Further injection to US Open prize fund
Updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 20:08
The United States Tennis Association has answered the demands of the ATP by announcing a further increase in prize money for this summer's US Open and beyond.
In December the USTA announced a $4million increase in the pot, taking the prize fund up to $29.5, but the ATP felt the percentage of revenue paid to the players was still too low.
Talks have taken place between the USTA and leading players and today the USTA confirmed another $4.1million will be paid out in prize money, while the prize fund will reach $50million in 2017, an increase of almost 100 per cent in five years.
There had been talk of a potential strike at this year's tournament if the USTA stuck to their initial plan, with the leading players also unhappy at the decision to move the men's singles final to the third Monday.
The ATP had been pushing for a day in between the men's semi-finals and final but was not impressed with the plan to stage the matches on Saturday and Monday rather than Friday and Sunday, as is the norm at the other grand slams.
The Monday final will stay for this year and next year but from 2015 the tournament will revert back to a 14-day format and have the semi-finals on Friday and the final on Sunday.
Prize money has been a big issue over the past 12 months, with the leading players pushing for big increases in the early rounds in particular.
The USTA's decision will put pressure on the French Open and Wimbledon, who have not yet announced their figures for this year, to come up with similar percentage rises.
ATP Player Council president Roger Federer has been a key figure, and he said: "The (USTA) approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership and, as president of the ATP Player Council, I am personally grateful for their support.
"The US Open is very special and we all look forward to great competition at Flushing Meadows later this year and in the years yet to come."