My 5 things you didn’t know about the US Open (Grand Slam tennis tournament) include a tidbit about a non-sporting event that took place on the venue’s grounds. This year’s tournament will be in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York from August 30-September 12. These 5 things you didn’t know about the US Open are in no particular order. But one sports trivia nugget involves Jimmy Connors.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about the US Open (Grand Slam Tennis Tournament) Tidibit 1: This Event is the Result of Mergers
This tournament is made up of Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles Championships. Yet these events didn’t come together as the US Open until 1968, according to Wikipedia, when the US (National) Championship (for men’s singles), US National Men’s Doubles Championship, US Women’s National Singles and Doubles Championships plus US Mixed Doubles Championship were combined into one event at Forest Hills, New York. Prize money was only $100,000. This year, it will be at least $22.6 million, according to the tournament’s official website.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about the US Open (Grand Slam Tennis Tournament) Tidbit 2: Your Name Can Be Part of the Complex
According to the USTA website, tennis fans can have their names placed on paver stones (deadline for this year has passed) which make up the Avenue of Aces that leads from the east gate to Arthur Ashe Stadium if they spend $1,000 to $25,000. Those proceeds go to help at-risk youth get involved in the sport. The sizes of these remembrances range from 8″ x 8″ to 16″ x 16″, and come in brick, cast bronze and cast aluminum. So if you happen to walk on the Avenue of Aces, realize that it wasn’t cheap to have one’s name put there.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about the US Open (Grand Slam Tennis Tournament) Tidbit 3: Jimmy Connors Is the Only Player to Win Singles Titles on All Three Surfaces
According to the US Open’s Official Website, Jimmy Connors has won 5 singles titles (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983). Yet during this time, this tournament was played on three different surfaces: grass (until 1974), clay (1975-77), and DecoTurf (since 1978), according to Wikipedia; and thus, Connors is the only person to win singles titles on all three surfaces.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about the US Open (Grand Slam Tennis Tournament)) Tidbit 4: The 1964 World’s Fair Was Held On Site
Louis Armstrong Stadium, which used to be the main stadium for this tennis Grand Slam event, was once known as The Singer Bowl (due to the sewing machine company’s sponsorship). It was built for the 1964 World’s Fair. Before the USTA moved the US Open to the area in 1978, Olympic trials as well as concerts took place there, too. And well known boxing personalities like Floyd Patterson, Vito Antuofermo, and Saoul Mamby exchanged uppercuts and right crosses with other boxers in 1972, according to Wikipedia.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about the US Open (Grand Slam Tennis Tournament) Tidbit 5: Tennis at Night
2010 will mark the 35th anniversary of the first nighttime tennis matches for Grand Slam events, according to the US Open’s website. It took place at the former venue, Forest Hills, on clay courts. Manuel Orantes was ready for primetime as he defeated Guillermo Vilas in a five set semi-final match 4-6, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. The Spaniard staved off five match points, and was losing 0-5 in the fourth match before rebounding. The next day, he defeated Jimmy Connors in straight sets.
US Open (tennis): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Open_(tennis), Wikipedia
2010 US Open base prize money tops record $22.6 million with potential $25.2 million payout: http://www.usopen.org/2010_us_open_base_prize_money_tops_record_226_million_with_potential_252_million_payout/, July 8, 2010, The Official Website of the 2010 US Open
Avenue of Aces: http://02e2784.netsolstores.com/paverstones.aspx, United States Tennis Association
Champions: http://2009.usopen.org/en_US/about/history/mschamps.html?promo=topnav, The Official Site of the 2009 US Open
Singer Bowl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singer_Bowl, Wikipedia
History: http://2009.usopen.org/en_US/about/history/years.html?promo=topnav, The Official Site of the 2009 US Open