US OPEN TENNIS HISTORY THROUGH THE YEARS

by: TennisMood September 14, 2016 677

US OPEN TENNIS HISTORY THROUGH THE YEARS

US Open Tennis History brief overview

The only Grand Slam that has been played since the inception, the U.S. Championships once was held only for the men players, with the permission to participate only for clubs associated the United States National Lawn Tennis Association. From the beginning, there were the singles and doubles draws. When does the US Open Tennis History start? First, it was carried out in 1881 on the grass courts at the posh Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island, where the championships were afterward held for 34 years. For the first seven years of the event, Richard Sears held the singles title.

The US tennis Open emerged from two independent events, the Men’s Tournament and the Women’s Tournament. The format was a bit different to what we see today: the champion of the previous year entered the final match without competing, and all other players competed with each other for the chance to rival him.

US Open history pics
WSTC Stadium Construction, Forest Hill

In 1887, Women’s Singles Championship was added and carried out at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, when 17 years old Ellen Hansell of Philadelphia won. The US Women’s National Doubles Championship was introduced and added to the US Mixed Doubles Championship. From 1888 through 1918 (save 1917) the challenge system was applied to the women’s tournament.

Karl Behr and some other tennis players attempted to move the tournament to New York, and later, in 1915, the US open tennis location changed to the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, New York.

1968 brought the Open Era and the first tennis US Open Championships, where professionals were able to participate as well. The list of players consisted of 96 men and 63 women, and the prize budget was $100,000.

West Side Tennis Club

It would be logical anyway to hold the event in New York since most tennis clubs, fans and players were located there. The issue was raised by a group of approximately 100 players. As a result, after signing an appropriate petition, a vote at the USNLTA meeting showed that the majority (128 votes) was for the relocation.

tennis us open photo
Before the Open era, it was called the National Singles Championships and held at the West Side Tennis Club, 1939

Until the 14,000-seat Forest Hills Stadium was built, the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia hosted the event (1921-1923). The ILTF commencing determined the tournament as a major tennis event, though it was regarded this way earlier. In 1970, the tournament used a tiebreak for deciding a 6-6 US open scores, the first Grand Slam to do so. The other major tournaments play the deciding set until the margin of two games. The point system of 1970-1974 was a best-of-nine, sudden death tiebreaker, and then the ITF best-of-twelve system was introduced.

The US Open brought in other few innovations before the other Grand Slams – first in 1973 when the prize money was divided equally between men’s and women’s US Open tennis champions, John Newcombe and Margaret Court, both given $25,000. The next novelty came in 1975 with the floodlights allowing night play.

USTA National Tennis Center

the us open photos
West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Long Island

Moving to the West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, Queens, happened along with the replacement of clay courts with the hard surface. By the way, Jimmy Connors is the only player to have won the tournament titles on all three types of courts (grass, clay, and hard surface), and Chris Evert is the unique women’s player to have won the singles titles on two types (clay and hardcourt).

Traditional practices of scheduling were changing from 1984 through 2015, finally resulting in the “Super Saturday” concept, whereby the women’s final is played on Saturday, between the two men’s semifinals. Sunday was appointed for the men’s final. The practice showed that the schedule set for the television audience couldn’t satisfy players because of the short rest (less than one day) before the final. 2007-2012 men’s finals were put off until Monday because of weather conditions. At last, the USTA scheduled the 2013 and 2014 men’s finals on Monday, though the ATP expressed disapproval of straying from the other major tournaments’ format. In 2015, the former tradition was brought back and the men’s final was held on Sunday.

Player Challenges

The 2006 introduction of the Hawk-Eye computer system, supported by Chase, made available instant replay reviews of calls.

The system was needed after the disputed quarterfinal match between Serena Williams and Jenifer Capriati at the 2004 US Open. A player can have three challenges in a set along with additional one during a tiebreak. If the challenge is successful, then the player keeps all actual challenges. If not, he or she loses a challenge. In 2009, the replay became available on the Grandstand too.

The official review, constructed with the help of high-speed video cameras, is demonstrated to the players, umpires, fans and the TV audience simultaneously. The replay system got the name of “Chase Review” after JP Morgan Chase became a sponsor again.

US Open Tennis History Winners

 

YearWomen SinglesWomen DoublesMen SinglesWomen Doubles
2016Angelique KerberBethanie Mattek-Sands / Lucie SafarovaStan WawrinkaJamie Murray / Bruno Soares
2015Flavia PennettaMartina Hingis / Sania MirzaNovak DjokovicMartina Hingis / Sania Mirza
2014Serena WilliamsElena Vesnina / Ekaterina MakarovaMarin ČilićElena Vesnina / Ekaterina Makarova
2013Serena WilliamsAndrea Hlavackova / Lucie HradeckaRafael NadalAndrea Hlavackova / Lucie Hradecka
2012Serena WilliamsRoberta Vinci / Sara ErraniAndy MurrayRoberta Vinci / Sara Errani
2011Samantha StosurLiezel Huber / Lisa Raymond Novak DjokovicLiezel Huber / Lisa Raymond
2010Kim ClijstersVania King / Yaroslava ShvedovaRafael Nadal Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan

US Open History Tennis Grounds

The surface used at the US Open is fast, it has less friction and produces a lower bounce than other hard courts. It is clearly seen if compared with the Rebound Ace used previously at the Australian Open. Thus, serve-and-volley players had an advantage playing at the US Open.

