How well do you know the U.S. Open? How well do you know tennis? Try this AP quiz about the tournament that begins Monday in New York:
1st Round: Serena Williams and Roger Federer
Last year's U.S. Open was the last tournament of Serena Williams' playing career. Soon after, Roger Federer announced his retirement. This U.S. Open closes the 2023 Grand Slam season and marks the end of the first full year in which neither Williams nor Federer won a match at any major since when? (Bonus: In which year, and at which tournament, did each make a Grand Slam debut?)
2nd Round: Equal Prize Money
The U.S. Tennis Association is marking the 50th anniversary of when the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to offer equal prize money to the women's and men's singles champions, paying $25,000 to both Margaret Court and John Newcombe. (This year's champions each will receive $3 million.) The 1972 men's champion, Ilie Nastase, also got $25,000. What did the 1972 women's champion, Billie Jean King, make? (Bonus: When did the other majors pay the singles champions the same amount?)
3rd Round: First-Time Major Champions
Aryna Sabalenka (at the Australian Open in January) and Marketa Vondrousova (at Wimbledon in July) each collected her first Grand Slam title in 2023. Both were 24 at the time. Who was the oldest first-time winner of a major singles championship in women's tennis? (Bonus: How old was she, which tournament did she win and whom did she beat in the final?)
a.) Ann Jones
b.) Flavia Pennetta
c.) Francesca Schiavone
d.) Marion Bartoli
4th Round: Carlos Alcaraz's Youth
Carlos Alcaraz was 19 when he won the U.S. Open last year, making him the tournament's first teenage men's champion since Pete Sampras in 1990. Alcaraz's Wimbledon trophy in July made him, at 20, the fifth man in the Open era (which began in 1968) to win multiple Grand Slam titles before his 21st birthday. Who holds the men's record for most major championships before turning 21? (Bonus: How many did he win by that age — and overall?)
a.) Mats Wilander
b.) Rafael Nadal
c.) Boris Becker
d.) Bjorn Borg
Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic returns to the U.S. Open after missing the tournament a year ago, when he was not allowed to fly into the United States because he's not vaccinated against COVID-19. He has won 23 Grand Slam singles trophies, tied with Serena Williams for the most by anyone in the Open era of tennis. He’s also tied with Roger Federer with 46 Slam semifinals reached. At which of the major tournaments has Djokovic won the fewest quarterfinals? (Bonus: How many semifinals has he reached at each?)
a.) U.S. Open
c.) French Open
d.) Australian Open
Semifinals: Fifth-Set Tiebreakers
The U.S. Open was the first Grand Slam tournament to use final-set tiebreakers, adding them in 1970 (now all four majors use them). How many U.S. Open men's finals have been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker? (Bonus: Name the years and the champions.)
Final: Champions in U.S. Open Debut
How many women have won the U.S. Open in their tournament debut? (Bonus: Name the players and the years.)
1st Round. c. That was the last year that neither Williams, who finished with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, or Federer, who finished with 20, participated in any of the majors. Her Slam debut came at the 1998 Australian Open, where she reached the second round before losing to her sister, Venus. She won multiple matches at majors every subsequent season until 2023. Federer's first majors came in 1999, when he lost in the first round at the French Open and Wimbledon; he would win at least one Slam title every year from 2003-10, including a streak of 23 consecutive semifinal appearances.
2nd Round. b. King led the push for equal pay. The Australian Open temporarily paid women and men the same in 1984, then stopped in 1996, before resuming for good in 2001. The French Open paid its champions the same in 2006, and paid women and men equally throughout the tournament the next year. Wimbledon offered equal pay in 2007.
3rd Round. b. Pennetta was 33 when she defeated Roberta Vinci 7-6 (4), 6-2 at the 2015 U.S. Open, then declared she would soon retire. Jones was 30 when she won Wimbledon in 1969. Schiavone was 29 when she won the 2010 French Open; Bartoli was 28 when she won Wimbledon in 2013.
4th Round. a. Wilander won four of his seven Grand Slam titles before he turned 21: the French Open in 1982 and 1985, and the Australian Open in 1983 and 1984. By that age, Borg had won three, and Nadal and Becker two apiece.
Quarterfinals. d. While Djokovic has won his highest number of Slam trophies at the Australian Open, 10, he has reached the semifinals there 10 times, the least for him at any major (he is a combined 20-0 in semifinals and finals at Melbourne Park.) Djokovic has been to the semifinals 12 times apiece at the other majors: Wimbledon (seven titles), the French Open (three) and the U.S. Open (three).
Semifinals. c. Dominic Thiem's 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over Alexander Zverev at the 2020 U.S. Open — held without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic — is the only men's final decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker in the more than half-century of that match-settling setup in New York. Thiem also became the first man since 1949 to win the tournament's title after dropping the final's first two sets.
Final. a. It had never happened until 2019, when Bianca Andreescu did it at age 19 by beating Serena Williams in the final. It happened again two years later in 2021, when Emma Raducanu did it at age 18 by beating Leylah Fernandez. Andreescu did it in her fourth major overall; Raducanu in her second.
Howard Fendrich has been the AP’s tennis writer since 2002.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis