US Open Tennis 2020 Prize Money: Complete Purse and Earnings from New YorkAugust 31, 2020
In the past two years, Serena Williams has come up just short at the U.S. Open. In 2018, she lost in straight sets to Naomi Osaka in the final. Last year, she again fell in straight sets in the final, losing to Bianca Andreescu. And although Williams is a six-time U.S. Open champion, she hasn't won the tournament since winning it three straight years from 2012-14.
Not only that, but Williams hasn't won a Grand Slam tennis tournament since the 2017 Australian Open. She missed four major tournaments after that because of pregnancy and then postnatal recovery, and she's lost in each of her past eight Grand Slam tournaments, although she's made it to the final four times in those events.
Williams needs only one more Grand Slam title to earn the 24th of her career, which would tie Margaret Court's all-time record. She'll be looking to finally reach that mark at the 2020 U.S. Open, which is set to begin Monday in New York City.
After a breakdown of the purse and earnings for this year's tournament, we'll take a closer look at the top contenders in the men's and women's fields, which includes Williams.
Prize Money Breakdown
There is a total purse of $53.4 million that will be awarded at this year's tournament, according to the U.S. Open website. The majority of those winnings will be given to the players in the men's and women's singles tournaments. Here's the breakdown for how that will be earned:
Winner: $3 million
Runner-up: $1.5 million
Round of 16: $250,000
Round of 32: $163,000
Round of 64: $100,000
Round of 128: $61,000
Tournament Draw Breakdowns
Novak Djokovic is not only the No. 1 seed in this year's U.S. Open, but two of his top competitors aren't in the field. Rafael Nadal opted not to play and is preparing for the French Open, while Roger Federer had knee surgery that will keep him out the rest of the season.
That gives Djokovic, who has won five of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments, a much clearer path back to the U.S. Open final, which he last reached when he won the event in 2018. Last year, Djokovic lost in the fourth round to Stan Wawrinka, but Djokovic retired because of a left shoulder injury.
Djokovic is healthy and playing well this year entering the tournament, as he's 23-0 in 2020, which includes winning the Western & Southern Open title over the weekend.
As the No. 1 seed, Djokovic shouldn't face much adversity until potentially the later rounds. Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 4 seed) and Alexander Zverev (No. 5) are potential semifinals opponents for Djokovic, while he'd most likely face either Dominic Thiem (No. 2) or Daniil Medvedev in the final. Those four are all strong players, but none of them have won a Grand Slam title.
Along with Djokovic, the only other former winners in the field are No. 31-seeded Marin Cilic (2015 champion) and unseeded Andy Murray (2012). Neither of them are probable contenders, so this year's winner is likely to be either Djokovic or a first-time champion.
Thiem took Djokovic to five sets in the final of the Australian Open earlier this year, as he had a 2-1 match lead before Djokovic rallied back to win the fourth and fifth sets. Meanwhile, Medvedev's best Grand Slam showing came at last year's U.S. Open, when he lost to Nadal in the final. So, Thiem or Medvedev are capable of giving Djokovic a competitive match should one of them face him in the final.
But Djokovic is at the top of his game and continues to rack up major victories, so it's hard to bet against him winning at this point
Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep are the top two ranked women's tennis players in the world, but neither is in this year's U.S. Open field because of COVID-19-related travel concerns. That led to Karolina Pliskova being the No. 1 seed for the 2020 tournament.
Pliskova has never won a Grand Slam title. If she wants to win her first, it's possible she'll need to get past No. 4-seeded Naomi Osaka in the semifinals. Osaka won back-to-back major tournaments by claiming victories in the 2018 U.S. Open and the 2019 Australian Open, her first two career Grand Slam titles. She's struggled in the marquee events since, however, as she hasn't made it past the fourth round at her past four major tournaments.
Sofia Kenin is the only women's player to have won a Grand Slam title this year, as she won the first of her career at the 2020 Australian Open. She's the No. 2 seed for the U.S. Open, where she's lost in the third round each of the past three years and has never made it further.
Serena Williams is the No. 3 seed, so it's possible she could play Kenin in the semifinals if both make it that far.
In addition to Williams and Osaka, other former U.S. Open winners in the field include No. 26-seeded Sloane Stephens (2017 champion), No. 17-seeded Angelique Kerber (2016), unseeded Kim Clijsters (2005, 2009 and 2010) and unseeded Venus Williams (2000 and 2001).
One potential unseeded player to watch is 16-year-old American Coco Gauff. She's only played in five Grand Slam tournaments, but she's made it to at least the third round in each of her past three. And earlier this year, she avenged her third-round loss to Osaka at last year's U.S. Open by upsetting her in the Australian Open.
Osaka and Gauff could potentially meet again in this year's U.S. Open in the third round. If Gauff wants to reach the next level, she'll likely have to beat Osaka in order to get there. And for Osaka, she'll likely need to take down Gauff if she wants to get back on track and make a deep run at a Grand Slam tournament.