The U.S. Open Tennis Championships
The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are the fourth and final stop on the Grand Slam tennis tour each year; the other three tournaments making up the big four are the Australian Open (Melbourne), French Open (Paris) and Wimbledon (London). The U.S. Open is held in New York City and begins on the last Monday each August, and lasts for two weeks with the middle weekend coinciding with the Labor Day holiday. There are five coveted titles that players compete for, the five events are Men's and Women's Singles, Men's and Women's Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. Aside from the championships, the tournament also holds competitions for senior, junior, and wheelchair athletes. The U.S. Open is operated by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) which is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from ticket sales at the U.S. Open are used to promote the sport of tennis across the U.S.
Some interesting facts about the U.S. Open
- The tournament was first held in August 1881 on grass courts at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island. In that first year, only players from clubs that were members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (USNLTA) were permitted to enter. The very first championship was won by Richard Sears who subsequently went on to win seven consecutive Men’s Singles titles (still an unbeaten record of most Men’s Singles titles won by one athlete).
- Only men were able to compete in the tournament from 1881 – 1887. In 1887, women were accepted into the tournament with 17 year old Ellen Hansell becoming the first Women’s Singles Champion.
- The U.S. Open itself was a culmination of all five major U.S. tennis tournaments. These tournaments were merged into the U.S. Open in 1968, the first year that the championships were open to professionals and amateurs alike. That year, 96 men and 63 women entered and at the time, prize money totaled $100,000 USD.
- In 1970, it became the only Grand Slam tournament that incorporated a tie-breaker system into every set of a match. The other three majors allow matches to continue until one player wins by two games.
- In 1973 the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prize money to men and women with that year's singles champions John Newcombe and Margaret Court both receiving $25,000. In 2014, total base prize money reached a record $38.25 million, with both Marin Cilic and Serena Williams, Men’s and Women’s Singles Champions respectively, taking home $3 million each.
- The U.S. Open was the first tournament to offer equal prize money to male and female winners.
- Another U.S. Open innovation came in 1975 when floodlights enabled night play for the first time.
- Flushing Meadows became the new home of the ‘Open’ in 1978.
- In 2006 the USTA National Tennis Center Facility (Home of the U.S. Open) is renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The actual stadium that hosts the tournament inside the USTA NTC is called Arthur Ashe Stadium. It is the only Grand Slam Tennis championship held in North America.
- The U.S. Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that's been played every year since its inception in 1881.
In 2015, the U.S. Open will take place between August 31st and September 13th. Catch all the action and watch your favourite players compete for the coveted grand prize. Who will be champion? Will Serena Williams be crowned Grand Slam Champion? Will Federer prevail over Djokovic, or will there be a new Men’s Champion? Regardless of who you’re cheering for, if you need to blow off a little steam, hit the court yourself. If you need anything, we’re hear with the gear, apparel and more.