The US Open is adding a day to its tournament schedule in 2013, extending Finals Weekend into a four-day event featuring a Sunday afternoon women’s final and a Monday men’s final. The women’s semifinals will kick off the action on Friday afternoon, with the men’s semifinals remaining in their traditional Saturday afternoon slot.The more interesting question than WHEN the men's and women's finals will be played is WHO will be playing in them!
The new schedule adds an extra day of tennis for fans and provides a day of rest between the semifinals and finals for the players. Previously, the semifinals and finals for both men and women had been scheduled on back-to-back days.
In addition, the US Open will be increasing its base prize money by $4 million in 2013, which doubles the $2 million increase in 2012. The tournament has now increased prize money by 34 percent since the 2011 US Open.
Base prize money for the 2013 US Open will be $29.5 million, with players having an opportunity to add an additional $2.6 million in bonus prize money based on their results in the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series.
"Both the prize money increase and the addition of a day of rest are great for the players,” said defending champion and four-time US Open women’s winner Serena Williams. “These moves make the tournament stronger than it’s ever been for all players.”
“I’m pleased that the USTA has modified the US Open schedule to include a day of rest between the semifinals and final,” said Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open men’s champion. “Together with the prize money increase, it’s good that they've taken on board the players’ concerns.”
Under the new format, the US Open is scheduled to conclude on Monday, Sept. 9, in 2013, with the men’s singles final to be played at 5 p.m. ET and the semifinals held during the day session on Saturday, Sept. 7. The women’s singles semifinals will be played on Friday, Sept. 6 during the day session, and the women’s final will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m., in the time slot where the men’s singles final has traditionally been played.
That being said, I think this is pretty good news for tennis fans. Tennis players, however appear to be unhappy. The ATP officially opposes the plan for a Monday U.S. Open final:
"The ATP and its players have made it clear to the U.S. Open that we do not support a Monday final," the governing body for men's tennis said in a statement. "We strongly believe the U.S. Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men's semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday.I plan to be in New York City for the 2013 tournament!
"It is unfortunate the U.S. Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA."