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Boost for US Open as prize money increased

ESPN staff
July 31, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012, but would receive more prize money if he retains his title in September © PA Photos
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All singles players at the US Open will get a big raise this year, from the record $2.6 million each champion will take home to the $32,000 for everyone losing in the first round.

On Wednesday, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the breakdown of its across-the-board prize money overhaul at the grand slam, four months after saying it would add more than $8 million to the pool.

The total payout, including per diems for players, will be $34.3m - an increase of approximately 35% from the $25.5m pool in 2012.

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Roger Federer is slipping off the pace of the top four © AP
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Andy Murray and Serena Williams, who won the 2012 singles titles at Flushing Meadows, took home $1.9m apiece. The $700,000 added on for 2013 represents a rise of 37%.

Runners-up will get $1.3m instead of the $950,000 offered last year, while semi-finalists receive $650,000 - up from $475,000 - which are both increases of 37%. Quarter-finalists see the same rise in prize money, getting $325,000 instead of $237,500.

The percentage jumps in earlier rounds are slightly higher. Players losing in the fourth round of singles will be paid $165,000 (up from $120,000), third round losers will earn $93,000 (up from $65,000) and players who fall at the second round stage will get $53,000 (up from $37,000).

The $32,000 that first-round exits earn this year is up 39% from the $23,000 in 2012 and is more than the $30,000 the singles champions earned in 1976.

Doubles prize money will go up about 13% in 2013, while prize money for qualifying will total $1.4m, a 37.5% jump.

Main draw singles play at the US Open starts on August 26, with the women's final on September 8 and the men's final scheduled September 9.

In March, the USTA said it would increase its annual prize money to $50m by 2017 - nearly double what it was in 2012 - as part of an unprecedented five-year agreement with the men's and women's professional tours. The USTA said then that it did not plan to fund the higher prize money with a similar leap in ticket prices.

Players have been seeking a larger slice of grand slam revenues and the sport's four most prestigious tournaments are complying.

This year's singles champions at Wimbledon, for example, each received approximately $2.4m, up from $1.75m in 2012, while overall prize money at the All England Club increased about 40%.

Roger Federer, owner of a record 17 major titles and president of the ATP Player Council, joined other top men, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in lobbying the grand slam tournaments to raise prize money.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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