US Open boosts early round prize money for 2012



WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. Open is increasing singles prize money by 11 percent this year, with the biggest boosts for players who lose in early rounds.

The men’s and women’s champions will each receive $1.9 million, a $100,000 bump from 2011, with the chance to earn additional money based on performances in other North American hard-court tournaments this summer.

Total prize money goes from $23.7 million to $25.5 million, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Wednesday.

Payouts are rising 21 percent in the first round of singles, 19 percent in the second round. That was the model the French Open and Wimbledon used after leading players lobbied Grand Slam officials in March to help lower-ranked players.

USTA President Jon Vegosen says the changes “will help alleviate some of the pressure” on some players.