Last Updated on August 25, 2022
The US Open is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. Tennis athletes have been playing on the courts of the US Open since 1881 and the competition level has only waxed stronger since its inception.
The US Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the tennis circuit in a Calendar year. It is held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York City.
Part of the prestige of the US Open can be attributed to its appeal as a sporting event that showcases a high-level playing field and attracts the very best of fans.
A part of its prestige is also attributable to its being something of an essential part of Tennis History. The US Open is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in existence and it has a history that is both rich and eventful.
The first edition of the US Open was played in 1881 in Newport Rhode Island. This first edition was for men only and was dubbed the US National Singles Championship for men. The winner of the inaugural tournament was Richard Sears. Sears won the first seven editions of the men’s singles event.
In 1887, the US Open held its first women’s singles and men’s doubles event. The first men’s doubles event was held in South Orange, New Jersey while the inaugural women’s singles event was held at the Philadelphia cricket club.
Women doubles and Mixed doubles would later be added to the US Open roster. Some events of the US Open had no static home. Several editions were hosted in different cities possibly to promote tennis in the United States of America.
At various points in its history, the US Open was played using a challenge system format. The challenge system was set up in such a way that the winner of the competition only qualified for a final against the defending champion. So winning an event automatically qualified you for the final of the next year.
The challenge system format is no longer in use at the US Open. All events of the US Open are also presently held under one roof (figuratively that is). Since 1978, All events of the US Open have been played at the USTA National tennis center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York.
The USTA tennis complex was renamed in 2006 after four-time US Open champion Billie Jean King. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has 22 courts within its premises and 11 adjoining courts just outside its east gates.
Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center Courts
Five of the 22 courts in the center are practice courts and are located to the west. There are three playing courts (courts: 4,5,6) adjacent to the practice courts. Ten other playing courts ( courts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16) are also presently situated along the south end of the complex.
The main courts/stadiums of the Billie Jean King center are the Arthur Ashe court, the Louise Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and Court 17.
The Arthur Ashe stadium is the largest in the complex. It has a seating capacity of over 23 000. The stadium is located in the Northwest of the complex. The stadium is named after American pro tennis player Arthur Ashe who won the inaugural US Open men’s singles title in 1968.
The Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis stadium in the world and is the main center court of the US Open. A ticket is needed for entry into the stadium during the US Open.
Next in line and prominence is the Louise Armstrong Stadium. The stadium is named after prominent jazz musician Louise Armstrong who used to live very close to the center till his death.
The Louise Armstrong has a seating capacity of 14000. The Louise Armstrong stadium is equipped with a retractable roof.
The US Open like most prominent tennis complex also has a Grandstand court. The Grandstand of the Billie Jean complex is located in its southwest corner. The grandstand has a seating capacity of 8000.
During the US Open, general admissions are allowed in the Grandstand on a first-come, first serve basis. Unlike most traditional Grandstands though, the newly constructed Grandstand of the Billie Jean King Center seems to have a circular shape.
The fourth largest show court in the Billie Jean King Center is Court 17. Court 17 is located in the southeast corner of the grounds. it has a seating capacity of 2800.
Court 17 is famously referred to as the pit because the playing court is sunk a few feet below ground level. The pit has been described as the go-to court at the US Open for an intimate experience. The courts are closer to the stands and the view is amazing.
The Newport Casino Tennis Court where the first US Open Tournament was held had a grass surface. Consequently, the playing surface for US Open events was Grass.
The US Open switched playing surfaces from Grass to Clay in 1975. The switch was made to address player concerns about the grass surface.
The playing surface change coupled with the addition of floodlights to the courts was also used as an experiment to drive appeal and viewership on Television. Night matches have become a mainstay and an attraction of the US Open. All courts of the US Open are equipped with floodlights for this purpose.
The US Open changed playing surfaces once more from Clay to Hardcourt in 1978. In 1978 the US Open was moved to its present location in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New york. The new venue, the USTA National Tennis Center was built with hardcourts.
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Change of Court Colour to blue
The Court surfaces at the US Open have been painted blue within the playing lines since the year 2005. The blue color is used to make the ball more visible and easier to spot by players and fans alike.
In 2020, the US Open decided to change its hardcourt surface from Decoturf(which it had used since 1978) to Laykold( another brand of hardcourt).
Where is the US Open tennis court?
The US Open is hosted annually at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, Queens, New York City, United States of America.
What are the Main Courts at the US Open?
The central court and main stadium of the US Open is the ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM. This court can seat over 23,000 spectators and is the prime venue for the tournament. It is followed closely by the 14,000 capacity LOUISE ARMSTRONG STADIUM which supports as stadium two for the tournament. The 8000-capacity GRANDSTAND comes in third and has over the years seen its share of mouth-watering clashes.
COURT 17 aka “THE PIT” is a 2800-seater court located in the southeast corner of the Billie Jean King center. The pit is the fourth and smallest showcourt at the center. The other smaller courts of the center also host some matches during the US Open.
Can you play at the US Open courts?
The courts at the Billie Jean King center used for the US Open are usually open for play. The public can make use of them except during the US Open, when they are in use for wood racquet competitions, and during other USTA events usually involving juniors.
How many courts at the US Open have roofs?
Arthur Ashe stadium and the Louise Armstrong stadium are both equipped with retractable roofs that can withstand very high winds and are closed or opened depending on weather conditions.
What are the US Open tennis courts made of?
The US Open uses the Laykold brand of the hardcourt surface. It consists of an asphalt or concrete base over which a tennis hardcourt is overlain. Between the hardcourt and the base, there may or may not be a “Laykold cushion layer” depending on preference. Laykold hardcourts innovatively are composed of gel, are kind to athletes’ joints, reduce fatigue, and are very durable.
What color are the US Open tennis courts?
The US Open tennis courts are painted a shade of blue within the playing lines. This shade of blue is referred to as “The US Open Blue”. The US Open blue helps greatly with the visibility of the ball. Outside of the playing lines, the court surfaces are colored “US Open Green”.
Who owns the US Open?
The Organisation and Administration of the US Open are carried out by the United State Tennis Association (USTA), a non-profit organization tasked with the growth and development of tennis in the United States of America.
What do you wear to the US Open?
The US open requires that shirts and footwear be worn at all times. As long as your clothing does not display any inappropriate, or offensive messaging or imagery, you can wear them to the US Open. There is no strict color code for both players and spectators.