United States Open Tennis

United States Open Tennis

September
The U.S. Open is the final tournament in the four events that make up the Grand Slam of tennis. (The others are the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.) Also known as the U.S. Championships, the games are played on hard courts at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, N.Y. They had been played from 1915 to 1978 in Forest Hills, also in Queens. Separate amateur and professional open championships were held in 1968 and 1969, and the tournament became exclusively an open in 1970.
The U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association was established in 1881, and the first official U.S. National Championship was played under its auspices that year in Newport, R.I. The first women's championship was played in 1887. The golden age at Forest Hills is considered to have been the 1920s when William T. "Big Bill" Tilden II dominated the game. He was U.S. Open champion seven times: 1920-25 and 1929. Other seven-time winners were Richard Sears (1881-87) and William Larned (1901, 1902, 1907-11). Jimmy Connors took the title five times (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983). In the women's championships, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory is the all-time champ; she won eight times (1915-18, 1920-22, 1926). Helen Wills Moody won seven times (1923-25, 1927-29, 1931). "Little Poker Face," as she was called, also won eight Wimbledons and four French Opens.
Ranking near the top of the excitement scale were the wins in the U.S. Championships that sewed up the Grand Slam championship. In 1938, Don Budge was the first to win all four Grand Slam titles. The feat wasn't equaled until 1962 when Rod Laver won all four. Then he did it again in 1969. In 1953, Californian Maureen Connolly became the first woman to sweep the Grand Slam titles. Known as "Little Mo," she had won her first U.S. Championship at the age of 16 in 1951. A horse-riding accident in 1954 cut her career short, and she died in 1969. Women who have won all Grand Slam titles since then are Margaret Smith Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988.
CONTACTS:
United States Tennis Association
70 W. Red Oak Ln.
White Plains, NY 80604
914-696-7000; fax: 914-696-7234
www.usta.com
References in periodicals archive ?
BRITISH registered amateur Virginia Wade out hit American professional Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon champion, to win the women's singles final today in the first United States Open Tennis Championship.
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