All of the 2019 US Open champions took home hefty paydays. For perennial contender Rafael Nadal, the prize money is just another payday in a career filled with payouts. But this money could change everything for a newcomer like Bianca Andreescu. Many tennis players earn money in major tournaments like the US Open, but the prize pool this year was truly historic.
The US Open’s generous payouts
According to Fox Business, the overall purse for the 2019 US Open was $57.24 million — a staggering increase of 13% from the last year. If the trend persists, the prize pool could reach nine figures. These large purses are part of the reason why the grand slams are a big deal. While the smaller events don’t leave winners broke, the four Grand Slams are life-changing on and off the courts. And it isn’t just the winners who benefit from this.
It pays to lose
The bulk of the payment goes to singles players. After all, it’s the most popular event. Those who make it to the round of 128 start at $58,000. For established players who get ousted earlier, this kind of money may seem like nothing, but for the up-and-comers, simply making it to the tournament pays well.
Those who advance to the later rounds get a hefty payday, too. Serena Williams reportedly took home $1.9 million following her loss to Andreescu, as did Daniil Medvedev in his loss to Nadal. Semifinalists make just shy of a million dollars, and quarterfinalists go home with a half-million. Needless to say, a lot of checks are being cashed by participants, including those who face defeat.
US Open prize money for doubles
The doubles purses, while less impressive, can still change the lives of participants. Winners split a $740,000 payday, with the runners-up getting half of that and the semifinalists get $175,000. Those who make it to the round of 64, the largest field in doubles, go home with $17,000 to split.
The lowest paying purse is in mixed doubles. There, the winners split $160,000, and the prizes diminish to $5,900 for those who make it into the round of 32.
What did Nadal and Andreescu make?
Both Nadal and Andreescu made $3.85 million for their victories. Nadal simply added it to more than $100 million total he accumulated before the tournament. This was enough to make him, according to Forbes, the 37th-ranked athlete on their highest-earners list. At 33 years old, Nadal could have several more years of high paydays, too.
For Andreescu, who previously won smaller tournaments, the payday more than doubles her career winnings. At only 19 years of age, it may be the first large payday of several. Although she began to make a name for herself with impressive showings over the past year, the US Open earnings brought her to a brand new level.
Prize money isn’t the entire story when it comes to tennis, but it doesn’t hurt. It pays to be a professional tennis player, and those paydays may only get sweeter in the future.