Federer is the current defending champion of the US Open and has won the tournament this year for the fifth time. If you’ve been following along, you know that he’s the type of player that loves to compete in the US Open. The tournament is one of the four Grand Slams and usually takes place in the last major summer tournament of the year. It is widely regarded as the greatest tennis tournament of all time and has been called the Super Bowl of tennis. Federer is typically considered one of the greatest players of all time and has been compared to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for his business acumen and ability to influence the industry. He currently resides in Switzerland and has held numerous corporate positions, most recently serving as the Chief Commercial Officer of the global technology company SAP. He has been widely successful in business, having cofounded and served as Executive Chairman of the international software design company MetaOptics, as well as being the cofounder of the Swiss-based software company, Swatch Webcasting AG. He also currently serves as a Board Member of several other companies, including Lumesse Luxury Winch Spesaggi International S.A., and RCS Logistics S.A. With his unparalleled resume, it’s no wonder why he’s the favorite to win the 2019 US Open.
A Look Back At Past US Opens
The 2019 US Open is currently underway and will conclude on September 24th. It’s been a while since the event was last held in New York City, which means it’ll be quite some time before fans in the Big Apple get bored of the tennis tournaments. The city has been waiting for a professional sports team since the 1957-58 season, when the Brooklyn Dodgers left for California, and since then has had to rely on the New York Yankees for all its athletic needs. The city’s sports fans have been waiting a long time for something else to happen, and with the US Open being held every year, there’s always something new to look forward to. This year will mark the 69th edition of the tournament and will be the final major tournament of the year. With so much at stake, every match will be compelling viewing.
One of the most exciting things about the US Open is the nostalgia factor. The organizers and the players themselves go back and relive the golden age of tennis when the men’s and women’s tournaments were combined to form the Grand Slams. The men’s and women’s tournaments had been separate events since the early 20th century, but in the 1920s and 1930s, they were held together as part of a package tour, which meant players would compete in both events. When the tournaments were finally seperated again, it was not uncommon for players to retire from one tour to play on the other. Nowadays, players don’t have to worry about being dropped or having their places in the lineup given to someone else if they don’t show up. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of history and plenty of excitement surrounding the US Open. Here’s a quick look back at the event over the years.
1961: First US Open
The first US Open was held in June of 1961 and was attended by a mere 6,400 spectators. It was originally intended to be an informal event that the ATP and NAAAB, the predecessors of the ATP and WTA, used to determine the national tennis champions for the previous year. The first official US Open was held in 1968 and was an immediate success, drawing over 29,000 spectators.
1968: First Women’s Open
The first Women’s Open was held in June 1968 and was contested by four professional tennis players: the famous Russian Olga Kučka, British Rosemary Casals, American Chris Evert, and Italian Christine Sauvigny. The winner walked away with £2,000 and the trophy known as the ‘Golden Rooster’, which is still used today. The tournament had originally been planned to be a 100-player event, but was eventually reduced to four because of lack of interest from the four major tennis associations at the time. The four combined to form the Women’s Tennis Association, which was later rebranded the WTA in 1975. The first Women’s Open was a great success, drawing a crowd of 14,000 spectators and raising £20,000 for charity.
1972: First African-American To Break Through
Jack Kramer, the founder of the United States Tennis Association and the Tournament of Champions, became the first African-American man to break through and win a major tennis title in 1972. He went on to win the Tournament of Champions that year and also reached the semifinals of the French Open. Many people consider this win the “kick-start” to his professional tennis career, as he had been inactive for several years beforehand. Although Kramer was the first African-American man to win a major tennis title, it took him decades to finally gain acceptance in the tennis world. He died in 2013 at the age of 93.
1990: First Hardcourt Tournament
The first hardcourt (indoor/outdoor) tennis tournament was held in 1990 and was the precursor to the present-day US Open. It was opened to amateur players and featured an eight-player single-elimination format. The tournament was won by Pete Sampras, who defeated Andre Agassi in the final. Sampras went on to win the tournament twice, in 1992 and 1994, and helped to make the sport popular in the United States. The inaugural US Open was a great success, attracting a crowd of over 29,000 spectators and raising over $50,000 for charity. This was the first step towards making the US Open a permanent part of the tennis season.
2005: Record Crowds
The 2005 US Open attracted a record crowd of over 82,000 spectators and was the first tournament to be held at the new US Open Stadium. The previous year, the stadium had been the site of the first ever NFL game, which was played on a cold and blustery day. Despite the poor conditions, the stadium held up perfectly and was hailed a great success. The new stadium would go on to host the 2008 US Open as well, marking the first time in over a decade that the event had been held in New York City. The new US Open also featured a first of its kind “Fan Fest” that was open to the public, featuring player autographs, live music, and interactive tennis displays. This is one of the things that made the US Open so attractive to people in the first place: the ability to meet the players and take a photo op with them. The meet and greet sessions are still a part of the event today and allow the fans to have their picture taken with the players after they’ve competed. People love that.
2016: First No-Routine Draw
The 2016 US Open was the first time in history that the tournament organizers did not draw the seedings for the men’s and women’s tournaments. Instead, they let the draw come out of a hat, much like the NCAA Basketball tournament. This was done to spice things up a little bit and see how the players’ and fans’ reactions would be. Regardless, the matches were still settled based on the standings at the beginning of the year, with the year’s two greatest tennis players facing off in the semifinals.
2019: Fifth Title For Federer
For the fifth time in his career, Federer has won the US Open. The champion shut out Marin Cilic in the final and was able to pull off a major upset, winning 6-2 6-1. This means he’ll get to defend his title in the final in New York City against his archrival and lifelong friend, Pete Sampras. This is the final major tournament of the year and one of the greatest sporting events in the world, and it’ll be exciting to see what Federer is capable of at this stage in his career. Fans can also look forward to a year full of celebrations, with the 2020 US Open set to take place at the beginning of October.