The USTA today announced that in keeping with its mission to grow the sport of tennis, it has reached agreement with the ATP and WTA that ensures the vitality and competitiveness of the US Open as a world class, premier event for many years to come.
Presently, the USTA is in the midst of several strategic initiatives, all with a common goal of growing tennis at every level in the United States, from youth to seniors, and from those just starting out in the sport to professionals at the highest level of the game. For the US Open and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center the goal is twofold: to transform the National Tennis Center over the next several years into the most modern and fan- and player-friendly tennis center in the world and to continue to attract the world’s best tennis players. In line with this goal, the USTA has reached a five year agreement with the ATP and WTA on US Open prize money.
As part of this long-term vision, the USTA will provide $50 million in US Open prize money by 2017. Additionally, the USTA will increase base prize money for the 2013 US Open by an additional $4.1 million above the previously announced increase of four million dollars. The original announcement was made in December 2012. Base prize money for the 2013 US Open will now total more than $33.6 million, a more than $8.1million increase over the $25.5 million available to players at the 2012 US Open.
Also, beginning in 2015 the US Open will conclude on the second Sunday of the two-week event with the men’s singles championship. To allow for a day of rest for the finalists, the men’s singles semifinals will be played on Friday. The women’s singles championship will be played on Saturday.
“The USTA has a long-term vision in place to ensure that tennis continues to thrive in the United States. This vision encompasses every level of the sport, from energizing existing fans, to attracting new players, to ensuring the US Open remains one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events,” said David Haggerty, USTA President and Chairman of the Board. “With this unprecedented commitment to long-term prize money and recognition of the value that players bring to the sport, we will gain stability for the sport so that we can focus our energy on growing the game and ensuring tennis’ vitality in the U.S. for years to come.”
“We welcome the commitment the USTA has made concerning player prize money at the US Open through 2017,” said Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “These increases are the largest in the history of the sport, representing a significant step forward in truly recognizing the input the players have in the success of the US Open. We also welcome the decision from the USTA to adopt a schedule with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday, from 2015 onwards.”
“The ATP and its players, led by ATP Player Council President Roger Federer, have been encouraged by the recent co-operative approach taken by the USTA in listening to player concerns on these matters, and are pleased to have reached this long term understanding through 2017. We appreciate the productive manner in which the USTA, as well as Tennis Australia relating to the Australian Open, have engaged with the ATP and its players over the past 12 months. We remain committed to ongoing discussions with other Grand Slam tournaments in this regard.”
“We applaud the USTA’s long-term commitment to increased and fair compensation for our athletes,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO. “For 40 years the USTA has been a leader for equality and for women’s tennis, and today’s announcement is a testament to their continued, bold vision for the sport. On behalf of all the WTA and its players, I thank the USTA for its strong record of progressive leadership and support.”
“This excellent outcome for the sport of tennis wouldn’t have been possible without the open-mindedness and fairness of USTA President Dave Haggerty and the USTA staff,” said Roger Federer, 17-time Grand Slam champion and President of the ATP Player Council. “They approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership, and as President of the ATP Player Council I am personally grateful for their support. Everyone I have spoken with is excited about the increases in prize money, as well as the agreement to change the schedule for 2015 and beyond. 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.”
The USTA will announce the exact round-by-round distribution of the total prize money increase for the 2013 US Open this summer. Further year-by-year prize money increases are expected to be announced annually prior to that year’s US Open. This year’s US Open is scheduled for August 26 through September 10, with the US Open Qualifying Tournament beginning on August 20.