U.S. Open Tennis Tournament – A Rich History
The U.S. Open is the final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. The three other major tournaments include the Australian Open, The French Open and of course, Wimbledon.
The U.S. Open began 128 years ago in 1881 and has since changed dramatically. The tournament bears little resemblance to how it began. The U.S. Open takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing, New York.
This year’s 2009 tournament will see a prize purse totaling $21.6 million, a $1 million increase over last year. Each of the singles champions will be awarded $1.6 million, a 2010 Lexus IS convertible. Winners will also have the possibility of earning bonus prize money of up to 1 million dollars based on results from the Olympus U.S. Open Series tournaments leading up to the championships.
The U.S. Open began as an exclusive Men’s Singles and Doubles Tournament but has now grown into a two week tennis showcase of the best tennis players from around the world. The tournament will be watched by over 650.000 people during the two weeks.
The U.S. Open was initially located at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. The tournament next moved to Pennsylvania and now is held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing in New York.
The first Championship was held at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island in 1881. Only members of the US National Lawn Tennis Association were allowed to enter.
For the first seven years, the men’s singles and double’s were played at the Newport Casino, but the Tournament soon outgrew the venue. Some of the matches were then moved to other local Tennis Clubs.
Six years after the Tournament started, in 1887, the first National Women’s Single’s Championship began at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. A few years later, the Ladies doubles began.
For many years, the various tennis matches didn’t take place in one location until 1968. This is when all five Championships occurred at a single location – at Forest Hills. Then in 1978 the entire Tournament was moved to its current location – the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing in New York.