US Open Shelves Super Saturday For Traditional Schedule In 2015, Moves Men’s Final Back To Sunday, Ups Prize Money

by Staff | March 20th, 2013, 11:32 am

The US Open announced today sweeping changes to its format starting in 2015. Faced with increased pressure from the top men, the tournament will no longer play their men’s semifinals on Saturday moving the two matches two Friday allowing the men’s final to return to Sunday.

The Saturday-Sunday semifinal-final schedule has long been an issue for men who were not given a day off in between five set matches. This year and for 2014 the US Open will still play its men’s final on Monday, but return to Sunday under the new changes in 2015.

“This excellent outcome for the sport of tennis wouldn’t have been possible without the open-mindedness and fairness of USTA President Dave Haggerty and the USTA staff,” said Roger Federer, President of the ATP Player Council. “They approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership, and as President of the ATP Player Council I am personally grateful for their support. Everyone I have spoken with is excited about the increases in prize money, as well as the agreement to change the schedule for 2015 and beyond. The US Open is very special, and we all look forward to great competition at Flushing Meadows later this year, and in the years yet to come.”

The women’s final, played Sunday the next two years, will return to Saturday in 2015 with their semifinals played Thursday.

AS part of this new 5-year deal with the ATP/WTA, the tournament also bumped it’s prize money outlay by $4.1 million to a Slam record $33.6 million for 2013 and it expects to award $50 million by 2017, a nearly two-fold increase over 2012.

“We welcome the commitment the USTA has made concerning player prize money at the US Open through 2017,” said ATP head Brad Drewett. “These increases are the largest in the history of the sport, representing a significant step forward in truly recognizing the input the players have in the success of the US Open. We also welcome the decision from the USTA to adopt a schedule with the menโ€™s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday, from 2015 onwards.”

The US Open also plans to upgrade their facilities to turn it into “most modern and fan- and player-friendly tennis center in the world”, though no roof on the stadium court was mentioned.

Novak Djokovic: “Yeah, well, we have been talking with them for quite a while now, and it’s a positive step to see the prize money increase. It’s a good response, and it’s, you know, a reaction from US Open towards the players’ demands and desires. And as I said before, we all have to stay united. We all have to try not just as players, but also the people from the tournament side to work towards improving this game and the world of tennis. So, you know, Grand Slams are huge competitions. They are over two weeks long and there are a lot of benefits. Without players, those benefits are not possible. So I’m sure that a lot of players will be happy with this prize money increase. And to be honest, me personally, I am not happy with a Monday final. But it is the way it is for next two years. I think we have to accept it, and then after that, it all goes back to normal hopefully for Sunday final like every Grand Slam has.”

Andy Murray: “I think for the tour just now also I think the players are very valuable to the events, and, you know, I think now the prize money is starting to reflect that. So it’s great that, you know, all the conversations at the ATP and the players have been having with the USTA, you know, and the guys that run the US Open have been beneficial and have been very positive. It’s good that things are moving in the right direction. Hopefully that continues to be the case, but it’s a big step forward.”

Serena Williams: “Well, it wasn’t only the men’s side, for the record. They definitely led the challenge. You know, I’m on the player council with the ladies, so we had a lot to do with we met with all the Grand Slams in Doha, in the middle of the tournament. We sat down with all the top players and every Grand Slam chairman came in, and we told them, Look, we need to change. I mean, this is people we just want to be at a different point and earn more money and just not necessarily earn more money, but just do better for the sport. Show people a reason to play tennis. Get more people involved. What can we do to make that better? So, you know, we were in those meetings and all biting our nails, both the players and the Grand Slam chairmen, you know. We’re all like a little sometimes it gets a little testy, especially with some. But, you know, I think it was worth it. We still want to climb and we still want to make improvements, obviously not for me or for my generation, but for the next generations to come to say, you know, that tennis is such a great sport and you can do well in it.”

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11 Comments for US Open Shelves Super Saturday For Traditional Schedule In 2015, Moves Men’s Final Back To Sunday, Ups Prize Money

SG1 Says:

These are good moves for the fans…and really good moves for the players. Those $$$’s are flying now.

I have to admit that I’ve always loved the Super Saturday thing with the Sunday final. I didn’t particularly like the men’s final moved to Monday. You have to rush home from work and miss the first set and a bit. Of course, this is the selfish tennis fan talking.

Pragmatically speaking, given the physical nature of the sport today, I don’t think holding the men’s semis on Saturday and men’s final is fair. Definitely not at all for the guys playing the 2nd semi-final.

Progress always has its detractors. All in all, I’m happy with how they’ve fixed things up.

SG1 Says:

Loved that 1984 Super Saturday. It was incredible…Oops, I think my nostalgia is showing.

Giles Says:

All good but why wait till 2015? Why not 2013?

skeezer Says:

With you SG1 on SS. In the past it was the best TV Tennis day EVER!

But the times have changed…..and a Monday Final sucks. They made the right decision here overall…

skeezer Says:

BTW Fed speaks like the President of the ATP Council. Wait, he is!

Giles Says:

^^^ “Nice”. Yep, nice if he did some work instead of prancing around from one holiday resort to the next!! Lol

skeezer Says:

^You couldn’t just leave that post alone, could you giles? Always can count on you.

rogerafa Says:

” Yep, nice if he did some work instead of prancing around from one holiday resort to the next!! Lol”

jane Says:

^ Interesting article. I wonder if Murray will do Player’s Council work at any point? He seems very level headed so he might make a good addition. That article also makes me wonder what kind of role Fed might play when he does retire from playing.

jane Says:

While Super Saturday had some viewer appeal, I think this is definitely best for the players, and a Sunday final is the best option in the long run and more important than Super Saturday as we’ve been seeing too many Monday finals for a while now.

I do hope they condense those first rounds though!

The Great Davy Says:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will not be retiring until, lets say, september 2015.

I love tennis. I love tennis. See, I love tennis so much I will play at least 2 more years. Before I did not know, now I know more.

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