With less than four days to the beginning of the 2017 US Open, it’s already been marred by the withdrawal of top guns which might take away the glamour of the tournament. The 2017 US Open will be the 137th edition of the tournament and will take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City.
The fourth major of the year has already recorded major absentees including the defending champion for men, Stan Wawrinka, former world number one Novak Djokovic, six time US Open champion Serena Williams, 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori and most recently Milos Raonic.
Before we talk extensively on the injuries and big misses, a brief history will do to launch us to one of the most entertaining tennis major of the year .
The US Open was first held in August 1881 on the grass courts at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island. In 1911, a group of tennis players, headed by New Yorker Karl Behr, made efforts to relocate the tournament to New York City. It was later played on clay court between 1975 and 1977.
In 1978, the tournament moved from the West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, Queens to the larger USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. In the process, the tournament switched the court surface from clay to hard court.
American Jimmy Connors is the only individual to have won the US Open singles titles on all three surfaces (grass, clay, hardcourt), while Chris Evert is the only woman to win on two surfaces (clay, hardcourt).
In the first years of the U.S. National Championship only men competed and the tournament was known as the US National Singles Championships for Men. Six years after the men’s nationals were first held, the first U.S. Women’s National Singles Championship was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1887, won by 17-year-old Philadelphian Ellen Hansell.
In 1970, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to use a tiebreak to decide a set that reached a 6–6 score in games and is the only major to use a tiebreak in the deciding set. The other three grand slams play out the deciding set until a two-game margin is achieved.
In 1973, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prize money to men and women with that year’s singles champions John Newcombe and Margaret Court both receiving $25,000.
The first edition was won by Richard Sears, who went on to win 7 straight single titles.
The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that has been played every year since its inception.