- The United States Tennis Association is handing out a total of $US50.4 million in prize money at this year’s US Open.
- Four American women will be playing in the singles semifinals, including two-time US Open winner Venus Williams.
- The winner of the final match on Saturday will pocket $US3.7 million, the most money awarded in tennis history.
In spite of fan favourite Serena Williams’ absence at this year’s US Open Tennis Championships, her fellow American women are dominating.
For the first time since 1981, four American women have advanced to the singles semifinal round of the tournament.
Thursday night, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe, and Madison Keys will compete for two spots in the finals and a seven-figure check.
Ultimately there can only be one title holder, but when it comes to prize money, there are no losers at this year’s US Open.
The player who claims the championship title on Saturday will earn $US3.7 million, while the runner-up will walk away with $US1.825 million. Both semifinalists will pocket $US920,000.
The United States Tennis Association is handing out a total of $US50.4 million at this year’s US Open — the largest purse in tennis history. On average, the prize money for singles rounds increased 7.5% from 2016, according to the Women’s Tennis Association.
The US Open became the first major to offer equal prize money for both men and women in 1973. Wimbledon was the last of the four Grand Slams with equal pay, which it started a decade ago.
US Open veteran Venus Williams — who’s up against unseeded Sloane Stephens in the semifinals — is currently the seventh highest-paid tennis player in the world with nearly $US38 million in total career winnings. She’s the second highest-paid woman, only behind her younger sister Serena, whose career winnings top $US84 million.
The Williams sisters have a history of dominating at the US Open as the only two American women to take the title since 1999. While a championship win for Venus this year would be her first since 2001, the paycheck won’t be enough to bump her up to the sixth spot in the pay rankings.
The same can’t be said for the other three competitors in the semifinals, all of whom are 25 or younger and have yet to capture a Grand Slam title.
Both Stephens’ and Vandeweghe’s total career prize money is about $US4.5 million, while Keys has earned $US5.7 million. A win for any of these women — or even a runner-up slot — will be significant.
While it’s too soon to predict whether these younger players can follow in the Williams’ footsteps, winning multiple Slams and racking up prize money in the tens of millions, their performances at the US Open this week represent an undeniable step forward for American tennis, reports Business Insider’s Sam Belden.
Both semifinal matches will take place on Thursday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams will play Stephens at 7:00, while Keys and Vandeweghe are set to get underway at 8:15.