U.S. Open (Tennis) Cheat Sheet
The final Grand Slam tennis match of the year starts today through September 9th and who will take home the fancy trophy is anyone’s guess. Each of the other Grand Slams this year has been won by a different player. (Reminder: there are four Grand Slam tennis tournaments -- The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open each year). Be sure to check out the fancy new $100 million energy-efficient retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium which will enable the U.S. Open to avoid halting matches due to rain it’s French counterpart often has to do.
No. 1 Simona Halep (winner of this year’s French Open)
No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki (winner of this year’s Australian Open)
No. 3 Sloane Stephens
No. 4 Angelique Kerber (winner of this year’s Wimbledon)
No. 5 Petra Kvitova
Note: Serena Williams goes in seeded at No. 17 after receiving a bump up from the U.S.T.A. from her her current rank of 26. The U.S.T.A. had said in June that it would begin factoring in maternity leave of players when seeding (following some controversy after French officials refused to seed Williams during her return to tennis for the French Open this year. Prior to having her daughter, she was ranked No. 1.) Her sister, Venus, goes in at No. 16.
No. 1 Rafael Nadal (winner of this year’s French Open)
No. 2 Roger Federer (winner of this year’s Australian Open)
No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro
No. 4 Alexander Zverev
No. 5 Kevin Anderson
Note: Novak Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champ, is seeded No. 6.
A Bit of History
This is the 50th year of the U.S. Open but it was previously referred to as the United States National Championships, of which the men’s competition has been held since 1881. The U.S. Open is currently held at the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, a public park in Queens, New York.
While the men’s and women’s singles competitions get the most attention, the tournament also includes doubles, mixed doubles, senior, junior, and wheelchair competitions.
Arthur Ashe Stadium (also known as center court) is named after the winner of the U.S. Open’s inaugural year in 1968, also the first black tennis player to win it. He was an amateur player who was also a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed at West Point and took leave to play in the tournament. As an amateur, he couldn’t accept the $14,000 prize.
The tournament been played over the years on grass, clay, and hard court. Jimmy Connors is the only player to have won on all three surfaces. Chris Evert is the only female player to have won on two (clay and hard).
If you’re attending and get bored watching tennis, there’s a miniature golf course out the back entrance of the tennis center.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Jimmy Connors are tied for the most singles titles at five each (Federer’s were consecutive between 2004-2008).
On the women’s side, Chris Evert and Serena Williams are tied with six singles titles each (Evert won four in a row from 1975-78). A side note on Williams’ longevity -- she won the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2014, the longest streak between titles in tournament history.
The longest match was in 1992, between Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang and stretched for five hours and 26 minutes. Anyone else need a nap thinking about that? Edberg was ultimately the men’s champion that year.