Rafael Nadal turned a red-hot summer into a chance for a record payday at the 2013 US Open. Nadal won the events in Montreal and Cincinnati to claim the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge. With a victory at the 2013 US Open, he would earn $3.6 million – $2.6 million as the US Open champion and $1 million in bonus prize money as the Series champion – which would set a tennis record for a single-day payout.
Nadal, who rose from No. 4 to No. 2 in the world on the strength of his two summer hard-court titles, also won the Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s crown in 2008. He joins Andy Roddick (2005-06) and Serena Williams (2011, 2013) as the only players in the history of the Series to win multiple titles. The Series began in 2004. The 2010 US Open champion is 15-0 on hard courts this year, having also won the tournament title in Indian Wells, Calif., in March. He officially clinched the 2013 Series title when John Isner, currently in second place in the Bonus Challenge standings, pulled out of the Winston-Salem Open on Monday with a hip injury.
The top three men’s and top three women’s finishers in the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge have the opportunity to win bonus prize money at the 2013 US 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).