The US Open is held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York. This year Roger Federer will be trying to equal Bill Tilden’s record of 6 straight US Open singles championships titles, which he won from 1920 to 1925.
The US Open main draw begins on Monday 31 August and runs for 2 weeks. The men’s final is held on Sunday 13 September.
Since 1987 the US Open has been the 4th and final Grand Slam tournament played each year. The US Open is unique amongst the 4 Grand Slam events because it is the only Grand Slam that plays a tie-break to decide the 5th and final set.
Last year Federer won the US Open Men’s Singles Championship by defeating Andy Murray in the final 6-2 7-5 6-2. For Murray it was his first time he won through to the singles final of a Grand Slam tournament. Federer earned 2000 ranking points whilst Murray scored 1400 points.
The 2008 US Open semi finalists were Rafael Nadal who lost to Murray and Novak Djokovic who was beaten by Federer. The quarter finalists were Mardy Fish, Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Roddick and Gilles Muller.
In a Grand Slam tournament there are 128 players in the main draw. There are 32 seeded players in a Grand Slam event. This year the seeding will be based on the ATP World Tour rankings once they are updated on 24 August 2009.
104 of the 128 main draw spots are allocated to direct acceptances. The rankings as of 20 July 2009 were used to determine who the 104 highest ranked players where. Those players then gain direct entry into the main draw.
It must be noted that although the US Open starts on 31 August 2009, the top 104 players are determined more than a month prior.
This year 102 players were accepted directly and 2 players used a special condition to enter with their “protected rankings”. These 2 players are Juan Ignacio Chela and Andrei Pavel.
The remaining 24 spots are broken into 2 categories: Wild Card entrants and Qualifiers. There are 8 USTA Wild Cards and 16 spots for qualifiers. The men’s qualifying event is a mini knock out tournament consisting of 128 players. Only 16 players who each win 3 matches in a row will “qualify” for the main draw. Qualifying is held from Tuesday August 25 through to Friday August 28 and is free to attend.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) have just announced who they chose to give the Wild Cards to for this year: 6 Americans; Devin Britton, Chase Buchanan, Taylor Dent, Brendan Evans, Jesse Levine and Rajeev Ram.
The final 2 Wild Cards are used in a reciprocal arrangement with 2 other Grand Slam tournaments; the French Open and the Australian Open. Therefore, Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation are able to choose 1 Wild Card entrant each.
The French chose native Michael Llodra and the Australians chose Aussie Chris Guccione. This arrangement gives the USTA a Main Draw Wild Card at these 2 events in return.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further updates about the 2009 US Open singles events. Click this link to see an index of all 2009 US Open posts -> US Open 2009: Aug 25 – Sep 14.
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photo credit: Lucky B