In a year where all sports took a serious hit, it’s always nice to see one of the major events rescheduled and ready to go. The U.S. Open did not need to adjust its usual start time, as it has always begun on the last Monday in August. Still, the event is going to look a whole lot different than usual, with no fans packing the seats in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, cheering on their favorite players. The hope is that this will be the only time when fans don’t get to be part of the equation, but only time will tell. With the U.S. Open set to begin on Monday, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at this history of this fantastic tournament. Let’s get right into action while you plan ahead your bets against their Tennis odds.
Tennis – US Open: History, winners, what to expect
U.S. Open History
The first tournament was played back in 1881, although back then it was known as the U.S. national Championship. Back then, the tournament was played on grass at the Newport Casino in Rhode Island. It stayed there through to 1915, after which the tournament was moved to the West Side Tennis Club in New York. It was a group of roughly 100 players who petitioned for the move, with the belief being that the city was where the largest congregation of players, clubs, and fans were located.
There was a period, from 1921-1923, when the tournament was played in Germantown, Pennsylvania to allow for the construction of a 14,000-seat stadium at the West Side Tennis Club. In 1922, the seeding system was employed so as to separate the best players in the early rounds. By 1924, the decision was made to make the U.S. Open a major tournament.
The Open era began in 1968, allowing professional tennis players to compete. This basically was when the tournament rose to global prominence and made it a must watch event. In 1978, the tournament was held at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NYC, which is where it is still held to this day.
When looking at previous winners, you really need to look at before and after 1968, which is when the Open era began. Prior to that era, it was Richard Sears, William Larned, and Bill Tilden who had the most wins on the men’s side, winning it 7 times each. On the ladies’ side, no one got close to Molla Mallory, who won it 8 times before the Open era.
Molla Mallory actually won 4 more titles in the Open era, but she has been eclipsed in that generation by Chris Evert and Serena Williams, both of whom have 5 wins since 1968. Over on the men’s side, it is a 3-way tie for wins in the Open era, with Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, and Roger Federer all winning 5, with Federer winning it in 5 straight years.
What to Expect in 2020
It may sound like a clichéd thing to say, but I think that the only thing we can expect this year is the unexpected. It is going to be interesting to see how players adapt to playing in empty stadiums in what is usually one of the most boisterous events on the tour. On the men’s side, you would need to think that Djokovic or Nadal are the favorites, but with 5 different winners in each of the last 5 years, the women’s side looks to be wide open.