(Reuters)The U.S. Open will offer total prize money of $57.5 million this year, eclipsing the record payout of $57.2 million set in 2019, tournament organizers said on Monday.
The event was held without spectators last year, with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) lowering the prize money to $53.4 million due to lost revenue.
Despite the overall increase this year, prize money for the two singles winners has come down from $3 million to $2.5 million, with the runner-up cheque also reduced to $1.25 million, a decrease of $50,000 from 2020.
"Last year was a very difficult year for all of us, and the pandemic had a profound impact on the USTA's financial health," said USTA CEO and executive director Mike Dowse.
"Yet we worked -- and continue to work -- extremely hard to ensure that tennis would continue to thrive for the long-term at every level, and that work led to more than four million new and returning players participating in tennis in 2020."
First-round payouts go to $75,000, a jump of 23% from 2020, while second-round prize money rises to $115,000 from $100,000.
The USTA added that prize money has also been bumped up in the doubles, mixed doubles and wheelchair events.
The U.S. Open, which will welcome back fans this year, starts on Aug. 30.