Maria Sharapova gets wild card into the U.S. Open
Maria Sharapova will play in her first Grand Slam tournament since she was banned from tennis between June 2016 and April 2017 for taking the drug meldonium.
She was granted a wild card into the main draw, which means even though her ranking isn’t high enough to make it into the tournament, she has been given a spot. The 30-year-old is currently ranked No. 148 in the world. She was denied a wild card into the French Open earlier this year and pulled out of the Wimbledon qualifying tournament because of an injury.
Before the ban, she won five Grand Slame singles titles — the U.S. Open in 2006, Wimbledon in 2004, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014. And she has made over $ 285 million during her career, according to Forbes — more from endorsements than tennis winnings — and was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for over a decade before being overtaken last year by Serena Williams.
In other U.S. Open news, total prize money at this year’s tournament will be $ 50.4 million — the most ever given out at a tennis tournament.
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The men’s and women’s singles winners will also earn a record payout: $ 3.7 million each. At the four Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open — men and women are paid equally.
“Five years ago, we committed to the players that total player compensation would reach $ 50 million at the U.S. Open, and we are honoring that commitment,” said U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) president Katrina Adams. The USTA owns and runs the tournament. Last year the tournament paid out $ 46 million.
Here’s a breakdown of the prize money:
- Winner: $ 3,700,000
- Runner-Up: $ 1,825,000
- Semifinalist: $ 920,000
- Quarterfinalist: $ 470,000
- Round of 16: $ 253,625
- Round of 32: $ 144,000
- Round of 64: $ 86,000
- Round of 128: $ 50,000
Doubles (per team)
- Winner: $ 675,000
- Runner-Up: $ 340,000
- Semifinalist: $ 160,000
- Quarterfinalist: $ 82,000
- Round of 16: $ 44,000
- Round of 32: $ 26,500
- Round of 64: $ 16,500
And here’s how much the three other Grand Slam tournaments paid out this year: The Australian Open (roughly $ 39 million), the French Open (about $ 42 million), and Wimbledon (about $ 40 million).