ANNNOUNCER ANDY TAYLOR CELEBRATES 21-YEARS IN ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM
With his individual style and delivery, Andy writes and narrates every player’s introduction – celebrating their career accomplishments, providing context for fans before each match. As a voice talent, he also narrates video content and special announcements broadcast across the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. For twenty-one years, his distinctive sound and energy has helped drive and enhance the fan experience — Informing. Entertaining. Celebrating the sport and its colorful cast of characters.
In addition to his long-standing role in New York, Taylor has also emceed other global events including the Olympic Games, Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Qatar Total Open, PSA Men’s World Championship, Qatar Classic Squash Championship and the World Padel Championship.
US OPEN | OPEN ERA MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPIONS
MILESTONE ON THE LINE AT THE 2022 US OPEN
In the Open Era, only four players have won 22 or more Grand Slam Singles titles. In 1973, Margaret Court captured her 24th Singles Major at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. A record that still stands 49-years later.
Meanwhile, the great Stefi Graf captured her 22nd and final Grand Slam Singles title at Roland Garros in 1999. Not to be outdone, 6-time US Open champion Serena Williams lifted her 23rd Grand Slam Singles trophy at the 2017 Australian Open; a memorable Melbourne fortnight where Serena and sister Venus rolled back the years, going toe-to-toe in the Final.
While Serena once again chases Court’s record in her final US Open appearance, a new name has emerged in the 22 Majors Club: Rafael Nadal.
This season, Nadal captured his second Australian Open title, then triumphed for an inconceivable 14th time at Roland Garros; before an abdominal tear ended his Wimbledon run in the Semifinals. Already standing alone with more Singles Majors than any other player in the history of the Men’s Tour, should Nadal capture his 5th US Open title in Flushing, he will become a 23-time Grand Slam Champion.
142 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE 55th US OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The US Open began in 1881, and has evolved beyond measure over the last century and a half.
Four years after the first Wimbledon Championships, members of the Newport Casino in Rhode Island established the U.S. National Singles Championship. Popularity of the sport exploded during the following eight decades. And by 1968, the Open Era began, finally allowing professionals to compete alongside amateurs. Ever since, the sports four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open – cemented their status as the premiere events in professional tennis. Today, these Major trophies and titles are the pinnacle of career achievement.
GRAND SLAM TENNIS TOURNAMENTS – A LONG AND STORIED HISTORY
First, a quick timeline reflecting the roots of the Grand Slam:
- 1877 – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club organized the first Wimbledon Championship.
- 1881 – Members of the Newport Casino in Rhode Island (now home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame) created the first U.S. National Singles Championship.
- 1891 – France joined the party. Though the tournament itself was not recognized as a Grand Slam until international participation was allowed in 1925.
- 1905 – Australia’s Major began as the Australasian Championships, earning Grand Slam status by 1924.
THE OPEN ERA BUILDS GRAND SLAM PRESTIGE
For decades, the Grand Slams only showcased amateur competition, the U.S. National Championship included. Prize money was paltry. Professional talents earned a living through traveling tours, rather than tournaments like Grand Slams. Essentially, two or more professionals would travel together from city to city. Competing night after night. Earning money through ticket sales.
Then in 1968, the Open Era began – allowing both amateur and professional athletes in a tournament format. That year, France hosted the first Open, followed by England and the United States. Brisbane hosted Australia’s Open debut the following January. With the sport’s top global talents all converging on the same four annual tournaments, the Grand Slams put themselves in position to grow alongside the popularity of the game.
Today, the US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. In 2019, over 720-thousand fans passed through the gates of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. That year, Singles champions earned over $3.8-million, while players who fell in the First Round grossed $60-thousand.
To put that in perspective: In 1968, the inaugural US Open committed $14,000 for the Men’s Singles Champion. When Arthur Ashe won – because he was an amateur – he turned down the prize money. Instead, the legendary humanitarian settled for a $20 per diem. What a difference 55-years makes.
COVID-19 AND THE US OPEN
In 2020, the US Open was the first Major to return after COVID-19 transformed life as we knew it. No fans. Cavernous, empty stadiums. Separate “bubbles” for players and crew. Regular coronavirus testing. Strict social distancing.
Last year, thanks to vaccines and those who chose to receive them, the gates were opened at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. And the players didn’t disappoint.
With fans finally back, clearly starved for Grand Slam drama and intrigue after 24-months, the athletes used New York’s pent-up energy and electricity as fuel, playing well beyond their limits and expectations. Together – with raw, overwhelming fan-engagement the world over – the sport itself firmly thrust its dagger through the heart of COVID-19.
Tennis is back. Full stop. And the impending, unexpected plot twists are positively tantalizing. Welcome to the 2022 US Open Tennis Championships.