SETTING THE SCENE: The key historical trends and facts for the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year.
The fourth and final Grand Slam in the professional tennis calendar; the US Open has long stood as one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world and, since its inception in 1881, has been at the cutting edge of the sport in the United States.
Due to its status of paying the winners the biggest pot of all the Grand Slams, the US Open is often considered the most prosperous tennis tournament. The US Open paid out a whopping $57,462,000 in 2021, its highest prize money ever offered. The singles winners don’t take it all, but they will net a cosy $2,500,000.
If you think taking home a handsome $2,500,000 for only a few games of tennis sounds cheerful, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras will confirm your suspicions as they made the US Open final their stomping ground on numerous occasions. Alongside Jimmy Connors, the two legends won the prestigious tournament five times, but Federer’s run of five consecutive US Open wins from 2004 – 2008 was the most impressive.
The highest attendance at the tournament was achieved in 2019 when 737,872 people entered the BJK National Tennis Centre over the course of the tournament.
The longest match ever played at the tournament lasted a gruelling five hours and 26 minutes. It was a vigorous battle between Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang for a place in the 1992 US Open final. The match went to the final set where the eventual victor of the competition, Stefan Edberg edged the win 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4.
The record for the latest end to a match in the US Open, which is 2:26 am, doesn’t seem exceptional. However, happening not once, not twice, but three times in 1993, 2012 and 2014, all at the exact same time, the record for the latest tennis end to a match at the US Open, remains perhaps the most unlikely and outstanding occurrence ever at Flushing Meadows or any Grand Slam to date.