American Open tennis - a history

Since Arthur Ashe claimed the men's single crown at the inaugural 1968 American Open Tennis championships (better known as the US Open), defeating Dutchman Tom Okker in a thrilling five set final, the tournament has become one of the most highly-anticipated sports events of the year.

The fourth and final Grand Slam event of the calendar year (after the Australian and French opens and Wimbledon) the US Open takes place in August and September - the weeks before and after Labor Day.

Played on hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York, it's the only Grand Slam tournament to employ tiebreaks at the end of every set.

Defending Champion Rafael Nadal became only the second player to achieve a Golden Slam - all four Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic Gold Medal - when he won the men's singles title for the first time in 2010.

Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer are tied as the winners of the most men's singles titles since 1968 with five each. Chris Evert holds the record for women's singles with six.

The current prize money for the winners of the men's and women's singles title is $1,650,000, just over £1,035,000. Numerous greats have picked up the title over the years including Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters, Martina Navrátilová and Kim Clijsters. However, the title evaded the grasp of some notable stars including Björn Borg, who lost four times in the final.

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