ATP Tour Opposes US Open Move, Prize Money Distribution


The men’s tennis tour said it opposes a switch of the U.S. Open final to a Monday and wants a shake-up of prize-money distribution at the tournament.
The United States Tennis Association, which runs the annual Grand Slam event at the National Tennis Center in New York, last week announced it was moving the women’s final to a Sunday and the men’s final to a Monday from 2013. The aim is to provide a rest day between the semifinals and finals.
Rain has forced the men’s final, previously scheduled for Sunday afternoons, into Monday in each of the past five years. Players complained last year that the schedule, especially if altered due to rain delays, gave them no time to recuperate. The U.S. Open, which doesn’t have a roof, was the only major that scheduled the men’s semifinals and finals on consecutive days. Although the ATP World Tour welcomed the rest day, it said in an e-mailed statement today that it “made clear to the U.S. Open that we do not support a Monday final.”
“We strongly believe the U.S. Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday,” the ATP said. “It is unfortunate the U.S. Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.”
The USTA also announced last week that it would boost U.S. Open prize money by $4 million to $29.5 million. It follows the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, who have all boosted prize money this season.
Greater Share: Although the ATP welcomed what it said was the biggest U.S. Open prize-money increase since 1990, the rise didn’t reflect discussions held with the four majors regarding a more even distribution of prize money that the ATP says would benefit players across all levels of the tour. The ATP has also been fighting for a greater share of the revenue generated at the four Grand Slams.