Who would have thought back in 1880s that an amateur event of US National Championships would become the richest and most profitable tournament of the year! It offers $18.5 million to over 600 players which fall in men’s singles’, women singles’, men’s doubles’, women doubles’ and mixed doubles.
The history of US Open could be traced back to year 1881 when the first match was played in Rhode Island in August. The first single title for male was won by Richard Sears in the same year which was successfully defended by him for the next six years. Like in many other grand slams, the women entered the world this championship in year 1887 but in a different venue. US Open has been known for its ever changing location, name, rules and choice of playing surface. The official seeding of this Grand Slam was introduced in 1927, while tiebreakers emerged in 1970. The prize money for men and women player on equal terms was introduced in year 1973. Night play was introduced in 1975. In the same year, the grass courts were changed into green clay courts or Har-Tru courts.
Like many other changes introduced in this Grand Slam event, the location from Forest Hills in 1978 was replaced with FlushingMeadows, while the court surface is Deco Turf now. The uniqueness of US Open is that there are tie breaks in the final set of the match. In other Grand Slams, players have to play games of 2 points difference in order to decide the match.
It’s been 122 years of drama and action in Flushing Meadows and large numbers of audiences have enjoyed this tournament. The current champion is Nadal who claimed this title for the very first time. All eyes are on him for next event.
The US Open started with the name of US National Championships as a part time event 125 years ago and is now the most profitable tennis tournament in the world. It has expanded from a men’s single tournament that entertained the upper class to a tournament that includes men’s and women’s events as well as singles, doubles and mixed doubles events. In August, 1881, the first US National Championships took place in Newport Casino. Only members of the US National Lawn Tennis Association could take part in this event. Newport remained the country’s tennis centre for thirty four years after that.
The US Mixed Doubles Championship officially started in 1892. The Philadelphia Cricket Club hosted the first official women’s national singles championship in 1887 and the women’s doubles started in 1889. Arthur Ashe, a black American, won the first men’s final at the US Open in 1964. A British player, Virginia Wade claimed the inaugural women’s US Open title five months into her professional career. They named the Arthur Ashe Stadium after the first male winner and this became the main stadium. This is now court two in the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The US Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament. Juan Martin Del Potro overcame Roger Federer to become the 2009 Men’s Champion and Kim Clijsters beat Caroline Wozniacki to claim the 2009 US Open women’s championship title. Thousands of people world-wide tune in to watch their favourite players in US Open. The event is respected for its drama and is revered for its history.