15 Interesting US Open Facts
- Published: 21/12/2016
- Updated: 28/09/2017
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The US Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. Lasting two weeks, the competition take place at the end of August each year. Watched all over the globe, the competition is held in New York! Here are our top 15 interesting US Open facts that you may not know!
1. The first US Open
First held in Newport, Rhode Island in August 1881. Around the height of the gilded age!
2. An amateur won
Arthur Ashe won the first U.S. Open as an amateur. The main stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which just happens to be the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world, is named after him. Virginia Wade won the women’s singles.
3. Played in a garden
Originally played on a grass court in one of the organisers garden. The tournament moved venues a few years later to clay surfaced courts. By 1978, the competition had transferred to the USTA National Tennis Center in New York, which has hard courts. The US Open is therefore the only Grand Slam that has been played on three different surfaces.
4. Night games
In 1975, the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tourney to have night games.
5. The trophy
Designed by Tiffany & Co, both male and female winners are awarded the same identical trophy. However, the winners don’t take home the actual trophy. A replica is included in their overall prize.
6. Equal Prizes
Men and women receive the same amount of prize money. This tradition dates back to 1973.
7. Shots stop play
In 1977, a shot rang out during a game between John McEnroe and Eddie Dibbs. The commotion in the crowd briefly stopped play. However, the game quickly resumed, and McEnroe won the match (but not the tournament). It was later discovered that a fan had been shot in the leg by a stray bullet from outside the grounds.
8. Now played on a hard surface
Originally the tournament was play on grass. Then on clay courts. However, since 1978, matches have been on a hard-court surface covered with DecoTurf II.
9. Americans usually dominate the singles finals
U.S. male players have won 85 titles; male players from Australia have won 18; and male players from Great Britain and Switzerland have, respectively, won five. In women’s singles, the U.S. has won 93 titles; Australia six; and Belgium and Germany, respectively, five.
10. The Williams sisters
Venus and Serena Williams became the first sisters to meet in a U.S. Nationals/U.S. Open final in 2001.
In the other Grand Slam tournaments, there’s no tiebreaker like there is in the U.S. Open; opponents just play until one person has two more winning games.
12. Youngest Men’s Singles champion
Pete Sampras, who won in 1990 at the age of 19 is the youngest Men’s Singles champion.
13. Makes more money
The US open is more profitable than both the Wimbledon Championship and the Roland Garros Open.
14. Youngest Men’s Doubles champion
Vincent Richards, who won in 1918 at just 15 years old is the youngest Men’s Doubles champion.
15. The Arthur Ashe Stadium
As the world’s largest tennis stadium, it has a capacity of 22,547 individual seats divided between three viewing levels.