The US Open is the fourth and the final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year and is played at the Flushing Meadows in New York.
Played on hard courts, it is a reincarnation of one of the oldest tennis tournaments ever played – the US National Championship that was first hosted in 1881 – and since 1987, it has been pushed to being the fourth Grand Slam of the year.
The tournament is organised by the United States Tennis Organisation who use the profits to plough the money back into the grassroots of the sport.
Starting on the final Monday of August each year, players fight for five main trophies – the men’s and women’s singles, the men’s and women’s doubles and the mixed doubles title. There are also other tournaments at this Grand Slam like the senior, junior and wheelchair competitions.
The US Open has been played at various venues since its inception in 1881. Newport Casino was the first venue, before it shifted to the West Side Tennis Club in 1915.
It was in 1978 that the US Open was first played at its current venue at USTA Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, and was played on hard courts. Interestingly, the US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to have been played every year since it began – all the others have had breaks due to the war.
There are a total of 22 courts at the US Open, including four show-courts – namely, Arthur Ashe, Louis Armstrong, Grandstand and Court 17. Of them, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the biggest, with a capacity of more than 22,000 people.
The hard court surface employed by the US Open is called Pro DecoTurf, which has slightly lesser friction than other hard courts, allowing it to be that much quicker.
The current total prize money at the US Open is $50.4 million with the singles winners earning $3.7 million apiece, while the doubles winners taking home $675,000. The mixed doubles winners pocket $150,000.
In the Open Era, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer have each won the men’s singles title five times, with Federer having triumphed on five consecutive occasions. The Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, have won the doubles title five times as well.
Chris Evert and Serena Williams have each won the women’s US Open singles title six times, with Evert having won it four in a row. Martin Navratilova has won the most number of women’s doubles titles, with nine to her name.