Elena Dementieva captured the 2009 Olympus US Open Series women’s title when Flavia Pennetta lost in the semifinals last night to eventual Pilot Pen Tennis singles champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-1 at New Haven, the final Series event of the season. Pennetta tied Jelena Jankovic in the Olympus US Open Bonus Challenge women’s standings, but officially assumes second place by virtue of the tie-breaker (greatest number of Olympus US Open Series matches won in the current year).
Dementieva, along with 2009 Olympus US Open Series men’s champion Sam Querrey, will now compete for the largest payout in tennis history at the 2009 US Open -- $2.6 million ($1.6 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series). Since the Olympus US Open Series began in 2004, every Series winner had been, or went on to be, No. 1 in the world rankings.
The second and third place finishers will compete for up to $500,000 and $250,000, respectively, in bonus prize money.
to view the Olympus US Open Series Bonus Challenge Stadnings.
In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history -- $2.4 million -- for winning US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series, winning $2.2 million -- the largest purse in women’s sports history.
Now through its sixth season, the Olympus US Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Evian and MassMutual Financial Group.