The fourth and final grand slam of the year, the U.S Open is due to begin on 26th August. Held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City, the U.S Open is the last of the grand slams of tennis that include the Australian Open, the French Open, and the Wimbledon. Just as with the Australian Open, it is played on hard courts.
The 2019 edition of the U.S Open will be the 139th edition of this grand slam.
Traditionally, this grand slam begins on the last Monday of August and continues for two weeks. It is organized by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
The prize money for the grand slam is one of the biggest in the world of tennis – $3,850, 000 for the men’s and women’s singles champions.
Serbian Novak Djokovic and Japanese Naomi Osaka are the defending champions in the men’s singles and women’s singles category.
History of the U.S Open
The tournament was first held in 1881 and was won by Richard Sears. It was then called the U.S National Championship and was open only to the clubs that were members of the U.S Lawn Tennis Association. Women were allowed to compete in the tournament from 1887 onwards.
It was only in 1968 that the tournament began to be known as the U.S Open. Subsequently, it moved to the Flushing Meadows in 1978.
Interestingly, this tournament has been played on a variety of surfaces. From 1881 to 1974, it was played on grass. However, in the following years from 1975 to 1977, it was played on clay. It finally moved to a hard court surface called DecoTurf from 1978 onwards.
Records at the U.S Open
- In the men’s singles category, Roger Federer from Switzerland, Pete Sampras from the United States of America, and Jimmy Connors from the United States of America hold the record for winning the most number of singles championships in the Open Era – 5. However, Bill Tilden, Bill Larned, and Richard Sears hold the record for the most number of men’s singles championships, winning a total of 7 each.
- In the women’s singles category, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory holds the record for winning the most number of championships, winning a total of 8. However, in the Open Era, the record is jointly held by Serena Williams and Chris Evert, who won 6 titles each.
- Pete Sampras holds the distinction for being the youngest men’s singles champion ever – he won the U.S Open in 1990 at the age of 19 years and 28 days. American Tracy Austin holds the record for being the youngest women’s singles champion at the U.S Open, winning the championship in 1979 at 16 years, 8 months, 28 days.
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