The game of tennis enjoys a long and storied history among major sports the world over. Beginning in many parts of Europe as far back as the 12th Century, tennis remains one of the most popular sports around today. Once the sport limited only to the nobility, tennis has become the sport for many top notch athletes, many of whom understand the importance of tradition and remembering what came before.
The US Open was first created in 1881. The fourth and final Grand Slam in tennis major run of annual tournaments, the US Open is a highly respected event, where many of tennis’ top pros play ever year. Men and women alike are invited to play and some can earn many thousands of dollars in prize money.
It began play in Rhode Island and that first year way back in 1881, only club members were allowed to play in the tournament. For the first thirty or so years, the tourney used an open challenge system where the defending champion was automatically placed into the new year’s finals match to take on the winner of the rest.
In 1915 it moved to Forest Hills, NY but then for a couple years during the early 20’s, the US Open was played in Philadelphia but then once it moved back to Forest Hills in 1924, it became the world recognized Major tennis tournament we know today. This rich history provides us with an understanding of where we come from as tennis players and each tennis player that embraces this past can better know the history of the sport and thus a better appreciation.
Of course, back then, only men were allowed to enter and it took some time before they had women competing against each other in the tourney. But once they did, the US Open was in full swing as one of the premier events in the country, nay, even the world, for tennis players. The best and brightest players America had to offer were coming to pit themselves against others of their caliber.
Different events, some with men, others with women, still more with doubles play, were all merged together to form the US Open into one big tournament, which became play in the form we know in 1968. In the 1970’s, they began awarding equal prize money for the winners in both men and women’s play. For the first time in the history of the tourney, everyone was getting paid the same and equality was achieved for both sexes.
The US Open is the Super Bowl of tennis play in the United States. Massive media coverage is available for tennis fans around the world, and fans can enjoy watching their favorite players compete with the best the game of tennis has to offer. These competitors are playing for prize money numbering in the hundreds of thousands, not to mention the popularity and notoriety that comes with competing in a Major. These athletes can gain valuable coverage and the possibility of sponsorship from companies willing to spend money to support them.
Endorsements galore can be had by athletes competing in the US Open and each and every one of them competes at the best of their abilities. Tournaments like the US Open are important because they push tennis players to the height of their limits, giving them reason to sacrifice and work hard.
Without that goal, without that ultimate reason to play as hard as possible and put in the time it takes to achieve, many players would never find out what they are made of. It is the dream of professional tennis players everywhere to compete in a Major. The US Open is the one of the most successful and high profile of the four and gives each athlete a reason to work hard and also gives them a venue to showcase their skills.