Starting way back in 1881, the US Open is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world.
Held at Flushing Meadows, the US Open is the fourth and final event of the Grand Slam tournaments in a year.
Initially known as the US Championships wherein only men’s singles and doubles tournament were held, it has evolved into a two-week sporting extravaganza.
When the Championship marked its beginning 129 years ago, the criteria for participation was very restricted as only the clubs that were members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association were eligible to play in the event.
From 1884 until 1911 the tournament used a challenge system whereby the defending champion automatically qualified for the next year’s final.
The first official US Women’s National Singles Championship was held six years after i.e. in 1887 the men’s nationals, in Philadelphia Cricket Club, followed by doubles in 1889.
The US Open consists of five championships namely, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for champions’ invitational, junior, and wheelchair players.
The US Open Champions Invitational consists a host of former Grand Slam champions, finalists and fan favorites. The Champions Invitational has a modified version of the World Team Tennis format, with doubles matches forming all competition.
The players are divided into four teams of four players each, with all teams playing two matches. Prize money is awarded based on the teams’ order of finish.
The tournament has been played on acrylic hard court, since 1978, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, New York.
The US Open differs from the other three Grand Slam tournaments in that there are final set tie-breaks. Whereas in the other three tournaments, the fifth set for men and the third set for women continues until someone wins by two games.
This year’s US Open men’s and women’s singles champions will each earn a record $3.3 million, up 10 percent from 2014.
The US Tennis Association announced that the total tournament purse will be $42.3 million, a 10.5 percent increase from a year ago. The payout for each round in singles is rising by at least 10 percent.
The main draw prize money has gone up by two-thirds in the last three years.
The runners-up will receive $1.6 million while a player who loses in the first round will make $39,500. The winning doubles teams get $570,000.
The singles champions won about $2.5 million at this year’s Australian Open, $2 million at the French Open and $2.9 million at Wimbledon.
In the men’s singles, Marin Cilic won his maiden Grand Slam title defeating Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. It was Cilic’s first career Grand Slam singles title and he was the first Croatian tennis player to win the US Open. Nishikori became the first Japanese (male or female) and the first Asian man to reach the Grand Slam final.
Serena Williams won her Open era record tying sixth title in the women’s singles competition tying Chris Evert, and it was her 18th Grand Slam title tying Evert and Martina Navratilova. It was Williams’ sixth title victory at the US Open and her sixth career title of the year.