The U.S. Open champions, to be decided this weekend, will bring home a much heftier check than the winners in 1968, the start of tennis' professional era.
The first U.S. Open awarded a total of $100,000 in prize money. Six percent of that ($6,000) went to the women's champion, Virginia Wade. The men's champion was slated to earn $14,000, but because of his amateur status, Arthur Ashe brought home just $20 per diem.
Since, the prize money has skyrocketed. The champions earned six figures for the first time in 1983 ($120,000) and seven figures for the first time in 2003 ($1,000,000).
Also of note is 1973, the first time both men and women earned equal pay for claiming the tournament's title. That year, the champions received checks for $25,000.