Money

The 2018 US Open pays the most in tennis history—here's how much the women's champ will earn

Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Anastasija Sevastova during in the 2018 US Open singles semi-finals 
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Anastasija Sevastova during in the 2018 US Open singles semi-finals 

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will compete for the 2018 US Open title Saturday at 4 p.m ET.

Osaka, 20, is making her Grand Slam final debut, while Williams, 36, is vying for her 24th Grand Slam title and seventh US Open title.

Today's winner will collect a $3.8 million check, the most lucrative payout in tennis history and a $100,000 increase from last year. The runner-up will earn about half that amount: $1.85 million.

Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates her semi-final win over Madison Keys at the 2018 US Open 
Matthew Stockman | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates her semi-final win over Madison Keys at the 2018 US Open 

The payout is much higher than in 1968, the start of tennis' professional era. The first US Open awarded a total of $100,000 in prize money. Only 6 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 a $20 per diem.

Since then, 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). In 1973, for the first time, men and women earned equal pay for claiming the tournament's title. That year, both champions received checks for $25,000.

At the 2018 US Open, $53 million will be awarded in total, making it the richest purse in tennis history.

It's not just Williams and Osaka who will be taking home a hefty paycheck. Here's the full breakdown of how much the other singles competitors earned at this year's Open:

Semifinalist: $925,000
Quarterfinalist: $475,000
Round of 16: $266,000
Round of 32: $156,000
Round of 64: $93,000
Round of 128: $54,000

Don't miss: Here's what 17-year-old Maria Sharapova bought after winning her first Wimbledon

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