US Open Facts and Trivia
The US Open rounds out the tennis year in terms of Grand Slam tournaments. Being the last Slam, it gives those who qualify their last chance at one of the really big trophies. It’s an important tournament, so it’s only fitting that we dedicate a page to some interesting US Open facts.
The US Open has been quite interesting of late. While the Big Four have been scooping up the Slams, the US Open has been a free-for-all. Only three non-Big Four players have won a Slam during their reign, all of them capturing the US Open.
Anyway, here is a bunch of fun, not-so-fun, and generally interesting facts and trivia about the US Open.
US Open Facts
Eye on the Ball
The US Open was the first Grand Slam to use Hawk Eye technology in their games, way back in 2006. It’s a system of technology that allows the umpire to review a line call with a high degree of accuracy. Whenever you’re watching a tennis game and one of the players has a bit of a sulk and they play that nice 3D graphic of the ball missing the line by a fraction of a quarter of a half an inch, that’s Hawk Eye.
Current record holders for most Open Era US Open titles are Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer. Each of them have won an astounding five titles. That’s Open Era, however, what about before then? The record holders pre-Open Era are William Larned, Richard Sears, and Bill Tilden. These Amateur-Era greats each managed seven title before the US Open turned pro in 1968.
Speaking of turning pro, the US Open continued to put on an amateurs-only tournament for a brief time after the start of the Open Era. In 1968 and 1969 there were technically two tournaments… though only the pro tournament officially counts after 1967.
The Fed Express
No US Open facts page (or any tennis facts page for that matter) would be complete without a Federer-fact. While Roger Federer may be tied in terms of the amount of US Open titles he has overall, he won all of his consecutively. That’s right. Consecutively. Between 2004 and 2008, Roger Federer was unbeaten at Flushing Meadows. That’s a hell of a run.
Not to be outdone, fellow great Pete Sampras currently holds the record as the youngest US Open champion. Sampras took the 1990 championship at the age of 19 years and 28 days with a straight sets victory over Andre Agassi. Conversely, the oldest player to win the US Open so far was Bill Larned way back in 1911 at the age of 38 years and 8 months.
Presumably he died of old age shortly after. It was 1911.
The US Open is a hard court tournament but, like most long running tennis tournaments, it was originally played on grass. That changed in 1975 when the tournament went through its clay phase. It was a run that didn’t last particularly long with the now-familiar hard courts being adopted in 1978. This major surface shuffle allowed Jimmy Connors the opportunity to become the only man to win the US Open on all three surfaces.
In 2005, the courts of the US Open and US Open Series events were given a blue/green overhaul, making the court itself blue and the outer area green. This was originally done to make it easier to see the green tennis ball on the court, and has since become a signature look for the American tournaments.
In typical ‘Murican fashion, the US Open was renamed the National Patriotic Tournament in for the year of 1917 in support of the American war effort during World War I.
I’ll be keeping this post updated as time goes on, so if you see any mistakes or have some facts or trivia of your own you think should be added, feel free to leave a comment below. I see everything.