The US Open tournament has announced that by 2017, the prize money will nearly double from $29.6 million (£19.6 million) to $50 million (£30 million) after most tennis players were complaining. Putting all of the big name tennis stars who earn millions each year aside, such as Djokovic and Federer, most of the other tennis players have been complaining that they do not receive enough prize money. Until this week, the US Open was the one of the four Grand Slams which paid the least Prize money whilst being considered as one of the bigger Grand Slams behind Wimbledon.
In previous years, the US Open was the least paid Grand Slam offering $22 million whilst Wimbledon was offering $24 million, the French Open $24 million and the Australian Open an amazing $30 million. However, the US Open have just astonished the tennis industry by saying that the pot will be an unbelievable $50 million by 2017. The rise in the money came along after a players’ meeting in Melbourne took place and pointed out the fact that only 10% of the tournaments overall revenue was being given to them.
The US Open earns around $250 million each year and the players felt that the prize money deserved to be higher so whispers were going around that a boycott might take place in this year’s US Open, this could have been what forced the prize money to rise. The prize money has been raised this year to $33.6 million, $4 million higher than last year. The US Open officials also announced that as of 2015, the final round of the tournament shall move back from a Monday to a Sunday once the current TV deal has ended.
Eric Butorac is in the ATP player council and he was talking about how a tennis career is becoming a more “viable option” with the prize money rising each year in all Grand Slams. “There are maybe 200 men and 200 women who are making money on tour, and we’d like those numbers to grow.” Butorac continues to reveal that the $50 million figure “puts pressure on the other grand slams to respond, particularly Wimbledon, because Wimbledon has always been viewed as the greatest tournament in the world. It will be interesting to see if the All England Club wants to protect that status by matching the US Open.” Wimbledon is set to announce its 2013 prize money this April but whether they raise the money or not, tennis is growing to be a massive sport, soon to be played by everyone around the world.