- Thomson Reuters
- The United States Tennis Association is handing out a total of $50.4 million in prize money at the 2017 US Open.Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys faced off in the US Open final on Saturday.Stephens beat out Keys, winning $3.7 million, the most money awarded in tennis history.
In spite of fan favorite Serena Williams’ absence at this year’s US Open Tennis Championships, her fellow American women are dominating.
On Saturday, Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys faced off in the US Open final. Stephens beat out Keys, cleaming the championship title and winning $3.7 million. Although there can only be one title holder, when it comes to prize money, there are no losers at this year’s US Open.
Keys, the runner-up, will pocket $1.825 million. For the first time since 1981, four American women – Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe, and Madison Keys – advanced to the singles semifinal round of the tournament. Both semifinalists walked away with $920,000.
The United States Tennis Association is handing out a total of $50.4 million at this year’s US Open – the largest purse in tennis history. On average, the prize money for singles rounds increased 7.5% from 2016, according to the Women’s Tennis Association.
- Clive Brunskill/Getty
The US Open became the first major to offer equal prize money for both men and women in 1973. Wimbledon was the last of the four Grand Slams with equal pay, which it started a decade ago.
US Open veteran Venus Williams – who lost to unseeded Sloane Stephens in the semifinals – is currently the seventh highest-paid tennis player in the world with nearly $38 million in total career winnings. She’s the second highest-paid woman, only behind her younger sister Serena, whose career winnings top $84 million.
The Williams sisters have a history of dominating at the US Open as the only two American women to take the title since 1999. While a championship win for Venus this year would be her first since 2001, the paycheck won’t be enough to bump her up to the sixth spot in the pay rankings.
The same can’t be said for the other three competitors who made it to the semifinals, all of whom are 25 or younger and have yet to capture a Grand Slam title.
Both Stephens’ and Vandeweghe’s total career prize money is about $4.5 million, while Keys has earned $5.7 million. A win for any of these women – or even a runner-up slot – will be significant.
While it’s too soon to predict whether these younger players can follow in the Williams’ footsteps, winning multiple Slams and racking up prize money in the tens of millions, their performances at the US Open this week represent an undeniable step forward for American tennis, reports Business Insider’s Sam Belden.