us open wallpapers 300x166 photoThe US Open is the fourth and final tennis Grand Slam of the year, and it is actually one of the oldest tennis championships across the globe. In 1924 it took its official role a Major championship, and secured its spot as the final Grand Slam of the calendar permanently from 1987. It is annually held in late August and early September, and is the one of two hard court Majors for the season alongside the Australian Open. It is held at the famous Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York City, which became its home in 1978. There are some differences between the US Open and the other majors; all courts are illuminated to ensure late play and it is the only Grand Slam which goes to a tie break in the final set of matches. It was the first of the Grand Slams to offer equal prize money to Men and Women.

 

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

The venue is simply known as Flushing Meadows, which is actually a public park that houses the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center inside. The massive park complex (the second largest in New York) actually hosts Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team, along with Art and Science centres as well. The famous main court is the Arthur Ashe stadium, which was opened in 1998, named after the first ever winner of the US Open. The first ever edition, when the tournament was known as the US National Championships, was actually held in Newport, Rhode Island on grass.

 

Past Champions

Before the Championship moved into the Open era, there was a host of home grown talent winning, from inaugural winner Richard Sears, through Malcolm Whitman and William Larned. From the first edition up until 1925, there was only one non-American winner of the event, Britain’s Lawrence Doherty in 1903. The first Women’s US National Championship winner in 1887 was Ellen Hansell. Up until 1914, it was American winners all the way, interrupted only by Britain’s Mabel Cahill in the early 1890’s. Incidentally, the US Open is the only one of the Majors to have been played every year since its inception, not having missed as single year.

 

The start of the US Open era was won by Arthur Ashe, the first ever African-American to win the US Open. The early seventies through to the early eighties, saw Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe duke it out for supremacy, Connors winning five times and McEnroe taking four titles. A shift then went to Ivan Lendl in the late eighties. The first Women’s winner of the US Open era was Britain’s Virginia Wade in 1968. It was four years before America would get their first winner of the Open era, in the form of Billie Jean King, who won four times, before Chris Evert rattled off six wins in eight seasons at the end of the seventies and into the early eighties.

 

It was in the eighties that Martina Navratilova stamped her authority on the US Open, winning four times in five years. Germany’s Steffi Graf got her first US Open title in 1988 and completed six wins in total, her last coming in 1996. Her compatriot, the great Boris Becker, only managed to win one US Open title, that was in 1989 before Pete Sampras stole a lot of limelight winning the tournament five times in his successful career. Into the 2000’s and the familiar sight of Roger Federer winning at Flushing Meadows became a staple, the Swiss star winning five times between 2004 and 2008. The early 200’s in the Women’s Single was controlled by Venus and Serena Williams, the latter taking her fourth title in 2012. Britain’s Andy Murray secured the 2012 title, the first ever Briton to win the event in the Open Era.