Every year in September, the city of New York hosts the third Grand Slam of a tennis season. The US Open which is played on the hard courts at Flushing Meadows is nothing short of a festival. It is one of the most famous tennis tournaments on the globe. From player’s comfort to high prize money, from lively ambiance to gigantic courts the two-week-long major adds to the global popularity of tennis. We analyze the reasons for the massive popularity of the great tournament, its greatest champions, and its rich history.
US Open: Richest Grand Slam
The US Open leads all 4 Grand Slams in terms of offering record prize money. The 2019 edition of this famous tennis tournament had total prize money of a whopping 57 million US dollars. Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu who won the men’s and women’s singles trophies took home the hefty pay-check of 3.85 million US dollars each. This was the highest by any Grand Slam champion for a single tournament. The US Open is known for its record increase in prize money every year.
The famous tennis tournament was also the first one to offer equal prize money for both male and female tennis winners. The US Open introduced the concept long back in 1973. It was a great step towards gender equality in tennis and made this Grand Slam well respected in the sports fraternity.
US Open: Famous Courts
The US Open started in 1881 for men’s singles and 1887 for women’s singles. It has been one of the most popular and famous tennis tournaments for above 130 years now. The Grand Slam is hosted at the famous United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King Tennis Center, named after one of the great American tennis icons.
It has some of the biggest and famous tennis courts in the world. These include the Arthur Ashe Stadium with a seating capacity of more than 23,000 and Louis Armstrong court with a seating capacity of 14,000 spectators. The slam has witnessed many playing surfaces since it began. It was earlier played on grass and later shifted to clay. Since 1977, this famous tennis tournament is being played on the faster hard courts with the DecoTurf surface.
And Greatest Champions
Famous tennis tournaments always attract great champions. The US Open also has witnessed some great players winning multiple titles there. Among the male players’ Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors have lifted titles there. Hence, each of these 3 tennis greats has won 5 titles each at Flushing Meadows. In the women’s arena two Americans Chris Evert and Serena Williams lead the list, having won 6 championships wins each
Moreover, Pete Sampras has been the youngest male winner of this famous tournament at 19 years of age. Tracy Austin has been its youngest female champion at the age of 16 years and 8 months. Australia’s Ken Rosewall is the oldest male to win the US Open at 35 years and 10 months. In 2015 Italian player Flavia Pennetta became the oldest female champion there. She won the title while aged 33 years and 6 months. The tournament has given tennis fans lots of historical moments to cherish.