In 1997, the Main Court opened. It is a 22,547-seat stadium named after Arthur Ashe, who won the men’s title at the first US Open in 1968. The next by size is the Louise Armstrong Stadium, the reconstructed Singer Bowl, built for the 1964 World’s Fair; it served as the main stadium in 1978-1996 and had nearly 18,000 seats, reduced to 10,200 after Arthur Ashe Stadium was built. The third is the Grandstand with 6,000 seats, created on the US Open tennis venue of the old rectangular Singer Bowl as well.

us tennis open image

A fourth show court, called “The Pit”, was opened in 2011, allowing more than 3,000 fans after it was accomplished the next year. 4, 7 and 11 side courts each have over 1,000 seating places.

TV covers events at all the courts extending into prime time. CBS even made the officials move the women’s singles final to Saturday night to increase ratings. To make the visual perception through the TV better, inner courts were repainted with blue in 2005, while the outer courts are still green.

At the 2006 US Open, the whole complex was named after women’s tennis player Billie Jean King, who won 12 women’s singles titles at the Grand Slams.

Through The Years US Open Tennis History

2016

A movable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of the most serious upgradings for the last years.

us open 2016 photo

 

2015

It was so suddenly when unseeded Roberta Vinci and seeded No. 26 Flavia Pennetta replaced Serena Williams and Simona Halep, seeded No. 2, in the women’s final. In the men’s draw, No. 1Novak Djokovic, as usually, met No. 2 Roger Federer to take the trophy.

Martina Hingis unites with Sania Mirza to win the women’s doubles prize and Leander Paes to take the title in the mixed doubles. The last time she took the title was the women’s doubles’ in 1998. Another wave of wonder splashed when Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France won the men’s doubles title, taking home the prize for the first time in the U.S. Championship/US Open history. The crowd reached 691,280, which gave the largest attendance number per session.

2014

An unexpected turning point at the 2014 US Open is provided in the singles. In the women’s, only one seed of all eight – Serena Williams, seeded No. 1 – proceeds to the quarterfinals to defeat Caroline Wozniacki and takes the third straight singles title and the 18th in her career. In the men’s draw, No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori crushes Novak Djokovic, and Marin Cilic, seeded No. 14, defeats Roger Federer in the semifinals. It’s the first time in 11 years that the men’s singles final isn’t entered either Djokovic or Federer. Nishikori bows to Cilic.

In men’s doubles, Bob and Mike Bryan collect their fifth US Open title to join James Dwight and Richard Sears (1880s) in doing so. The women’s doubles title goes to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, while in the mixed doubles Bruno Soares and Sania Mirza prevail. The attendance number reaches 713,642 for the seventh time in eight years.

2013

It’s never late to reach a goal, even in sports.

us open 2013 photos
Defending champion, Serena Williams smiles as she poses with her trophy after winning the women’s singles final match against V Azarenka Sept. 8, 2013 at the US Open in NY (ph.Chris Trotman/AP Photo)

The 2013 US tennis Open was marked with the participation of aged players, including semifinals’ winners Flavia Pennetta (31 years old) and Stanislas Wawrinka (28 years old). The women’s singles prize was seized by Serena Williams, aged 32, who defeated Victoria Azarenka to become the oldest female player to win the singles crown.

On the men’s side, 26 years old Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, aged 27, converged in a battle finished with Nadal’s victory. Williams and Nadal pocketed a record $3.6 million check, having become both the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series champions.

The situation didn’t differ much in the doubles as well, with Leander Paes (40) and Radek Stepanek (27) took the prize. In the mixed championship, 36 years old Max Mirnyi and Andrea Hlavackova (27) won. The latter also captured the women’s doubles title, teaming with Lucie Hradecka. An ovation was lifted as James Blake said goodbye to the further career plans.

All these events attracted 713,026 visitors, the fourth highest attendance number in the tournament history of tennis.

2012

The turning point of history was witnessed at this year US Open when Andy Murray captured the Champions Cup after hard efforts in the battle against defending US Open Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. For the first time since 1936, the Great Britain saluted a men’s singles winner (before the Open Era, Fred Perry became the champion). The match was expected eagerly as Murray lost earlier to both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the previous four Grand Slam singles finals. However, Ivan Lendl’s training didn’t pass in vain.

us open 2012 pics

Victoria Azarenka performed a breathtaking play, losing to Serena Williams, who won 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. In the men’s doubles, No. 2 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan beat seeded No. 5 Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India 6-3, 6-4. They settled the record of winning most men’s doubles titles in the Open Era (12th this year), exceeding the achievement of Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. The women’s doubles title went to the Italian tandem of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani, who defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka to become the World No. 1.

