Roland Garros tournament director Gilbert Ysern tells The New York Times that the French Open plans to increase prize money “spectacularly” from 2013 to 2016, but won’t match the U.S. Open’s massive increase.
The USTA announced on Wednesday that it will offer a $33.6 million purse in 2013, a 31.7 percent increase over 2012, and will give out $50 million by 2017.
“We’re going to be below the U.S. Open, but we’re on the same path,” said Ysern. “I think quite sincerely that there’s a logic to paying the players more than we have until now. I am particularly convinced there’s a logic to reducing the gap between the first-week players and the second-week players and to raise the prize money for the first week. I think that really is logical, but after that, I think you have to be reasonable.”
ATP board member Justin Gimelstob told The Times that the players are taking a close look at Roland Garros expansion plans, which include new mini-stadiums and a roof over center court. However, those plans are currently on hold, as a Paris judge recently ruled that the plans don’t satisfy environmental regulations.
“The players view that as building on their sweat equity,” Gimelstob said. “The French Open is in tremendous jeopardy of falling behind after what the U.S. Open and Australian Open have announced.”