U.S. Open (tennis)

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U.S. Open (tennis)
Grand Slams

The United States Open tennis tournament, commonly referred to as the U.S. Open, is the fourth and final event of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It is held annually in August and September over a two week period (the weeks prior to and following Labor Day weekend). The main tournament consists of five championships: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for senior, junior, and wheelchair players. Since 1978, the tournament has been held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the Queens borough of New York City.

The U.S. Open is different from the other 3 Grand Slam tournaments in that there are final set tiebreaks. In the other three majors, the fifth set for the men and the third set for the women continues until someone wins by two games.

In 2006, the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to implement instant replay review of calls, using Hawk-Eye. Available only on the stadium courts (Ashe and Armstrong), each player is allowed two challenges per set plus one additional challenge during a tiebreak, but is not penalized with the loss of a challenge if the challenge turns out to be correct. Once the challenge is made, the official review (a 3D computer simulation based on multiple high-speed video cameras) is shown to the players, umpires, and audience on the stadium video boards and to the television audience at the same time. The system is said to be 100% accurate to within 5 millimeters. During the 2006 US Open only 30.5% of Men's challenges were upheld and 35.85% of Women's challenges were upheld giving a measure of vindication to the oft criticized line umpires.


The U.S. Open grew from an exclusive entertainment event for high society to a $17-million prize money championship (~$1 million for winner of the singles tournaments) for over 600 male and female professional players.

The U.S. Open originated from two separate tournaments: the men's tournament and the women's tournament. The event was first held in August 1881 and staged at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island (men's singles only). The championships were known as the U.S. National Singles Championship for men. Only clubs that were members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association were permitted to enter.

Six years after the men's nationals were held, the first official U.S. Women's National Singles Championship was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1887, followed by the U.S. Women's National Doubles Championship in 1889. The first U.S. Mixed Doubles Championship was held alongside the women's singles and doubles.

In 1900, the U.S. National Men's Doubles Championship was held for the first time. Tournaments were held in the east and the west of the country to determine the best two teams (sectional winners). These then competed in a play-off — the winner played the defending champions in the challenge round.

The open era began in 1968 when all five events were merged into the newly named U.S. Open at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens. Notably, the 1968 combined tournament was opened to professionals; none of the predecessor tournaments allowed professionals to compete. That year, 96 men and 63 women entered the event with prize money amounting to $100,000.

The U.S. Open was originally played on grass until Forest Hills switched to Har-Tru clay courts in 1975. In 1978, the event moved from Forest Hills to its current home at Flushing Meadows, and the surface changed again, to the current DecoTurf hard courts. ( Jimmy Connors is the only man to have won the US Open on more than one surface, and in fact he won it on all three surfaces.)


The main court is located at the 24,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, named after Arthur Ashe, the African American tennis player who won the inaugural men's final of the U.S. Open in 1968. (The British tennis player Virginia Wade won the first woman's U.S. Open final, five months after she turned professional.) Court Number 2 is Louis Armstrong Stadium, which stood as the main stadium until the completion of Ashe stadium.

All the courts used by the U.S. Open are lit, meaning that TV coverage of the tournament can extend into prime time to attract more ratings. This has recently been used to the advantage of the USA Network on cable and especially for CBS, the American broadcast TV outlet for the Open for many years, which used its influence to move the women's singles final to Saturday night to draw better television ratings.

In 2005, all U.S. Open and U.S. Open Series tennis courts were given blue inner courts and green outer courts to make it easier to see the ball. This change has been met with mixed reactions from both players and fans, with many players saying that the ball is no easier to see with the blue courts.

The DecoTurf surface at the U.S. Open is a fast surface, having slightly less friction and producing a lower bounce compared to other hard courts (most notably the Rebound Ace surface of the Australian Open). For this reason, many serve-and-volley players have found success at the U.S. Open.


Men's record holders for most wins since 1925:

  • All competitions:
  • Singles:
    • before 1968: Bill Larned; Bill Tilden; Richard Sears (U.S.), 7.
    • since 1968: Jimmy Connors; Pete Sampras (U.S.), 5.
  • Consecutive singles titles:
    • before 1968: Richard Sears (U.S.), 7.
    • since 1968: John McEnroe (USA); Ivan Lendl (CZE/U.S.); Roger Federer (SUI), 3.
  • Doubles:

Ladies' record holders for most wins since 1887:

  • All competitions:
  • Singles:
    • before 1968: Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (U.S.), 8.
    • since 1968: Chris Evert (U.S.), 6.
  • Consecutive singles titles:
    • before 1968: Molla Mallory; Helen Jacobs (U.S.), 4.
    • since 1968: Chris Evert (U.S.), 4.
  • Doubles:

Current Defending champions:

  • Men: Roger Federer (SUI), who defeated Andy Roddick (U.S.) in the men's final on September 10, 2006.
  • Women: Maria Sharapova (RUS), who defeated Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final on September 9, 2006.


  • Men's Singles
  • Women's Singles
  • Men's Doubles
  • Women's Doubles
  • Mixed Doubles

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