The good-bye speech of Andy Roddick, who lost to Juan Martin del Potro and announced the retirement. Fans hailed their favorite player in response to his thanks for all the years of support and admiration.

Another last-time entrant, Kim Clijsters retired (though it was planned beforehand) after she lost to Laura Robson in the second round in the singles and in the mixed doubles with Bob Bryan, when Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares won. Junior tournament resulted in American Samantha Crawford and Canadian No. 2 Filip Peliwo’s victories. The girls’ doubles crown was taken by No. 4 seeds Gabrielle Andrews and Taylor Townsend of US. In the boys’ doubles championship, Kyle Edmund of Great Britain and Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal triumphed.

2011

The legendary tournament will be recollected in minds and media for a long time after Novak Djokovic joined Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the most iconic players at NY event. It took him five sets to defeat Federer in the semifinal before playing a wonderful match against Nadal, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1. All victories (70 ATP World Tour matches) brought him $12.8 million this year.

US Open 2011 image

 

In women’s singles, Australian Samantha Stosur, seeded No. 9, surprisingly defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-3, considering that Stosur has never reached further than quarterfinals in the seven previous attempts. Since Margaret Court’s feat in 1973, Stosur became the first Australian female player to capture the US Open singles title.

In the men’s doubles, Austrian Jurgen Melzer and German Philipp Petzschner took the title over Mariusz Fyrtstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland, 6-2, 6-2, and that was their second career Grand Slam title since 2010 Wimbledon. In the women’s, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond of the US won the second US Open doubles title, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), over defending Vania King of the US and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Promising Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock pocketed the mixed doubles prizes and the first major event titles, having defeated Argentines Gisela Dulko and Eduardo Schwank, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8. The boys’ and girls’ titles in juniors went to Britain’s Oliver Golding and America’s Grace Min.

The Wheelchair competition brought victories to Shingo Kuneida of Japan, who won his fourth consecutive title, and Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands, who retired with the sixth straight women’s singles title in the category.

2010

us open 2010 image

712,976 tennis fans flooded the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to witness the live pages of tennis history. Rafael Nadal of Spain rushed through the Grand Slam event taking up perhaps the largest challenge of his career. Novak Djokovic was overcome in four sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. 24 years old Nadal became the youngest player to complete career Grand Slam since the Open Era began.

In the women’s singles, Kim Clijsters won another title by beating Vera Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-1, following Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Venus Williams in repeating as a champion.

In the doubles, Bob and Mike Bryan’s tandem won over Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. Bob Bryan continued to collect titles by winning in mixed doubles with Liezel Huber. The women’s doubles title went to Vania King of US and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. The boys’ and girls’ title in juniors were seized by Jack Sock, granted with a wild card, and Daria Gavrilova, a top-ranked Russian player. The outstanding Esther Vergeer, a wheelchair champion, grabbed her fifth tennis US Open title.

2009

An epoch-making event occurs at the men’s final as World No. 1 Roger Federer passes the crown to the 20 years old Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set match resulted in 3-6, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

US Open 2009 photo

The first woman to win as a wild card entrant is Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who returns after the two-year absence and defeats Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-5, 6-3. En route to the final, the champ kicked off both Williams and lost only two sets in the whole tournament. The US open schedule was slightly changed due to weather. Despite the heavy rains, American mood remains shiny as the Williams take a women’s doubles title, while newcomers Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson defeat Cara Black and Leander Paes. The latter wouldn’t leave without consolation and takes the men’s doubles crown in pair with Lukas Dlouhy. Bernard Tomic of Australia and Heather Watson of Great Britain earn junior titles.

2008

The event begins with a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Open Tennis in NYC. In men’s singles, Roger Federer wins the record fifth straight men’s singles title by overcoming Andy Murray of Great Britain, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.

After a long break, Serena Williams makes a triumphant return, defeating her sister Venus in the quarterfinals, 7-6, 7-6, and Jelena Jankovic in the final, 6-4, 7-5. Saturday’s strike of Tropical Storm Hanna makes the officials put off the matches, the women’s final played on Sunday, and the men’s final on Monday.

Americans contest all finals except men’s singles and boy’s doubles. The men’s doubles are won by Bob and Mike Bryan, while Liezel Huber gets the women’s doubles crown and CoCo Vandeweghe wins the girls’ singles.

2007

US Open 2007 photos
Roger Federer of Switzerland kisses the championship trophy in front of a sea of photographers after winning his 2007 U.S. (ph. Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

The 50th anniversary of Althea Gibson’s U.S. Nationals win is honored with an Opening ceremony at night.

Having won both the US Open and Olympus US Open series titles, Roger Federer pockets the largest prize in the game history, $2.4 million. In the men’s finals, Novak Djokovic falls to Federer, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4. In the women’s, Svetlana Kuznetsova bows to Justine Henin, 6-1, 6-3, who rushed through the draw without dropping a set.

For the fifth time since 1881, no American player appeared in the finals. An all-time record of attendance is established with 715,587 visitors. For the first time, the US Open Draw Ceremony is conducted at the Empire State Building.

