March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Prize money for the U.S. Open tennis tournament will reach $50 million by 2017, almost twice the $25.5 million for last year’s final Grand Slam event.
The men’s championship match also will return to Sunday beginning in 2015, with the semifinals played the previous Friday, the U.S. Tennis Association said.
The USTA said in a news release that it was adding $4.1 million to the $4 million additional payout announced in December for this year’s tournament in New York. That brings the total distribution to $33.6 million in 2013.
“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’s vitality in the U.S. for years to come,” David Haggerty, the USTA’s chairman, said in a statement.
This year, the men are scheduled to have the semifinal round on Saturday, Sept. 7, and the final on Monday, Sept. 9, a decision that left several players unhappy with the tournament’s extension. The same format will be kept for 2014.
In the past, the men’s semifinals were scheduled on Saturday and the final on Sunday. The tournament was forced to a Monday conclusion each of the past five years after being plagued by poor weather, and many players complained that the schedule, especially if altered by rain, gave them no time to rest.
“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,” Roger Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam winner who heads ATP World Tour’s Player Council, said in a statement. “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.”
Men and women receive equal prize money distribution, and round-by-round distribution will be announced later. Last year, Andy Murray of Britain and Serena Williams of the U.S. each received $1.9 million for winning the men’s and women’s singles titles.
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