NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The US Open will offer total prize money of US$57.5 million (S$78.04 million) this year, eclipsing the record payout of US$57.2 million set in 2019, tournament organisers said on Monday (Aug 23).
The event was held without spectators last year, with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) lowering the prize money to US$53.4 million due to lost revenue.
Despite the overall increase this year, prize money for the two singles winners has come down from US$3 million to US$2.5 million, with the runner-up cheque also reduced to US$1.25 million, a decrease of US$50,000 from 2020.
"Last year was a very difficult year for all of us, and the pandemic had a profound impact on the USTA's financial health," said USTA CEO and executive director Mike Dowse.
"Yet we worked -- and continue to work -- extremely hard to ensure that tennis would continue to thrive for the long-term at every level, and that work led to more than four million new and returning players participating in tennis in 2020."
First-round payouts go to US$75,000, a jump of 23 per cent from 2020, while second-round prize money rises to US$115,000 from US$100,000.
The USTA added that prize money has also been bumped up in the doubles, mixed doubles and wheelchair events.
The US Open, which will welcome back fans this year, starts on Aug 30.