2006

A night-time ceremony before Agassi’s final US Open features renaming the National Tennis Center after Billie Jean King.

US Open 2006 pics
Maria Sharapova smiles as she holds the championship trophy after winning the 2006 U.S. Open women’s final against Justine Henin-Hardenne (ph.Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)

Federer settles the record of winning both Wimbledon and US Open titles for three years in a row by defeating Andy Roddick, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. The final is achieved by Roddick not least thanks to Jimmy Connors, who becomes his coach several months before the tournament. A 6-4, 6-4 victory over Henin-Hardenne brings Maria Sharapova to her first singles title.

However, Agassi and Martina Navratilova make the event. Despite serious suffering from back pain, Agassi beats Marcos Baghdatis and loses the third round to Benjamin Becker of Germany. A crowd is overwhelmed with emotions as Agassi gives a final speech. Navratilova joins Bob Bryan to take the mixed doubles title in her last match.

A new record is set for a night match, with the attendance number of 23,736. Monday, Sept. 4 features new attendance record as well with 60,506 visitors.

On the stadium courts, an instant replay is introduced; the first player to challenge a call at a Grand Slam ever is Mardy Fish.

2005

The USTA National Tennis Center courts are repainted with blue, and now it’s easier to recognize the ball. The largest prize sum in the history of women’s sports goes to Kim Clijsters, as she pockets a $2.2 million check after grabbing the single Grand Slam champion title. En route to the title, Clijsters kicks off Venus Williams in the quarters and Maria Sharapova, seeded No. 1, in the semifinals. In the final, she meets Mary Pierce and crushes her in a 6-3, 6-1 play.
us open 2005 image
On the men’s side, Federer defeats Agassi, aged 35, to confirm his US Open champion title, making the final 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-1. The first man in the Open Era to collect both the Wimbledon and the US Open single titles, Federer follows Bill Tilden (1920-21) and Don Budge (1937-38). In the quarterfinals, Agassi won three five-set matches, including the legendary play (two-set loss) against the compatriot James Blake. Agassi becomes the oldest tennis player performing in the men’s singles since 39 years old Ken Rosewall’s participation in 1974.

Bob and Mike Bryan nearly avoid so-called “anti-slam” after losing in the three other major events finals. They team to take their first US Open doubles title. An attendance record exceeds 659,000 visitors.

2004

Swiss Roger Federer, the 2004 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, adds one of the most impressive victories in his career, when he defeats Lleyton Hewitt, 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-0, and earns his third Grand Slam champion crown. Agassi makes Federer work hard in the quarterfinals, prolonged because of a rain.

In the women’s final, Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova beats her compatriot Elena Dementieva, 6-3, 7-5, and becomes the first Russian female player to win the US Open tournament. Both players honor heroes of New York before and after the match as the final coincides with the 4th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Dementieva and Kuznetsova wear NY Police Department and Fire Department of NY respectively. Their speeches are devoted to the NY tragedy and the Russian school massacre, occurred 11 days earlier.

2003

us open 2013 photo
Andy Roddick of the U.S. drops to his knees crying after defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. He beat Ferrero, to win his first and only Grand Slam (ph.Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

Sampras announces the retirement at a touching on-court ceremony, carried out at the first opening night of the event. Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain gives to way to American Andy Roddick, aged 21, who takes the singles title in a 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3 match.

The first Belgian female player to win the US Open is Justine Henin-Hardenne, who defeats Kim Clijsters in the finals, 7-5, 6-1, after epic Jennifer Capriati’s defeat in the semifinals. The final would evade Capriati, though she would reach the semifinals four times.

2002

The event opening honors those who suffered at the Sept.11 terrorist acts destructed World Trade Center a year ago. The ceremony featured “Heroes Flag” and an on-court performance by Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, and Judd Hirsch. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reads a proclamation.

On the court, seeded No. 15 Sampras takes the fifth US Open singles crown and the 14th Grand Slam title in the battle against Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. The crowd watches attentively as Serena Williams returns the loss to her sister Venus, 6-4, 6-3, and takes the second US Open champion title.

2001

Prime-time network television broadcasts the women’s final – for the first time among Grand Slams. The show becomes the most watched at the night, considering the sensational fact that the Williams meet on the court. 22.7 million-audience witnesses Serena lose to Venus, 6-2, 6-4, who earns the second straight women’s singles title.

Australian Lleyton Hewitt up-ends Sampras by defeating him in the men’s final, 7-6, 6-1, 6-1. An innovation, namely big-screen TVs are introduced at Arthur Ashe Stadium, allows fans in the promenade to watch closer the action. Besides, a junior qualifying tournament is added to the US open schedule, thus giving the young more chances to play at the highest level in the future events.

2000

us open 2000 photos
Pete Sampras rejoices after winning his U.S. Open finals match against Andre Agassi at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,2000 (ph.Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

The decision to make the US Open more spectacular goes along with setting a huge monitor outside Louis Armstrong Stadium, an innovation allowing watching the performances in the Food Court. The sports event combines with artistic performances by music, stage and screen stars (including Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle, the Grammy winners).

