Titles and trophies are great and all, but let's face it: The top tennis players in the world participate in Grand Slam events to score the sport's biggest paydays.
To that end, the 2017 U.S. Open is fertile ground. It has long been the most lucrative of tennis' majors and remains so this year. The U.S. Open is the only elite tennis event—including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon—to offer a purse worth upwards of $3 million to the winners in the men's and women's singles brackets.
Here's a round-by-round look at what players will take home from Flushing Meadows in the coming weeks:
2017 U.S. Open Purse Information
- Total: $50.4 million
- Winner: $3.7 million
- Runner-Up: $1,825,000
- Semifinalist: $920,000
- Quarterfinalist: $470,000
- Round of 16: $253,625
- Round of 32: $144,000
- Round of 64: $86,000
- Round of 128: $50,000
The total tally of prize money in this year's pool—once again the largest in the history of professional tennis— represents not only a nearly-9-percent jump over 2016's winnings, but also the fulfillment of a promise made by the United States Tennis Association.
"Five years ago, we committed to the players that total player compensation for players would reach $50 million at the U.S. Open, and we are honoring that commitment," USTA President Katrina Adams told USOpen.org's Erin Maher.
All told, singles payouts are up 7.5 percent per round, the overall doubles purse is up 8.6 percent and total winnings from the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament are up a whopping 49.2 percent to $2.9 million.
Those are all remarkable numbers on their own, let alone in a sport that's made great strides to reward its men's and women's players equally. After all, the likes of Serena Williams (who's sitting out the U.S. Open due to her pregnancy) and Maria Sharapova drive as much interest in and attention to tennis as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
But bigger money isn't all the U.S. Open is doing to cater to tennis' best and brightest. As Adams explained, per WTATennis.com:
"In addition to unprecedented prize money increases, players also will see a host of new amenities at this year’s tournament including upgrades to Player Dining, a more generous meal allowance, upgrades to all player workout facilities, and additional quiet room space. Our goal is to make every experience at the US Open, whether for the players, our fans, or our partners, the best, world-class experience possible."
These amenities are more than just cursory upgrades to one of the great spectacles in sports. They also represent an important investment in the game itself by the USTA. With America's tennis hegemony waning, particularly on the men's side, it's crucial to ensure the U.S. Open's future as the crown jewel in the sport's calendar as a means of driving interest among homegrown athletes.