US Open: A Brief Overview of a Grand Slam Championship

A US Open Overview

The US Open is one of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments in the world of tennis. Along with the Australian Open, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, the US Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments every tennis player dreams of winning. It is held last of all Grand Slams - every year in August and September in New York.

US Open: A Brief Overview of a Grand Slam Championship

History of the US Open

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. It was first established in 1881 as "United States National Championships". Since its inception around 150 years ago, the US Open was played on grass courts, not hard courts as it is today. Only players who were part of the "United States National Lawn Tennis Association" (USNLTA) were allowed to participate in the tournament. Furthermore, until 1911 every single champion of the US Open qualified automatically for the following year's event. And let's not forget probably the most interesting and important fact about the history of the US Open. This is the only Grand Slam to be held on all three tennis surfaces - grass (1881-1974), clay (1975-1977), and hard court (1978 to present).

Notable Champions In the US Open

In one of the most interesting points of the article, let's start by answering a question that many may have asked – is there a player in history who has won the tournament on all three surfaces? In fact, there is one - Jimmy Connors, who won in 1974 on grass, 1976 on clay, and 1978 on hard.

For women there is also a similar case, but only without the grass surface. It was Chris Evert who won all the clay events (1975, 1976 and 1977), and three more times on hard as well (1978, 1980 and 1982). Evert, together with Serena Williams, has the most titles in the history of the US Open in the Open Era – 6. When it comes to the all-time record, it belongs to Molla Mallory, who won 8.

The men's title record holder is Richard Sears, who holds two other records - he was the first tennis player ever to win the US Open, and the player to win the most in a row - 7 (all his titles were won in a row - between 1881 and 1887). When we talk about the Open era, the already mentioned Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer have the most titles. The Swiss maestro is also the only one to win 5 in a row in the Open era. The current title holder is no one other than the 24-time Grand Slam and 40-time Masters winner Novak Djokovic.

Prize Money and Significance

The total value of all prize money from the US Open (men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles) is $60 million. It is important to note also that the US Open is the most expensive tournament in the world, surpassing each of the other 3 Grand Slams on prize money.

A player can win the most money if he wins the singles competition, and a title at Arthur Ashe Stadium (the biggest court at the US Open) can earn $6.4 million. Speaking of the money that a doubles and mixed doubles champions can win, they are far from what the singles ones earn. A successful run in the doubles tournament can win you nearly $1.5 million, while in the mixed doubles – $342 000.

The US Open Experience

The US Open is truly one of the most special tournaments any player can participate in. However, this is not only because of the importance and prestige of it but also because of the crowd. Let's take Arthur Ashe Stadium for example, which in fact is the biggest tennis stage in the world. Let us imagine 23,000 people (which is its capacity) at the same time in one tennis match. And if 23 000 doesn't sound impressive to you, especially if you're a fan of other sports where venues fill up with more people, then imagine the full-packed stadium going silent during every single rally, and then roaring in big applauses and cheers for their favorites after every point. That is what the US Open feels like!

Cultural and Social Impact

Because of the significance of the USA to tennis, being one of the founding countries of the sport, the US Open has become one of the biggest sporting events in the country and has a huge cultural and social impact. Every year, celebrities attend the competition, watching the biggest matches of the tournament. On the other hand, the champion of the US Open apart from receiving sporting and financial dividends, also gains popularity all over the world and his name receives worldwide recognition.