Tennis: US Open boosts prize money to record $43 million

NEW YORK (AFP) - US Open prize money will jump to a record US$34.3 million (S$43.6 million) this year and could reach a record US$36.9 million, the US Tennis Association (USTA) announced on Wednesday.

The figures are higher than the planned record boost announced last March and represent a jump of at least 37 per cent and as much as 43 per cent for second- and third-round losers compared to last year, when prize money totalled US$25.5 million.

The year's final Grand Slam is set to begin Aug 26 on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.

Three months ago, the USTA announced the US Open prize money would reach US$33.6 million in its 40th year of equal prize money for men and women as part of a five-year deal that will see prize money total US$50 million by 2017.

The men's and women's singles champions will each receive US$2.6 million, the largest one-event payout in tennis history and a 37 per cent boost from last year.

Another US$2.6 million is available in bonus money depending on how the eventual winner performs in pre-US Open events.

A US Open singles runner-up will receive US$1.3 million while semi-final losers will receive US$650,000 and losers in the quarter-finals will take home US$325,000.

Losing in the fourth round will still bring US$165,000 with US$93,000 to third-round losers, US$53,000 to those who go out in the second round and US$32,000 for those who fail to win their first match.