After a year of closed-door meetings with tennis players seeking a greater say in the sport and a larger slice of Grand Slam revenues, the US Open is ready to make big changes.
The New York-based tournament plans to increase its annual prize money to $50 million by 2017—roughly double what it was last year—and permanently schedule the men’s semis on Friday and men’s final on a Sunday as of 2015, The Associated Press has learned. “Roger Federer said it perhaps best of all: It’s time for us to work together, as opposed to working against each other,” said US Tennis Association Executive Direct-or and COOGordon Smith.
As part of an unprecedented five-year agreement with the men’s and women’s professional tours, the USTA also is making an additional $4.1 million increase to this year’s prize pool, on top of a $4 million jump announced in December. That brings the 2013 total payout to $33.6 million from the $25.5 million in 2012.
The USTA planned to announce the changes Wednesday, a day after they were formally presented to the ATP Player Council at a meeting in Key Biscayne, Florida. Federer, president of the ATP Player Council, joined other top players, including current No 1 Novak Djokovic, in lobbying the USTA and organisers of other major tournaments in an effort that began in Indian Wells about 12 months ago.