Monday final for US Open

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 14 2012, 18:43 GMT

Organisers of the US Open are to stage the men's singles final on a Monday in 2013.

Andy Murray: Welcomed the move to a Monday final

Men's Grand Slam finals have traditionally been played on a Sunday but the US Open, unlike the other majors, opts to stage its semi-finals the previous day.

This gives the players little time to recuperate and also leaves the organisers with little wriggle room if, as has been the case in recent years, weather affects the schedule.

Both players and fans have long complained about the controversial schedule and now the tournament has finally reacted.

The semis will continue to be held on the Saturday with the final scheduled for Monday September 9 at 1700 local time (2200 BST).

The women's final also moves - to the Sunday - meaning the women also get a day's rest which previously they didn't. That final will start at 1630 local time (2130 BST).

The move has doubtless been helped by the bad weather of recent years. With no retractable roof at Flushing Meadows, that meant the last five men's finals were put back until the Monday.

Reigning champion Andy Murray welcomed the move, saying: "I'm pleased that the USTA has modified the US Open schedule to include a day of rest between the semi-finals and final.

"It's good that they've taken on board the players' concerns."

USTA chairman Jon Vegosen added: "We recognise the increased physicality required to compete at the highest level of the sport, and we have responded to the players' request for a scheduled day of rest between the singles semi-finals and finals."

However, one downside is that the Davis Cup semi-finals are scheduled for September 13 - a US Open finalist would now be less likely to take part in those, especially were the New York weather to delay the final again.

Organisers have yet to decide if the move to a Monday final will be a permanent one. They will determine the 2014 schedule after seeing how things work in 2013.

Meanwhile, the tournament has also announced another record-breaking increase in prize money.

The total prize fund in 2013 will be US$29.5million - up US$4million on 2012 - with the US Open becoming the latest tournament to try to appease players' concerns over their slice of the financial pie.

The rise means singles prize money has increased by 34 per cent in the last two years.

How the cash will be distributed has yet to be determined with tournament officials planning to meet with ATP and WTA representatives to "solicit suggestions".

The ATP has been campaigning for losers in the earlier rounds to receive more money, saying some lower-ranked players were struggling to meet their expenses.

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