The U.S. Open used to be known as the U.S. National Championship, but the tournament did not become what it is today until 1968. That was when the Open era began, as five separate events were merged into this one massive event. The first-ever U.S. Open as we know it had 96 male competitors and 63 female competitors. Arthur Ashe is the player that won the men’s singles tournament that year, and Virginia Wade was the winner of the women’s singles tournament. As for the doubles champions, Bob Lutz and Stan Smith were the winners for the men and Maria Bueno and Margaret Court were the winners for the women.
Ashe may be the single most important name associated with the event, as the stadium where the biggest U.S. Open matches are played is called Arthur Ashe Stadium. The venue sits 23,771 people and, as of 2016, features a retractable roof. This allows matches to be played whether or not it’s raining outside. You’ll also find big matches on Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and Court 17. All four of these “show courts” are a part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which has a total of 22 courts.
2016 U.S. Open Recap
In last year’s Men’s Singles competition, Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic squared off in the championship. Djokovic was the tournament’s defending champion, but that did not intimidate Wawrinka. Wawrinka ended up winning the match in four sets, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. It was Wawrinka’s third-ever Grand Slam victory. The tournament was also the first Grand Slam since 2004 that did not feature Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray competing in the semifinals.
In the Women’s Singles tournament, Angelique Kerber ended up facing Karolina Pliskova in the final. Kerber ultimately defeated Pliskova, as she triumphed, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Kerber was the first German to win the Open since Steffi Graf did it in 1996. Pliskova, however, had an incredible run that nobody will be forgetting any time soon. She defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals, which is obviously not an easy feat. Williams was hoping to run through the competition to win her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title, but Pliskova clearly had other ideas.
As for the doubles tournaments, the Men’s Doubles championship came down to Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares against Pablo Carreno Busta/Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Murray and Soares emerged victorious, winning 6-2, 6-3. It was a sweet ending for Murray, who lost in the championship a year before. On the women’s side, it was Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova against Carolina Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic in the final. Mattek-Sands and Safarova got the job done, winning 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. The two of them have had tremendous success with one another, as this was their third Grand Slam title as a team.
Who has won the most-ever U.S. Open singles tournaments?
While there are three men with seven U.S. Open singles titles (William Larned, Richard Sears, Bill Tilden), those players won those tournaments before 1968. That was before the Open era began. Since then, it has been Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer that have dominated this tournament. All three of them have won this event five times in their careers. The difference between Federer and the others is that he is still playing, and he is still doing so at a high level. As for the women, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory won eight championships before the Open era. But that is not the same as winning one with the way the tournament is currently set up. The two women that have had the most success in the U.S. Open as we know it are Chris Evert and Serena Williams. They each have won this tournament six times, but it would not be shocking if Williams were to win another someday.