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Total prize money at U.S. Open to top $20M for first time

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Total prize money at the U.S. Open will top $20 million for the first time this year, with the men's and women's singles champions each earning a tournament-record $1.5 million.

The overall payout of $20.6 million is $1 million more than in 2007, matching the largest single-year jump in the hard-court Grand Slam tournament's history, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday.

There also was a $1 million jump in total prize money from 2006 to 2007, when the singles champions' take rose from $1.2 million to $1.4 million.

Adding in the bonuses available to the leading finishers in the summer circuit U.S. Open Series, the overall prize money could eventually be more than $23 million.

The No. 1 performers in the U.S. Open Series will earn a total of $2.5 million if they win the Grand Slam tournament, which begins Aug. 25.

Last year, Roger Federer won both the summer series and the U.S. Open title, giving him a total payout of $2.4 million -- the largest paycheck in tennis history.