Prize money will increase slightly for the 2021 US Open.
The USTA announced that the US Open will offer $57.5 million in total player prize money in 2021, slightly surpassing the record payout set in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 US Open Qualifying Tournament, which is closed to the public, will now offer nearly $6 million in prize money, a 66-percent increase over 2019 (the last time US Open Qualifying was held).
Additionally, the first-round main-draw prize money is now $75,000, a 23-percent increase over last year. To achieve these numbers, the players and Tour management agreed to decrease the singles champion’s prize from its previous $3 million to $2.5 million. The runner-up prize money also is being reduced accordingly, to $1.25 million. As has been the case since 1973 when the US Open was the first of the four majors to institute the policy, the tournament provides equal prize money for both women and men.
Prize money was increased for each competition within the US Open including the singles, doubles, mixed doubles and wheelchair competitions.
“Last year was a very difficult year for all of us, and the pandemic had a profound impact on the USTA’s financial health,” said Mike Dowse, USTA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. “Yet we worked—and continue to work—extremely hard to ensure that tennis would continue to thrive for the long-term at every level, and that work led to more than four million new and returning players participating in tennis in 2020. Our support of tennis is very broad, and touches every level of the game. The US Open is an unparalleled showcase for all that is so wonderful about our sport, and the players are an integral part of that. We are proud to return our player compensation to pre-pandemic levels.”
In addition to providing more than $130 million in player compensation over the past two years (a total which includes US Open and Western & Southern Open compensation), the USTA also has infused nearly the same amount into the grassroots of the sport. With this commitment to ensuring tennis’ overall, long-term health, the sport saw an overall 22-percent increase in participation in 2020. Indications are that this momentum, as tracked by equipment sales and early participation reports, is continuing in 2021.
“With the US Open’s greatest return – fans on-site and full draws across all competitions — we know that 2021 will be an historic year for this great tournament,” said Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis and US Open Tournament Director. “We determined our round-by-round prize money allocations by engaging in an open dialogue with the players and the management of both tours. We applaud their collective leadership in directing the 2021 US Open prize money to benefit the maximum number of players.”
Photo credit: US Open Facebook