Serena Williams has been the dominant figure in women’s tennis throughout 2013, winning eight singles titles, 60 matches (against four losses) and more than $5 million. Now, if she can successfully defend her women’s singles title at the upcoming US Open, Williams has a chance to etch her name into the record books.
By reaching the final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this past weekend, Williams wrapped up the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge, claiming the title for the second time in three years and setting up a shot at $1 million in bonus prize money at the US Open. If she were to win the Open, her $3.6 million total payday would be the largest single payout in tennis history.
Williams is the first two-time women’s champion in the history of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, which began in 2004, and she joins Andy Roddick (2005-06) as the only two-time champions ever. She took home this year’s championship by winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto and reaching the final in Cincinnati to finish with 170 points. Victoria Azarenka, who topped Williams in a third-set tiebreak over the weekend to capture the Western & Southern Open title, is currently in second place with 145 points.
The competition for the men’s Series title will come down to the final week, with Rafael Nadal currently in the lead with 200 points. John Isner, currently in second place with 185 points, can pass Nadal if he reaches the semifinals at this week’s Winston-Salem Open.
The Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge has resulted in some of the largest paychecks in tennis history, with Roger Federer winning $2.4 million as the US Open and Series champion in 2007 and Kim Clijsters taking home $2.2 million in both 2005 (as the US Open and Series champion) and 2010 (as the US Open champion and Series runner-up).
For more on the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge, visit emiratesusopenseries.com.