis at the Yale University complex, New Haven, Connecticut before the series comes to a climax with the actual US Open.
The base prize money and bonus prize money thru the quarterfinals is illustrated below:
2010 US OPEN PRIZE MONEY FOR TOP FINISHERS
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