It’s the Only Major Tournament Played on 3 Surfaces
Although the US Open is famous for its hard courts, it still remains as the only major tennis tournament to be played on three surfaces. The tourney started out on grass courts in 1881 at Newport Casino in Rhode Island. It then transitioned to clay courts from 1975 to 1977, before finally moving to the acrylic hard courts fans and players know today.
Fun fact: Jimmy Connors is the only player to have won singles titles on all three surfaces, while Chris Evert is the only woman to have won singles titles on two surfaces.
It Was the First Grand Slam Tournament to Award Men & Women Equal Prize Money
This historic moment came about after tennis great and equality activist Billie Jean King, along with 8 other female players, formed their own tour in 1970 in protest of the pay disparity. King then successfully lobbied for equal prize money for US Open female players, which was brought into effect in 1973.
It’s Offering Record Prize Money in 2022
It’s highly unlikely you’ll find another tournament that offers as much prize money as the US Open. In 2021, the tournament gave out a record $57.5 million in total prize money, and the USTA announced this year that the US Open was set to hand out more than $60 million for the 2022 edition – breaking yet another record. The singles winners will take home $2.6 million, while the doubles champs will have a $688,000 payday. Who do you think will be pocketing the prize money this year?
Arthur Ashe won the first US Open as an amateur and the main stadium at the Billie Jean King USTA Tennis center is named after him. Virginia Wade won the women’s title.
Arthur Ashe stadium, named after the winner of the 1968 inaugural US Open, is the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world, with seating for 23,771 people. That’s more than 8,000 seats bigger than any other stadium in the sport. It debuted in 1997 and cost $254 million to construct.
In 1970, the US Open became the first Grand Slam to use a tiebreak, and until last year it remained the only one of the four slams to play a deciding-set tiebreak. Wimbledon and the Australian Open this year followed suit.
Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer are tied for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era with five each. Tying for the most women’s singles titles are Chrissie Evert and Serena Williams each with six.