For the first time the present U.S. president, Bill Clinton, is attending the tournament. He is present at the promising Venus Williams’s performance which won her the first US Open title in a match against Lindsay Davenport.

Venus and Serena become the first sisters to win the singles champion title at the US Open. On the men’s side, Sampras unexpectedly loses to 20 years old Marat Safin of Russia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

1999

The $285 million USTA National Tennis Center project of expansion is finished as Louis Armstrong Stadium is reopened. Serena Williams brings a triumphant atmosphere to the US fans as she gets the US Open singles title. Andre Agassi adds by overcoming Todd Martin, playing the first five-set men’s final since 1988.

The victorious siblings, the Williams take the doubles crown, and the men’s doubles title goes to Alex O’Brien of Texas and Sebastien Lareau of Canada.

1998

In women’s singles, Hingis loses to Lindsay Davenport, who is the first US woman to grab the tournament singles title at the age of 16. She also becomes the first US female player in 13 years to get ranked World No. 1.

In men’s singles championship, Mark Philippoussis stays just for four sets before losing to Rafter, who confirms the previous-year title.

1997

us open history photos
1958, Althea Gibson, won her 2nd straight U.S. National Singles Title, poses with vanquished foe, Darlene Hard at West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens (ph.Charles Payne)

A new stadium, named after Arthur Ashe and recognized as the largest tennis stadium in the world, is presented on the site of the former Louis Armstrong stadium. The draw is complemented with brand new names turning out to top up the list of winners later.

The tournament final is called “the youngest” as 16 years old Swiss Martina Hingis takes her first US Open women’s singles crown in the battle against 17 years old Venus Williams, who set two record at once by being the first unseeded finalist since 1958 Darlene Hard’s achievement and the first black woman getting to the final since Althea Gibson who beat Hard at the same year tournament. Venus’s sister Serena would take her first NY Grand Slam title just two years later.

On the men’s side, Greg Rusedski gives way to Patrick Rafter, who pockets his first Grand Slam singles prize after playing 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the final. Rafter follows Australian John Newcombe (1973), and Rusedski joins British Fred Perry (1936) to reach the final.

1996

Great efforts required for top-seeded Sampras won him the men’s singles crown after he throws up because of severe fatigue and dehydration in the match against Alex Corretja in the quarters. In the finals, he opposes seeded No. 2 Michael Chang, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3). It’s Sampras first Grand Slam title without Tim Gullickson, his close coach and friend, who died of brain cancer this year in May. Seles loses to Steffi Graf, 7-5, 6-4, who collects her 21st Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set.

1995

Monica Seles slices through the tournament to reach the women’s singles final – it’s the second tournament she entered after 1993 being stabbed in the back. She meets Steffi Graf in the final to perform one of the greatest finals at the US Open ever. Though Graf loses the second set, she compensates by winning her fourth tournament and the 18th Grand Slam title, 7-6, 0-6, 6-3. The tournament features two-champion clash as seeded No. 2 Sampras takes his third US Open title by overcoming top-seeded player Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Another notable record is established as the four No. 1 ranked players get to the semifinals, with Agassi upsetting Boris Becker and Jim Courier getting beaten by Sampras.

1994

No. 20 ranked Andre Agassi rushes through the draw leaving behind five seeded players, including No. 4 German Michael Stich in the final (6-1, 7-6, 7-5), and becomes the first unseeded one to win the US Open title in the Open Era.

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario rises after losing a set to take her first US Open title by beating Graf, 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. She later joins Jana Novotna to take the women’s doubles crown and returns to Spain as the first Spanish woman champion at the US Open.

1993

US Open tennis history photos
U.S. Open, 1932

Two significant dates combined in celebrating the 25th US Open anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the tournament’s relocation to the USTA National Tennis Center. Seeded No. 2 Sampras takes his second US Open title by beating Cedric Pioline of France in the final, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. By the way, Pioline is the first French player to reach the men’s singles since Henri Cochet, 1932.

Steffi Graff, who returned to win her third tournament singles title, overcomes Helena Sukova, 6-3, 6-3. The attendance mark reached even higher with 530,764 this year visitors. The prize budget exceeds $9 million. An innovation, ground passes, is brought to the event.

1992

Two men’s champions converge in the final with Pete Sampras losing to Edberg, who passes Richard Krajicek, Ivan Lendl, and Michael Chang, whom he defeated in a match lasted for five hours and 26 minutes and resulted in 6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. Seles confirms the champion title by playing the minimum 14 sets. In the final, she meets Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who got to her first tournament final.

