The US Open (official title: United States Open Tennis Championships) is an annual tennis tournament held in August-September in New York City. It is one of the four major tennis tournaments (along with the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon) and is also one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. It is one of the richest tournaments in the world, with a total prize pool of over $34 million. There are a number of tournaments that take place simultaneously, including men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles (juniors, seniors and wheelchair tournaments are also held close to this time). The tournament has undergone many changes since it was created and the modern version features 128 men and women competing in a knockout competition. Let’s find out who won the first US Open.
Who won the first US Open?
The tournament, originally called U.S. National Championship, was first held in August 1881 and players competed for both the men’s singles and men’s doubles title. The first winner of the US Open was American Richard Sears (pictured), who easily accounted for William Glyn with the score 6–0, 6–3, 6–2. Sears went on to win the next six US Open Championships as well! This feat remains a record, although it was a little easier for the defending champion in the early days because they were given automatic entry into the next year’s final. The first doubles title was won by Clarence Clark and Frederick Winslow Taylor.
Women were not granted entry into the tournament until 1887. The first female winner of the US Open was Ellen Hansell who easily beat Laura Knight 6-1, 6-0. The first women’s doubles championship was held in 1889 and was won by Margarette Ballard and Bertha Townsend.
The mixed doubles debuted in 1892 and was won by Mabel Cahill and Clarence Hobart.
Did you know?
Richard Sears also won 6 consecutive US Open doubles titles from 1882 to 1887. In his first 3 singles championships he never lost a single set!