Fun Facts About the 136th US Open
Today marks day four of the US Open, where big-name celebrities and tennis fans alike flood to Queens, NY to watch some serious tennis before summer’s close. Here, we outline some interesting facts and figures about the highly anticipated USTA event.
Thanks to the Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new retractable roof, today’s inclement weather won’t impact play. Debuted for the 2016 tournament, the roof cost $150 million dollars and can close in 10 minutes. (www.architecturaldigest.com)
The first ever US Open Tennis Tournament began on August 31, 1881. It was a men’s-only tournament held at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island and was played yearly by US tennis players only.
Six years later, the first US Women’s National Singles Championships were held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. (www.ticketcity.com)
The largest total attendance to a US Open tournament was 721, 059 people in 2009. Last year, more than 600,000 people total attended the event. (www.baruch.cuny.edu)
The US Open court is made of DecoTurf, a cushioned surface that is laid using six three-millimeters-thick layers and an asphalt base. The in-bound courts were made blue in 2005 because it is the exact opposite color of the yellow Wilson tennis ball, giving it the most contrast for players and spectators. (www.si.com)
Since 1978, the tournament has been played on acrylic hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, NYC.
The “Open Era” of tennis began in 1968, when tennis tournaments allowed professionals to compete with amateurs. That’s when the tournament earned its grand slam status and started to be called the US Open Tennis Championship. (www.totalsportek.com)
American tennis players Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras are tied for the most men’s singles titles in the US Open with five each. Connors earned his titles between 1974 and 1983 and Sampras earned his between 1990 and 2002. (www.totalsportek.com)
American tennis players Chris Evert and Serena Williams are tied for the most ladies’ singles titles in the US Open with six each. Williams faced a big upset last year when she lost to Roberta Vinci in the semifinals, delaying her 7th title and her chance to complete the calendar Grand Slam.
1973 was the first year that men and women were paid the same amount for the win. The total Prize Money pool for 2016 is $46.3 million – a 10% increase from 2015 – making it the highest paying tennis grand slam in the world.
Since 2007, the official cocktail of the US Open has been the Honey Deuce. It’s made my mixing Grey Goose Vodka, lemonade, Chambord or raspberry liqueur, crushed ice, and a frozen honeydew melon ball for garnish. (www.townandcountrymag.com)
Tickets for this year’s tournament range from $68 to $264 for courtside seats. However, tickets for the final tournament on September 11 are going for upwards of $8,775 on ticketmaster.com. (wallethub.com)
For over 20 years, Tiffany & Co. has created the trophies for the US Open Tennis championship winners. The winner also wins a trip to several NYC landmarks. (www.tiffany.com)