US Open money of $46.3 million in 2016 gives a $3.5 million prize to the best men’s and women’s player in all of tennis. Runners up get $1.75 million each. If you’re confused by how tennis tournament money breaks down you’re not alone. The splits can be confusing but the table below shows how it all works out. Basically, except for the finals winners, tennis players in the US Open aren’t awarded money when they win. They’re awarded money when they lose. There will be 128 men and 128 women competing. 64 will lose the first round and make $43,300 each. 32 will lose the next round and make $77,200 each. That continues on up to the final round, when the winner makes $3.5 million. That’s a 3% jump over 2015 and the biggest US Open money purse in history.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 24, 2016
2016 US Open Money by Stage
The table below shows how the US Open money breaks down. Understand, it can be confusing because of how the money is awarded. Basically there is a total pot of $46.3 million in prize money. Most of that or $36.3 million goes to the men’s and women’s singles tournaments. $9.4 million goes to the men’s and women’s doubles and $627,000 to the mixed doubles. The Women’s Singles winner gets $3.5 million. The Men’s Singles winner also gets $3.5 million. Runners up of either sex get $1.75 million. The rest of the money gets broken down according to the table below.
2016 US Open Money
|Stages||Singles (money per player)||Doubles (money per team)||Mixed Doubles (money per team)|
|Finals Winners (1 Man, 1 Woman)||$3.5 million||$625,000||$175,000|
|Finals Runners Up (1 Man, 1 Woman)||$1.75 million||$300,000||$90,000|
|4 Semifinals Losers||$875,000||$150,000||$45,000|
|8 Quarterfinals Losers||$450,000||$80,750||$22,000|
|16 4th Round Losers||$235,000||$40,000||$11,000|
|32 3rd Round Losers||$140,000||$20,063||$6,000|
|64 2nd Round Losers||$77,200||$15,375|
|128 1st Round Losers||$43,300|
|Totals (men and women)||$36.3 million||$5.3 million||$627,000|
|Qualifying Rounds||$1.93 million|
|Other and Per Diem||$2.07 million|
|Total US Open Money||$46.3 million|
Related: Wimbledon Prize Money 2016
Round of 128: A Fat Payday for the Losers
What makes the US Open money confusing is the number of players that add up to the total. There are 128 men and 128 women. In the first round, or “Round of 128,” 64 men will win and 64 will lose. Likewise 64 women will win and 64 will lose. Those 64 losers from each sex will get $43,300 each, just for showing up. Incidentally, this is why so many older tennis players past their prime keep playing long after they have no hope of winning tournaments. With four “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments per year, a player who can stay in the top 128 can make about $160,000 a year for four days on the court. That’s nice work if you can get it.
US Open Money Past the Round of 128
For the men’s and women’s singles tournaments, the US Open money is divided up this way: After the first round, the 64 winners advance to round two. There, 32 of them will lose and make $77,200 each. 32 will win and advance to round three. 16 of those will lose round three and get $140,000 each. 16 will win and advance to round four. Eight of those will lose and make $235,000 each. Eight will win and advance to the Quarterfinals. The four losers from Quarterfinals will make $450,000 each. The four winners advance to the Semifinals. The two semifinalists who lose will get $875,000 each. The two remaining players advance to the final round. The loser of that round gets $1.75 million while the winner gets $3.5 million. This is true for both the women’s and men’s singles tournaments. Overall it adds up to $36 million.
Related: UEFA Euro 2016 Prize Money
US Open Money Through Time
The table below shows how the US Open money has grown through time. Many sites are reporting that the prize money for 2016 has seen a 10% jump over 2015 but that just doesn’t seem to be the case. The table shows increases of 3% to 35% per year in the past ten years. That’s a wide swing, but the 2016 increase seems to be the smallest for the entire decade. The biggest was in 2013, when the prize money increased by 35% from $25.5 million to $34.3 million.
US Open Money by Year
|US Open Money 2007||$19,600,000|
|US Open Money 2008||$20,800,000||6% jump|
|US Open Money 2009||$21,600,000||4% jump|
|US Open Money 2010||$22,600,000||5% jump|
|US Open Money 2011||$23,700,000||5% jump|
|US Open Money 2012||$25,500,000||8% jump|
|US Open Money 2013||$34,300,000||35% jump|
|US Open Money 2014||$38,251,760||12% jump|
|US Open Money 2015||$42,253,400||10% jump|
|US Open Money 2016||$43,600,000||3% jump|
US Open Money: Who Will Win It?
Who will win the most US Open money? Probably those players who’ve won the most money for the year so far will have the best chance. So far the top player is Serena Williams of the US with $6.8 million in earnings. Close behind is Germany’s Angelique Kerber with $5.1 million. Kerber beat Williams in the 2016 Olympics. One notable fact about the top ten players below is that Serena Williams’ sister Venus Williams is included in the list. The players below are shown by current money rank.
- Serena Williams
- Angelique Kerber
- Garbine Muguruza
- Simona Halep
- Victoria Azarenka
- Agnieszka Radawanska
- Carla Suarez Navarro
- Venus Williams
- Karolina Pliskova
- Elena Vesnina
For the men, the most likely winners of US Open money are from Serbia, Scotland, Canada and Japan. Scotland’s Andy Murray has a fair chance at taking America’s Grand Slam this year with $7.5 million in prize money earned so far. Canada’s Milos Raonic has a decent chance of winning too.
- Novak Djokovic
- Andy Murray
- Milos Raonic
- Kei Nishikori
- Rafael Nadal
- Dominic Thiem
- Tomas Berdych
- Stan Wawrinka
- Marin Cilic
- Gael Monfils
Why Don’t the US Open Money Figures Add Up?
One frustrating thing about trying to understand the US Open money breakdown is trying to add up all the numbers. As the chart above shows, $18 million goes to the Men’s Singles players and $18 million to the women. Another $2.6 million goes to the Men’s Doubles and $2.6 million to the women’s. A further $627,000 goes to the Mixed Doubles. That’s a total of $42 million, yet the total purse is $46.3 million. Where does the extra $4 million go? That money gets distributed to players in the qualifying rounds before the first round, as per diem money and as bonus money. In the end, the numbers all add up, though it can be a difficult trip to find out how. As of 9/7/16 the players are warming up for Quarterfinals.
If you like digging into the numbers around how things work financially, try our post about how much money players make when they win the Super Bowl, or this post about Wimbledon Prize money, or this article about Donald Trump’s net worth.