1991

No. 174 ranked Jinny Connors, granted with the wild-card, successively proceeds to the semis. The five-time tournament champion, he changes the first two-set loss to beat Patrick McEnroe in the first round, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. The match lasted for four hours and 35 minutes and ended at 1:30 a.m. The date of the 39th birthday brought Connors to the victory over Aaron Krickstein in the fourth round, 3-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6. Jim Courier interrupts this triumph by playing 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, but gets defeated by Edberg in the final. The latter takes his first US Open singles title and follows Mal Anderson (1957) to win the tournament the next year after the first-round defeat. On the women’s side, Monica Seles upsets 34 years old Navratilova with a score 7-6, 6-1. Seles gets her first title here. On August 26, the record 22,166-attendance is set.

1990

Pete Sampras, aged 19 years and 28 days, sets two records at the same time. He defeats Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, becoming the youngest US Open men’s singles champ, and also, with the seeding No. 12, is the lowest men’s seed to win the tournament.

The first All-American final is carried out since Vitas Gerulaitis’s defeat by McEnroe in 1979. Stefan Edberg, seeded No. 1, is kicked off by Alexander Volkov, and it’s the second time that the top-seeded loses in the first round. Gabriela Sabatini gets her first Grand Slam championship by defeating Graf, 6-2, 7-6.

1989

Playing in her last US Open, Evert falls to Zina Garrison in the quarters, 7-6, 6-2. Monica Seles loses to Evert, 6-0, 6-2, in the last singles victory match for the latter.

us open 1989 photo
Andre Agassi obliges his fans after disposing of Robbie Weiss in straight sets at the U.S. Open, 1989 (ph.Dan Cronin/New York Daily News)

The second consecutive tournament title goes to graf, as she defeats Navratilova in the women’s singles final, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Lendl get defeated by Boris Becker of Germany, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6, in the final. Lendl then ties Bill Tilden in a match at the singles finals. Derrick Rostagno makes Becker work hard, with the latter receiving a lucky net cord on a forehand passing shot. Mark Woodforde and John McEnroe take the fourth US Open doubles title for McEnroe, along with his four singles titles.

1988

Gabriela Sabatini falls to Steffi Graf in the final, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, and the latter takes her first US Open title and joins Margaret Court (1970) to complete the first Grand Slam in the game.

us open tennis history photos
Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards takes in the action at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows (ph.Richard Corkery/New York Daily News)

Graf is the third Open Era player to claim the Grand Slam at this tournament and later conquers the Olympic gold medal in Seoul, Korea, thus winning a “Golden Slam”.

No. 1 ranking goes to Mats Wilander, who beats Lendl, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the longest tournament singles final since the Open Era began. Rick Leach and Chris Evert suffer from a stomach virus. Leach leaves the men’s doubles final, and Evert defaults the women’s semifinal.

1987

Lendl gets to his sixth straight final, played for 4 hours and 47 minutes on Monday, and conquers the third consecutive title by eliminating Swedish Mats Wilander, 6-7, 6-0, 7-6, 6-4. The tournament features the 100th anniversary of the introduction of women’s championships.

The women’s final brings Navratilova to the US Open triple crown, like Margaret Smith Court in 1970, who beat Steffi Graff to take the singles title, joined Pam Shriver to grab the doubles prize, and Emilio Sanchez to conquer the mixed doubles. Lori McNeil interrupted Chris Evert in her streak of 16 straight semifinal appearances. Therefore, for the first time in 13 years, Evert won’t take a major event title. 15 years old Michael Chang wins a match by upsetting Paul McNamee in the first round, thus becoming the youngest male player to do so.

The largest crowd gathered on a night match was 21,016 people watching Lendl’s victory over McEnroe, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, in the quarterfinals.

1986

Czechs reign on the court with Lendl taking the title over Miloslav Mecir, and Navratilova defeating Helena Sukova. The singles finals were entered by four players born in Czechoslovakia, though Navratilova resides in America and Lendl is of Greenwich, Conn.

The lowest-ranked finalist since Jan Kodes’s entrance to the 1971 men’s final is No. 16 Paul Annacone kicks off McEnroe. The only American man to get to the quarterfinals, Todd Witsken, interrupts Connor in his 12 consecutive semifinals wins.

1985

Despite three consecutive losses in the finals, Lendl succeeds in getting the first title by beating McEnroe, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. Navratilova bows to Hana Mandlikova, who get to her third US Open final and wins with a score 7-6, 1-6, 7-6. The top-seeded McEnroe barely wins over Shlomo Glickstein in the opening round. 14 years old Mary Joe Fernandez is the youngest player to win a match at the tournament after overcoming Sara Gomer in the first-round play, 6-1, 6-4. August 30 brings a disaster – a tornado hits the USTA National Tennis Center and damages severely the grounds with downed power lines, flooding and overturned trees. Nevertheless, the event continues the next day.

1984

Every match played at the tournament extended to its maximum.

In the senior men’s semis Stan Smith defeats John Newcombe, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Pat Cash falls to Lendl in the first men’s semifinal, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. Evert Lloyd lets Navratilova take the second straight US singles title. At 11.14 p.m. McEnroe and Connors finish the day’s program, when McEnroe wins, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, and then eliminates Lendl to get the fourth tournament singles title.

