The US Open starts on Monday and to help you feel closer to the action, we’ve put together a list of five fast facts about the tournament that are bound to intrigue you.
The US Open’s is the year’s fourth and final grand slam of the year. Played at Flushing Meadows in New York, the tournament has it’s own very unique identity.
As you would expect, there is something very American about it.
Players dress in loud and colourful clothing, spectators chat to each other during points and the crowds are extremely vocal.
But here are some US Open facts that you might NOT expect.
1. The event has been played on three surfaces
The US Open is currently a hard court tournament, but it was formerly played on grass as well as on clay.
Jimmy Connors is the only player in history to have won US Open singles titles on all three surfaces, and Chris Evert is the only woman to have won it on two surfaces (clay and hardcourt).
2. Only grand slam with a final set tie-breaker
In the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, the final set of a match can go on and on and on… until someone wins by two games. At Wimbledon in 2010, John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 in a match that lasted over 11 hours.
The US Open does not have the patience for that kind of stuff. The final set of a match at Flushing Meadows will be decided by a tiebreak game when the scores are locked at 6-6.
For those who have plans to hit-up the party scene in the Big Apple after a day’s action, it’s a very convenient rule.
3. There was once a shooting at the tournament
In 1977 the there was a gun shooting incident at the US Open.
James Reilly, a 33-year-old Manhattanite, was shot in the leg by – as police would later come to believe – someone in an apartment building near the stadium in Forest Hills, Queens.
Whoever fired the gun was never found.
After several minutes of suspended play, and a brief period of alarm in the stadium, the tennis match resumed, and a young John McEnroe upset Eddie Dibbs.
4. The trophy is among the best in the business
At grand slams, champions are given replicas of the actual trophies that are won – the originals remain at the venue.
The designers and producers of the US Open trophies are Tiffany and Co. who are industry leaders in the field.
In 1967 they were behind the first Vince Lombardi NFL Super Bowl trophy and 1888 they made the first ever Word Series trophy.
5. It’s been 13 years since an American man won the title
The men’s singles at the US Open has been something of a disaster for Americans for the last while.
Despite tennis being an extremely popular sport in the States and the NCAA collegiate system being a perfect environment to nurture young, local talent, the Home of the Brave have not produced a champion in the last 13 years.
The last man to achieve that feat was Andy Roddick way back in 2003. Isner is currently the top-ranked American player in the world. Can he turn the tides?