Federer talks pave way for record $50 million U.S. Open prize fund
(CNN) -- He's enjoyed unprecedented success off the court, now Roger Federer has helped pave the way for some major changes at the U.S Open.
As president of the ATP Player Council, the 17-time grand slam champion, from Switzerland, has helped to negotiated a hike in prize money to $50 million by 2017, nearly double the figure in 2012.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) confirmed the tournament -- the season's final major -- will also rejig its schedule to ensure the men's semifinals are played on Friday with the final reverting to Sunday by 2015.
It marks the culmination of a year's worth of discussions with the game's top players, led by Federer, but also including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
"The [USTA] approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership, and as president of the ATP Player Council I am personally grateful for their support," five-time U.S. Open winner Roger Federer said in a statement on the tournament's official website.
"The U.S. 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."
Under the terms of the five-year deal with the men's ATP Tour and the women's WTA Tour, the tournament will now have a 2013 prize purse of $33.6 million -- a record $8.1 million increase from 2012.
Grass roots tennis will also see a boost in funding and Flushing Meadows in New York, which hosts the competition, will also be revamped, with a new Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand.
"We welcome the commitment the USTA has made concerning player prize money at the U.S. Open through 2017," said Brad Drewett, ATP executive chairman and president.
"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 U.S. Open.
"We also welcome the decision from the USTA to adopt a schedule with the men's semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday, from 2015 onwards."
The USTA announced in December 2012 it was moving the women's final back to Sunday and the men's final to Monday to allow the players more rest time.
more at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/20/sp...rer/index.html