1983

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In 1983 the U.S. Open finals packed the National Tennis Center on the same day Shea Stadium was packed with New York Jet fans for a home game (ph.Mike Lipack/New York Daily News)

Navratilova finally gets the first US Open singles title, on the 11th time she enters the tournament. Chris Evert Lloyd loses to Navratilova, 6-1, 6-3. Lendl and Connors converge in the men’s final, when Connors takes the title with a result 6-3, 6-7, 7-5, 6-0. It was the fifth Connor’s championship at the tournament. The prize exceeds $100,000 for the first time, and the champions both pocket $120,000.

1982

Hana Mandlikova loses to Evert Lloyd; the latter takes the sixth and her last US Open title with a result 6-3, 6-1. Pam Shriver makes top-seeded Marina Navratilova cry as she kicks her off in the quarterfinals, 1-6, 7-6, 6-2.

Connors adds to his 1978 victory this year title by defeating Ivan Lendl, who got to the final for the first time, in four sets. Lendl breaks John McEnroe’s win streak (26 matches) in the semis. Susan Mascarin dispatches Billie Jean King, who would not appear in the singles final anymore.

The prize money is over $1 million.

1981

Another date combined with Americans’ wins at the US Open. The US players took singles and doubles titles in both men’s and women’s. McEnroe gets the third consecutive title, reaching the Bill Tilden’s 1925 achievement; he defeats Borg, who appeared at the Grand Slam for the last time, with a score 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Peter Fleming and McEnroe team to take the doubles prize. 18 years old Tracy Austin takes the second tournament title and fends off Martina Navratilova, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6. In the semifinals, Navratilova defeats Evert Lloyd and reaches the women’s singles final for the first time.

1980

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John McEnroe celebrates a win at the 1980 U.S. Open finals. (ph.Anthony Casale/New York Daily News)

After taking one-year time off, Evert Lloyd takes the fifth US Open title by overcoming Hana Mandlikova, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, in the women’s final. En route to the title, Evert returns the lost to Austin in the 1979 semifinals.

In men’s final, McEnroe and Borg perform a legendary match, with McEnroe rebuffing Borg during five sets, 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4, and taking the second consecutive tournament title.

Andrea Jaeger, aged 15, is the youngest player to reach the semifinals by beating Barbara Hallquist in the quarters. The match was watched by a record 18,606 audience. A new world tournament record is achieved as the 364,370 guests attend the 1980 US Open.

1979

16 years old Tracy Austin defeats Chris Evert, a defending champion, 6-4, 6-3, and becomes the youngest tournament champion. To get the win, Austin overcomes 14 years old Andrea Jaeger in the second round and Martina Navratilova, seeded No. 2, in the semis. Thus Evert Lloyd’s 31-match streak of wins breaks.

The youngest woman to compete at the US Open is Kathy Horvath, who recently turned 14 years old. She lost to Dianne Fromholtz in the first round, 7-6, 6-2. On the men’s side, Roscoe Tanner dispatched top-seeded Borg on his way to the quarterfinals. Since 1950, it is the first time that four Americans reach the semifinals. Two players of New York, John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis, proceed to the final, where McEnroe takes the first Grand Slam singles title with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 score.

1978

USTA President W.E. “Slew” Hester initiated the move to Flushing Meadows, where Bjorn Borg and Bob Hewitt test the court on August 29.

16 years old Pam Shriver, equipped with an oversized racquet, proceeds to the women’s final but gives way to Chris Evert. The latter thus gains the fourth consecutive tournament title and joins Molla B. Mallory (1915-1918) and Helen H. Jacobs (1932-1935).

Connors wins the third US Open title by defeating Borg. Connors becomes the unique player to win the US Open on all three types of courts (1974 – grass court, 1976 – clay, 1978 and 1982-83 – hard courts). The attendance record was set as the tournament was visited by over 275,000 people. The prize budget exceeded $500,000.

1977

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Dr. Renee Richards returns a ball against Virginia Wade at the U.S. Open in 1977 (ph.Dan Farrell/New York Daily News)

It’s the last time when the US Open is held in Forest Hills. The audience captures a glimpse of future as they look at the performances by Tracy Austin and John McEnroe.

14 years old Austin defeats Sue Barker, seeded No. 4, and gets to the quarterfinals. McEnroe of New York captures three victories but falls to the 1975 champion Manuel Orantes.

Jimmy Connors, who has to defend the title, gets beaten by Guillermo Vilas in a four-set final. Wendy Turnbull gives way to Chris Evert, who conquers the third consecutive title. Evert thus becomes the only women’s player to capture a title on clay courts, as the next year tournament will be relocated to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow with its hard courts.

Renee Richards, a 42 years old transsexual falls in the first round to Virginia Wade, seeded No. 3, but later joins Bettyann Stuart to win the doubles final. Mike Fishbach with his spaghetti racket overcomes Stan Smith in the second round. Betty Stove and Martina Navratilova team to get the women’s doubles title. This tournament featured the first title for Martina Navratilova, who would earn her last prize 29 years later when she and Bob Bryan of America would unite to get the mixed doubles title.

