NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Open singles winners will receive $850,000 less prize money this year, the United States Tennis Association said on Wednesday, with first-round prize money increasing.
The tennis Grand Slam, which begins on Aug. 31 in New York, will take place without fans and some of the sports' biggest stars, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak across the United States.
The $53.4 million total prize pool is down from last year's $57 million pot, the richest in the tournament's history, with 2020 first-round prize money jumping 5% to $61,000 from $58,000. Singles winners will receive $3 million, down from $3.85 million in 2019.
Runners up will receive $1.5 million, down from $1.9 million the year before. Semi- and quarter-finalists will also see their winnings dip slightly.
"The prize money distribution for the 2020 U.S. 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," USTA CEO Mike Dowse said in a written statement.
Additionally, USTA said it was donating another $6.6 million in monetary relief for players who have seen their earnings decline after the global viral outbreak upended the professional calendar.
Defending champion Rafa Nadal and women's world number one Ash Barty are among those who have decided to skip the event, citing concerns about the coronavirus.
The United States has more than 4.79 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 157,000 people have died.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Toby Davis)