US Open tournament - richer, later, high stakes

Last updated 11:50 25/08/2014

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A look at the US Open, the year's last Grand Slam tennis tournament:

Surface: Hard courts.

Site: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.  

Schedule: The 15-day tournament begins Monday (NZT Tuesday). The women's singles final is Sunday, September 7; the men's singles final is Monday, September 8.

This is the second consecutive year that the tournament is scheduled to end on a Monday. Each of the previous five years, from 2008 to 2012, rain pushed back the men's final from Sunday to Monday.

The US Tennis Association says the schedule will go back to a planned Sunday finish in 2015.

2013 Men's Singles Champion: Rafael Nadal of Spain. Nadal withdrew from this year's tournament because of an injured right wrist.

2013 Women's Singles Champion: Serena Williams of the United States is back to defend her title.

Last Year: Nadal beat 2011 champion Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win his second US Open title (the other came in 2010, also by defeating Djokovic in the final).

Williams edged Victoria Azarenka in three sets in the final for the second year in a row, this time winning 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 for her fifth US Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall. Now she will try to become the first woman to win three consecutive US Open trophies since Chris Evert earned four in a row from 1975-78.  

Key Statistic: It's been eight years since Williams went an entire season without reaching at least one Grand Slam final. She hasn't been past the fourth round at any major in 2014.

Prize Money: Total payout to players is a tournament-record US$38.3 million (NZ$46m), up from US$34.3m (NZ$41m) a year ago.

The men's and women's singles champions each will get US$3m (NZ$3.6m), an increase of about 15 per cent from the US$2.6m (NZ$3.1m) in 2013.

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- AP

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