1976

While America celebrates its 200th year of independence, two Americans bring it the main wins at the 1976 tournament. Chris Evert gets the second consecutive title by beating Goolagong. Jimmy Connors also gets the second US Open title by triumphing over Bjorn Borg of Sweden. The men’s final featured 70-minute third set finished with a breathtaking tiebreak, 11-9.

1975

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US Open, 1975 For the first time in the history of the U. S. Open, tennis is played under the stars at Forest Hills, Queens (ph.Gene Kappock/New York Daily News)

A night play was introduced for the first time in Grand Slams. It combined with a great return of Manuel Orantes, who went up from two-sets-to-one and 0-5 in the fourth set and beat Guillermo Vilas, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Top-seeded Connors fell to Orantes in the men’s final, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

On the women’s side, Goolagong bows to Evert, who finally gets the first US Open singles title. The women’s final featured Evert’s 85th win of the 125 on a clay court. Martina Navratilova’s defection to the US makes worldwide media’s headlines.

1974

Jimmy Connors, aged 22, beats 39 years old Ken Rosewall, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. The last US Open played on grass, it also featured the most unequal final in the tournament history. Billie Jean King overcomes Goolagong, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, and wins the fourth title here, at Forest Hills, while Goolagong prevents Evert from the 56-match win in the semis.

1973

One of the turning points in tennis history happened as the prize money was divided equally between men’s and women’s champions. Margaret Smith Court and John Newcombe, who won the singles, each took $25,000. Newcombe returned the loss to Jan Kodes at the 1971 US Open by defeating him in five sets. Court gets the fifth tournament title by upsetting Evonne Goolagong, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2. The latter would finish in second place for four years, from 1973 to 1976.

1972

Ilie Nastase makes an impressive return and wins the second US Open title by beating the 1968 champ Arthur Ashe, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. Their battle was watched by a record 14,696-audience. Nastase gained $25,000. The first player in the Open Era to conquer the second singles title is Billie Jean King, who beats Kerry Melville, 6-3, 7-5.

1971

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Billie Jean King (r.) shakes hands with a worthy opponent, a young Chris Evert, after beating her in a semi-final match (ph.Frank Hurley/New York Daily News)

Chris Evert enters the US Open and proceeds to the semifinals. Billie Jean King, who abstained from participating in 1970 tournament because of knee surgery, defeats Rosie Casals, her partner in the doubles, 6-4, 7-6, and seizes the $5,000 prize. A few weeks after, she would be the first woman to collect over $100,000 in a year.

Stan Smith gets the first Grand Slam singles title, having won two doubles with Bob Lutz. John Newcombe, a Wimbledon champion, loses the first round against Jan Kodes, 2-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3. Since 1928, Newcombe is the first top-seeded player to fall in the opening round of the tournament.

1970

The tiebreak is introduced to the tournament. Court beats Rosie Casals 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to win the Grand Slam, and she is the second woman to do so; she joins Rod Laver by completing Grand Slam at this tournament. Court goes on to win the first US Open triple crown playing in the doubles with Dalton and in the mixed doubles with Marty Riessen. She pockets $9,500 in the end of the event.

In men’s singles, Ken Rosewall, aged 35, takes the second title after the victory 14 years ago. He defeats Rony Roche, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. Rosewall’s troubles didn’t end with losing the first set – he got a crack of his favored wooden racket, which he still continued to use since it had the wonderful touch.

1969

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U.S. OPEN, 1969,Rod Laver, a triple crown winner in tennis in the ’60s, tips his lucky straw boater hat. Laver wore that hat after winning all three championships (ph.Seymour Wally/New York Daily News)

Rod Laver of Australia completes Grand Slam for the second time by upsetting Tony Roche, a countryman, 7-9, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The legendary final was witnessed only by 3,708-crowd because of a rain.

The tournament had to hire a helicopter to dry off the court at the West Side Tennis Club, and the men’s final was postponed by nearly 1.5 hours. Having failed the first set 5-4, Laver changes his sneakers to spikes to move easier on the unsafe grass and beats his opponent in 20 of the next 29 games.

Nancy Richey falls to Margaret Smith Court, letting her take the title, 6-2, 6-2. Marty Riessen joins Court to win the mixed doubles. In women’s doubles final Francoise Durr and Darlene Hard defeat Riessen and Virginia Wade.

1968

The Open Era enabled the combination of amateurs and professional tennis events. In this first open tournament, 25 years old Arthur Ashe, who served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, won the title by upsetting Tom Okker of the Netherlands, 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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Arthur Ashe holds his trophy after defeating Tom Okker (l.), of the Netherlands, to win the U.S. Open at Forest Hills,1968 (ph.Walter Kelleher/New York Daily News)

He didn’t collect the whole prize ($14,000) because of being amateur and got only $20 for each day. Ashe set two records at once since he was the only American to get the title since 1955 and the first African-American to win a men’s title at a major tournament ever.

British Virginia Wade defeated Billie Jean King, seeded No. 1, and pocketed $6,000.

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