Friday, December 1, 2023

US Open: The finale of the Grand Slam season – Tennis Connected

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Geneva, 21 August 2023 – With origins dating back to 1881, the US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world and serves up an electric atmosphere as the fourth and final Grand Slam® tournament of the season. This year’s edition at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York will take place from 28 August10 September.

As part of its long-term commitment to the sport extending more than 40 years, Rolex has been Official Timekeeper of the US Open since 2018. The tournament has been a rich source of success for the Rolex family of Testimonees, including Chris Evert, who was just 17 when she reached the semi-finals for the first time. The American went on to win the women’s singles title six times. With victories at the Australian Open (two), Roland-Garros (seven) and The Championships, Wimbledon (three), she is one of the few champions to have triumphed on all the Grand Slam surfaces of her era.

Speaking about her affinity for the US Open, Chris Evert said: “Playing at home was always so special due to the New York crowd and Arthur Ashe Stadium. While every year was different, there were new and exciting qualities in every tournament I played there. Winning six times in my home country is something that will always stay with me.

Returning to New York as defending champion this year is Iga ?wi?tek. The 22-year-old claimed her maiden US Open title in 2022, winning the final in straight sets, and will be seeking to add to her four Grand Slam wins after victory at Roland-Garros in May.

Fellow Testimonee Carlos Alcaraz will also be vying to defend his title, having claimed the men’s singles crown and his maiden Grand Slam triumph at last year’s tournament. That victory resulted in the Spaniard becoming, at the age of 19, the youngest ever World No. 1. He enters the 2023 US Open in superb form after lifting the trophy at The Championships, Wimbledon following an incredible final, securing the second Grand Slam title of his career.

Reflecting on his experience at the 2022 US Open, Carlos Alcaraz said: “I never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old. Everything came so fast. For me, it’s unbelievable and something that I had always dreamt of since I was a kid. It means so much to have lots of people supporting me in New York. During Grand Slam tournaments, there are so many tough moments but the fans at the US Open have always been there for me, believing in me and supporting me. When I finished my semi-final against Jannik Sinner last year, they were supporting me until the final point at 03:00am.

Other Testimonees to have reigned supreme in the Big Apple include: Rod Laver (1962, 1969), Stefan Edberg (1991, 1992), Pat Rafter (1997, 1998), Justine Henin (2003, 2007), Roger Federer (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), Juan Martín del Potro (2009), Angelique Kerber (2016), Sloane Stephens (2017), Bianca Andreescu (2019) and Dominic Thiem (2020).

The US Open is one of the world’s most thrilling sporting events. Attracting an impassioned crowd every year, it is always eagerly anticipated by players and spectators alike. At the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the stands tower above the court. With a seating capacity of 23,700 – by far the largest in Grand Slam tennis – the centrepiece arena is a veritable “lion’s den” during big matches. This ultra-charged atmosphere has become a defining feature of the US Open. Many matches are played in the evening in the sizzling ambience of a New York summer. This is what sets the US Open apart and players feed off the exuberant energy in the stands and adapt to their tumultuous surrounds.

The tournament is rich in history and was first held in April 1981 on grass courts at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island, now home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Having relocated to the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens, the US Open switched to clay courts in 1975, before moving to its current home and the hard courts of Flushing Meadows in 1978. In 1973, the US Open was the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments to offer equal prize money for men and women, a pioneering decision that moved the sport towards a more equitable future.

For Rolex, a tennis match is a special kind of duel, one pitting adversaries on each side of the net, who become essential partners in the pursuit of excellence, each pushing themselves to the limit, and in doing so, pushing their opponents to greater heights. Rolex’s association with the US Open is part of an enduring relationship with the sport that began at Wimbledon in 1978. Since then, Rolex has enjoyed a special connection with tennis, a sport with global appeal whose history continues to be written with new challenges, new stories and new champions.

The Swiss watchmaker’s presence in the game has grown and flourished, permeating every level. United in the pursuit of precision and perpetual excellence, Rolex partners all four Grand Slam tournaments and has joined forces with a range of organizations, players and premium events on the men’s and women’s tours, as well as the leading international team contests. Rolex also helps to foster the development of tennis by strengthening its commitment to young talent and the most iconic athletes whose exceptional feats have brought glamour and greatness to the sport.


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