The U.S. Open Will Nearly Double Its Player Payout By 2017S

The total winners' purse at the U.S. Open is set to balloon to $50 million in four years—about double the amount they received in total last year. Where is the USTA going to find all that extra money? SI's Jon Wertheim has a great primer on how this came to be (cranky non-American players who are demanding more money since they don't owe the USTA any loyalty) and how this is going to be a little tricky for the USTA to pay off.

The U.S. Open has been good at setting attendance records in recent years, but is that a bit of a bubble? Consider what's happening down at Sony Open in Miami which is currently hosting a tournament without Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal:

Tournament director Adam Barrett said ticket sales have taken a hit, but the field is still "world class.''

"Roger and Rafa, it's a bad break,'' Barrett said. "Two storms came together for two competely different reasons for them both not to be here."

By 2017, Federer will be retired and Nadal might not have any knees to stand on. Venus Williams will be long retired and Serena Williams will (probably?) be on her way out. So, what happens to attendance and revenues when all those players are permanently off the schedule? The USTA will need the desperately need a new generation of great American stars, which it hasn't really had a great track record for, oh, the last decade or so.

US Open tennis prize money to reach $50M by 2017 [AP]

U.S. Open prize-money increase indirectly due to lack of U.S. players [SI]