Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Joan Hahn
The US Open has been through a very difficult year due to the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this historic year of 2021 sets the US Open’s greatest return as spectators are finally allowed to watch the final Grand Slam in New York City.
As the USTA’s financial health tries to recover, how much prize money will the players be able to receive? Here’s the US Open prize money breakdown.
US Open Tournament: A Brief Background
In the year 1881, Rhode Island held the first US National Championships on grass courts. It started with only the members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association being allowed to compete.
The US Open, held last from August to September, will complete the calendar Grand Slam of the year.
It has five titles: the men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The men’s and women’s singles champions will receive equal prize money amounting to about $2,500,000. There is at least a $20,000 prize for the first-round winner.
US Open Prize Money Breakdown
|2021||Men’s & Women’s Singles||Men’s & Women’s Doubles||Mixed Doubles|
|Grand Winner||Around $2,500,000||Around $660,000||Around $160,000|
|Runner-Up||Around $1,250,000||Around $330,000||Around $78,000|
|Semi-Final||Around $675,000||Around $164,000||Around $40,000|
|Quarter-Final||Around $425,000||Around $93,000||Around $22,000|
|Round of 16||Around $265,000||Around $54,000||Around $13,400|
|Round of 32||Around $180,000||Around $34,000||Around $7,800|
|Round of 64||Around $115,000||Around $20,000||–|
|Round of 128||Around $75,000||–||–|
Prize Money History: 1968 to Present
The US Open is one of the highest paying among the major tournaments in tennis. From prize money of around $26,150 in 1968, the total jumped to approximately $57,462,000 in 2021. One of the most significant changes was in 1983 when the prize money reached a million dollars in total.
There was more than a 6% decrease in the prize money from 2020. The collective leadership of USTA chief executive officer and executive director Mike Dowse and the tour management have agreed to distribute the 2021 prize money to the maximum number of players.
Other player compensation, such as direct hotel payments, is also included in the prize money. But how much do professional tennis players really make?
Compared To Other Events
It began as the French Championships in 1891 and was exclusively for French club members until 1925. The official title of this tournament is Roland-Garros, named after a world war hero. It was held late in May every year and the only major tournament to use clay courts. Here’s the French Open prize money breakdown.
- Grand Winners: Est. $2,127,758
- Runners-up: Est. $1,152,718
- Semifinal: Est. $592,018
- Quarterfinal: Est. $389,008
Wimbledon Grand Slam
Most commonly known as The Championships, it is considered the oldest and most prestigious by the Tennis community. It follows a traditional all-white dress code for all players. It took place in late June or early July of every year and was the only major played at grass courts.
Wimbledon offers estimated total prize money of $48,180,000 this year.
- Grand Winners: Est. $3,216,999
- Runners-up: Est. $1,679,722
- Semifinal: Est. $861,033
- Quarterfinal: Est. $525,086
It started in 1905 as the Australasian Championships and became the least popular among the players, fans, and critics.
The Australian Open uses the same hard courts as the US Open, but it takes place in January, making it the year’s first Grand Slam. The total prize money for this year reached an estimated amount of $61,950,000.
- Grand Winners: Est. $2,138,125
- Runners-up: Est. $1,166,250
- Semifinal: Est. $660,875
- Quarterfinal: Est. $408,188
What’s the cause of the US Open prize money reduction in 2020?
The COVID-19 pandemic was the cause of the US Open prize money reduction in 2020. The lost revenue was due to spectators not being allowed at the venue because of social distancing.
Can anybody enter the US Open?
Yes, anybody from the age of 14 years old can enter the US Open. The open qualifying tournament will require an entry fee because of the low budget for the prizes.
Who has won the US Open the most times?
Roger Federer has won the most consecutive US Open titles since the open era. On the other hand, Chris Evert and Serena Williams are among the top women’s singles players.
How hard is it to qualify for the US Open?
It is hard to qualify for the US Open because you have to rank in the top 104 players or go through an open qualifying tournament. In 2021, Emma Raducanu set a new record as the first qualifier to win in the US Open while holding the least Grand Slams title. 
2021 US Open Prize Money
The 2021 prize money has surpassed the previous high record of pre-pandemic levels, making it a great tournament to look forward to after the pandemic.
The open dialogue between the WTA and ATP management and players agreed to decrease the grand winners’ prize to accommodate a maximum number of winners. The singles prize money winner will receive at least $2,500,000 each.
That work led to the unparalleled showcase of new and returning players participating like Andy Murray. This year, Andy Murray has become an integral part as he aims for victory since his injury in 2017.