A Serious Racket: US Open Winners Get Crazy Amounts of Cash

us open prize money

The US Open is the final Grand Slam of the year. One of the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournaments on the planet, it features legends of the sport going head to head (or heads to heads, in the case of doubles) in a knockout competition for the ultimate glory of lifting the hallowed silver cup.

Much more practical than glory however is the firehose of cash that is also showered upon contestants. Like the three other Grand Slams, the US Open is a knockout competition in which each successive round earns contestants extra dollar for making it through.

This year, that dollar amounts to a whopping total of US$60.1 million (that’s $86.95 million Australian), an increase of US$2.5 million from last year.

This makes the US Open far and away the biggest prize pool in tennis and seeks to retain that title by boosting its funding each year. If only our own wages kept pace with inflation in quite the same way.

According to the US Tennis Association, the prize money structure for 2022 has been agreed upon by the World Tennis Association and the American Tennis Player Council “with a goal of increasing prize money in the earlier rounds of the main draw, as well as the US Open Qualifying Tournament Prize money”.

This means that players who bow out in the early rounds will end up a lot better off financially than they would have done in previous years. First-round entrants, for example, will make US$80,000, an 85% increase on prize money from six years ago. Qualifiers are also getting a big boost this year in order to balance out the sport and ensure up-and-comers are taken care of properly.

Here’s how much stars in the big leagues can make at the US Open this year.

US Open Men’s and Women’s Singles Prize Money

The US Open was the first Grand Slam to offer equal prize money to both men and women, doing so way back in 1972. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that act of equality, although it took the others way longer to get with the times.

Singles champions at the US Open this year will earn themselves a cool US$2.6 million each ($3.77 million) while runner-ups make US$1.3 million ($1.89 million). Those who make it to the semi-finals take home US$705,000 ($1.02 million) and quarter-finalist finishers make US$445,000 ($646,000).

In the earlier rounds, Round 4 finishers make US$278,000 ($403,000), Round 3 finishers take US$188,000 ($273,000), Round Two finishers get US$121,000 ($175,000) and Round 1 entrants take US$80,000 ($116,000).

As with other tournaments, prize money is not cumulative, meaning that only those who don’t progress in each round will take the money while winners stay on and claim the loot for the round that they end up in.

US Open Men’s and Women’s Doubles Prize Money

In the doubles rounds, prize money is significantly less, although doubles players often play in the singles as well so have just as much of a chance to make the big bucks.

Doubles champions take home at the US Open this year will take home US$688,000 ($998,000) while finalists will make US$344,000 ($499,000). Those who make it to the semi-finals take US$172,000 ($249,000) and quarter-finalists get US$97,500 ($141,000).

Round 3 contestants make US$56,400 ($81,000) while Round 2 players get US$35,800 ($51,000). Those who bow out in the first round will still take home US$21,300 ($30,000).

Prize money for the doubles isn’t shared so players will claim the above prizes each. Not a bad haul.

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