| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

Serena Williams has clinched the 2011 Olympus U.S. Open Series women’s title on Tuesday. This is the first career Olympus U.S. Open Series title for Serena, who earned 170 points by winning titles at Series events in Stanford and Toronto. Williams will now compete for the largest payout in tennis history at the 2011 U.S. Open— $2.8 million ($1.8 million for winning the U.S. Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the U.S. Open and the Olympus U.S. Open Series). The women’s second and third place finishers in this year’s bonus challenge have yet to be determined, with Agnieszka Radwanksa, Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli still in contention.

This year marks the first time in Olympus U.S. Open Series history that Americans have won both the men’s and women’s titles, as Mardy Fish clinched the men’s title last week. Novak Djokovic has clinched second place, and the third place finisher will be determined at the Winston-Salem Open.

Fish will also compete for $1 million in bonus prize money at the 2011 U.S. Open. The second and third place finishers on both the men’s and women’s sides will compete for $500,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Andy Murray won the 2010 Olympus U.S. Open Series men’s title and Caroline Wozniacki won the women’s title. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history, $2.4 million for winning the U.S. Open and the Olympus U.S. Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the U.S. Open and the Olympus U.S. Open Series, winning $2.2 million which is the largest purse in women’s sports history and again equaled that amount in 2010, winning the U.S. Open and finishing second in the Olympus U.S. Open Series.

Now in its eighth season, the Olympus U.S. Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the U.S. Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer through national television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals on Sunday afternoon. Players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the U.S. Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus U.S. Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Evian, Esurance and Gatorade.