It’s a fine achievement in itself to finish above Rafael Nadal during a clay-court month, and Alexander Zverev made May his own with a 13-match winning streak.
The 21-year-old set himself up for another tilt at Grand Slam success with back-to-back titles in Munich and Madrid, followed by a run to the final in Rome which helped him break the $2m mark for the month.
Petra Kvitova was another player on a clay-court roll, taking her winning streak to 11 matches in Madrid before choosing to skip Rome.
Not surprisingly, Nadal was never far away from the headlines and prevailed over Zverev in the Italian capital to become the third player to break $1m in May.
Dominic Thiem continued to rack up the results on clay and grabbed fourth place in the Money List, with Kiki Bertens rounding out the top five thanks to a run to the final in Madrid.
The month hinged on the disparity between the much larger prize fund in Madrid, split evenly between men and women, and the smaller sums on offer in Rome, where the men took home around double on offer to the women.
|1||Alexander Zverev||$2,046,334||The big money in May was to be found in Madrid, and that’s where Zverev leapt above Nadal in the prize money standings, with victory in Munich and a runner-up finish in Rome making for a highly successful month.|
|2||Petra Kvitova||$1,448,481||Kvitova picked up on clay where she had left off on hard courts, getting the emotional boost of a hometown victory in Prague – albeit earning just US$43,000 – before taking her winning streak through to the big $1.4m payout in Madrid.|
|3||Rafael Nadal||$1,267,207||He might have slipped behind in prize money terms after a relatively early quarterfinal exit in Madrid, but Nadal firmly re-established his clay-court dominance in Rome, earning a little over $1m in the Italian capital.|
|4||Dominic Thiem||$830,859||As industrious as ever, the Austrian played three tournaments in May, with his biggest pay cheque of almost $700,000 coming for a runner-up finish in Madrid, compared to just over $100,000 for winning in Lyon.|
|5||Kiki Bertens||$704,772||If you were going to have a good week in May, Madrid was the place to do it, and wins over Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki helped Bertens to the final before a couple of fairly tame exits in Rome and Nurnberg.|
Next best: Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian won one of the great titles in the sport at the Italian Open but missed out on a place in the top five because of her early exit at the far more lucrative Madrid Open.
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