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US Open Tennis
Concluding the Grand Slam, the world’s 4 largest tennis event is the US Open which is held annually in New York City. This popular summer event attracts thousands of spectators and visitors. The last 2 weeks before Labor Day means tennis fever in New York City.
History of the US Open
As tennis clubs began to form in the United States, the first tennis tournament was actually held on Rhode Island. At this point in history, only men were allowed to compete in what was then called the US National Singles Championships for Men. Women would follow with their own Championships as a separate event.
For most of the 20th century, the events were played in Forest Hills, Queens. Not until the late 1960s did both events merge in order to create one larger tournament for both men and women. In 1968, the official name turned into the US Open. At the first US Open, men and women entered to compete for a grand prize of $100,000. By 1973, a milestone was reached when men and women were allowed equal pay for prize money received in men and women's championships.
The Grounds and Location of the US Open
Forest Hills was the temporary home of the US Open, but nearby Flushing, Queens would be its final location. Its main court is Arthur Ashe Stadium, which opened in 1997, named for the African American tennis player who won the first US Open. The stadium is prominent for its unique DecoTurf surface, which allows players to move around quickly. Unlike the other four Grand Slam events, the US Open is the only one to use this turf.
The stadium itself has over 20,000 seats, in comparison to the Louis Armstrong Stadium, which holds half as many people. Both stadiums are part of the main USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the complex which is home not only to the US Open Tournament, both a regular tennis spot for New Yorkers. It has over 20 courts, utilized by families who bring their children to learn this fun and engaging sport.
Interesting Records and Facts about the US Open
Visitors who are lucky enough to be ticketholders for the US Open have the opportunity to watch some of the world's greatest tennis players. Past champions include Roger Federer who has won 5 years consecutively. Also, in the women's singles event, Kim Clijsters has won twice in a row in the past.
It's fascinating to watch the doubles tournaments, where teams of 2 square up. Some famous doubles are Venus and Serena Williams, or the William's sisters, and the Bryan brother's, Bob and Mike Bryan.
There is also a separate event for people with disabilities who play in their wheelchairs.
The US Open and New York City
Spending a day with the family at the US Open can be lots of exciting fun, with so much publicity and attention on the event. New York City is a proud host of the event, with its location in the landscape area of Queens. It is easily accessible via the New York City subway, on the 7 train line. It also has a nice proximity from JFK Airport and next door is the New York baseball stadium Citi Field, where the New York Mets play.
Arthur Ashe Kids Day
Part of the festivities with the US Open includes Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. To encourage children to play tennis and enjoy matches before the main events, this day before the US Open begins has been a legendary event. It began in the year famous tennis player Arthur Ashe died in 1993 and has since then commemorated his devotion to encouraging young people to strive towards success through tennis. Tennis stars like Andre Agassi and Anna Kournikova show up at this event to entertain families to raise money for charity. The event also attracts big name performers like Britney Spears and Rihanna.