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How has the US Open prize money gradually increased over the years?

2019 men's champion Rafael Nadal in action during US Open.
2019 men's champion Rafael Nadal in action during US Open. (Getty Images)

The US open currently offers the highest total prize money among all other Grand Slams in tennis

The US Open offers the richest prize money among all the other Grand Slams and last year it was recorded as the highest in history.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) last year confirmed that the total player prize money for 2019 US Open is now over $57million ($57,238,700) for the first time in history.

2019 men's champion Rafael Nadal in action during US Open.
2019 men’s champion Rafael Nadal in action during US Open. (Getty Images)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic leading to the cancellation of Grand Slams such as Wimbledon this year, the USTA has decided to go on with the US Open.

They have been at the receiving end of heavy criticism from a few tennis circles and fans likewise, especially considering the fact that the USA has been one of the worst virus-hit nations in the world.

Nonetheless, the US Open will kick off from August 31 and will be played until September 13. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the gradual increase in prize money of one of the richest tournaments in the sport.

First US Open total prize money was $100,000

The first U.S. Open played in 1968, carried total prize money of $100,000. The men’s champion, Arthur Ashe, was supposed to earn $14,000 of that, but because since he was an amateur player, he was ineligible to receive the prize money and brought home just a $20.

Meanwhile, only 6% of the total, $6,000, went to the women’s champion, Virginia Wade. However, since then the prize money has changed drastically. Moreover, women received pay equality in 1973, when both champions received checks for $25,000.

The men’s and women’s champions earned six figures for the first time in 1983 ($120,000) and seven figures for the first time in 2003 ($1,000,000). At the 2019 US Open, champions Rafael Nadal of Spain and Bianca Andreescu of Canada both collected $3.85 million checks while runner-ups, Daniil Medvedev and Serena Williams earned about $1.9 million.

 

Bianca Andreescu of Canada poses with her trophy after winning the 2019 US Open.
Bianca Andreescu of Canada poses with her trophy after winning the 2019 US Open. (Getty Images)

The following is the increase of US Open total prize money over the years: 2019: $57,238,700.00; 2018: $50,565,840.00; 2010: $22,668,000.00; 2000: $15,011,000.00; 1990: $3,819,730.00; 1980; $293,464.00; 1970: $41,650.00.

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