US Open winners face RM3.56m pay cut

NEW YORK • The winners of this year’s US Open singles titles will receive an US$850,000 (RM3.56 million) paycut as the tournament feels the effects of the pandemic, organisers said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the US Open said this year’s event, which is taking place without fans, would have a total compensation of US$53.4 million compared to about US$57 million in 2019.

The winners of the mens’ and women’s singles would receive US$3 million each compared to US$3.85 million apiece in 2019.

But players in the first rounds will receive a pay bump in recognition of the financial hardship during a season that has been decimated by Covid-19.

First-round players will receive US$61,000 this year, compared to US$58,000 in 2019. Money for the second and third rounds remains unchanged at US$100,000 and US$163,000 respectively.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said it will also make available US$7.6 million to provide monetary assistance to players who have seen earning opportunities stymied by tennis’ near-five-month shutdown.

The USTA previously contributed US$1 million to the sport’s Player Relief Programme, but is now making an additional US$6.6 million available.

The funds will be allocated equally between the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tours, with each organisation determining how they will be distributed to players, the USTA said in a statement.

“We’re proud to be able to offer a player compensation package that maintains nearly 95% of the prize pool from 2019,” said Mike Dowse, USTA CEO and ED.

“The prize money distribution for the 2020 US Open is the result of close collaboration between the USTA, WTA and ATP, and represents a commitment to supporting players and their financial well- being during an unprecedented time.”

The 2020 US Open gets underway on Aug 31 before wrapping up on Sept 13. — AFP