What Is The US Open In Tennis?
- Website: https://www.usopen.org/index.html
- Founded: 1881
- Location: Flushing Meadows, New York, United States
- Venue: Variety of Locations (1881-1978), USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York (1978-present)
- Surface: Grass (1881-1974), Clay (1975-1977), Hard Court (1978-present)
- Prize money: £57,500,000 (2021)
What is the Structure of the U.S. Open in Tennis?
The U.S. Open Tennis tournament is one of the biggest and most-watched tournaments every year in the tennis world. The world’s best players come to compete every year in the event. It is one of four annual tournaments that together make up the tennis “Grand Slam.” The three other tournaments are the French Open, the Australian Open, and the Wimbledon Championships. The U.S. Open is played in Flushing Meadows, New York, usually in the late summer-early fall. The tournament is for both male and female tennis players, as they compete in separate tournaments at the same venue.
There is a single’s tournament for both men and women, where players compete one versus one, and a double’s tournament, where players compete two versus two. There is also a mixed doubles tournament, where a match is two versus two with one male and one female on each team. Moreover, there are junior tournaments for 18 and under tennis players. There is a boy’s singles tournament, boy’s doubles tournament, girl’s singles tournament, and girl’s doubles tournament. Finally, for those in wheelchairs, there are multiple wheelchair tournaments that occur alongside the other events. There is a men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, and women’s doubles, along with a quad tournament for men and women. The quad event has four players on each side. As far as qualifying for this major tennis event, there are a few different methods one can follow.
How Does One Qualify for the U.S. Open in Tennis?
In both the men’s and women’s singles tournament fields (often called the “draw”), there are 128 players. In order to be one of those 128 men or women, there are a few different qualification methods. The first method is to be ranked among the top 104 players who sign up to compete in the tournament. The rankings are determined by a points system where players get points based on how they do in tournaments throughout the year. Bigger tournaments, such as the Grand Slams, are worth more points. It is important to note that it is the top 104 players who sign up, not just the top 104 players. Each year, certain players may be in the top 104 but unable to compete due to injuries or other circumstances.
The next method for qualifying for the singles draws is the qualifying tournament. The qualifying tournament is made up of 128 players and only 16 advance to qualify for the U.S. Open. This means that players must win three matches in the qualifying tournament in order to make it into the main draw. In 2021, Emma Raducanu was one of the 16 women who qualified via the qualifying tournament, and she went on to win the U.S. Open women’s singles title. In doing so, she became the first individual to accomplish this, male or female. Now that there are 120 spots filled, eight spots remain of the 128. These are given to players who receive an invitation known as a wild card invite. These spots are determined by the U.S. Open organization and are typically given to local players, younger players who may be talented but have not played enough events to qualify on points or older players who are coming off of an injury and thus not able to qualify on points.
As far as qualifying for the doubles tournaments, it is a similar but slightly different process. First, there are only 64 spots each in the men’s, women’s, and mixed double’s draw. For each draw, the first 57 spots are given to the 57 pairs who sign up and have the highest combined ranking. The players’ combined ranking is simply the addition of the two player’s rankings. Thus, if the players who are ranked #4 and #26 want to play together, their combined ranking would be 30. The remaining seven spots in each field are given to wild cards, which are given out in the same way as they are for the singles tournaments. Lastly, while hundreds of players qualify for the various U.S. Open fields every year, only a select few stand out amongst the greatest to ever play this distinguished event.
Who are the Most Successful Individual Tennis Players Ever at the U.S. Open?
When one looks at the history of a tennis tournament, it is important to differentiate between those who played in the Open Era and those who played before the Open Era. The Open Era started in 1968, and the main distinction to note is that prior to 1968, the major tennis events, like the U.S. Open, were for amateurs only and had no prize money. This led to some of the top tennis players not playing in the major events, as they would play in smaller events that did give out prize money. The Grand Slams and other top tennis events felt the need to allow professionals in order to attract the top players and thus did so starting in 1968.
With that in mind, the individual, man or woman, who has won the most singles titles in the U.S. Open is Molla Bjurstedt Mallory. Molla played prior to the Open Era and won her titles from 1915-1918, 1920-1922, and 1926. As far as women who played in the Open Era, Chrissy Evert and Serena Williams are tied for the most titles with six. Evert took home the title from 1975-1978, in 1980, and in 1982. Meanwhile, Serena won in 1999, 2002, 2008, and 2012-2014. On the men's side, Bill Tiden (1920-1925, 1929), Bill Larned (1901, 1902, 1907-1911), and Richard Sears (1881-1887) each have won the most singles titles overall with seven. In the Open Era, Roger Federer (2004-2008), Jimmy Connors (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983), and Pete Sampras (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002) have the most titles with five. Many of these individuals, particularly those who played in the Open Era, are considered by many to be some of the greatest tennis players of all time. This shows just how good of a tennis player you have to be to win this event, thus why it is considered to be one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world.
Who Won Last Year's U.S. Open in Tennis?
The table below shows which individuals and teams were victorious at last year’s U.S. Open:
|Men’s Singles||Daniil Medvedev|
|Women’s Singles||Emma Raducanu|
|Men’s Doubles||Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury|
|Women’s Doubles||Samantha Stosur/Zhang Shuai|
|Mixed Doubles||Desirae Krawcyzk/Joe Salisbury|
How Much Does The Winner of the U.S. Open Get?
In 2021, Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu each made $2.5 million for winning the men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively. On the doubles side, each doubles team that won made $660,000. However, this figure changes each year as the overall prize pool changes as well.