US Open History

\"USThe US Open started 126 years ago and has changed dramatically, bearing little resemblance to what it was. It started as an exclusive Men’s Singles and Doubles Tournament and has grown to a two week Tennis spectacular that will be watched by over 650.000 people during the two weeks. It was once located in Rhode Island, it then moved to Pennsylvania before arriving at its current home at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing in New York.

The first Championship was held at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island in 1881. Only members of the US National Lawn Tennis Association were allowed to enter. For the first seven years, the men’s singles and double’s were played there but as the Tournament grew, the Casino venue became too small and so parts of the event were thrown out to other local Tennis Clubs.

In 1887 Six years after the Tournament started, the first National Women’s Single’s Championship started at the unlikely venue of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Ladies doubles followed a couple of years later. The US mixed doubles Championship began in 1892 and was played in conjunction with the Women’s Championship until 1921. It was then combined with the men’s doubles program of the US National Championships.

\"USIt took until 1968, at the outset of the ‘Open’ Era’, before all five Championships took place at the same location. It was initially played at Forest Hills but in 1978 the entire Tournament moved to its present location at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre at Flushing in New York.

In 1968, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) donated $100.000 prize money to the field of 96 men and 63 women, who entered its first ‘Open’ Championship. Today the prize money offered is almost 25 million dollars to a field of over 600 male and female competitors.

It is now one of the Major’s in World Tennis and its Roll of Honour conjures up many magical names who played much magical tennis here and who have set the precedents for the young men and women who will compete this year.