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The US Open is one of tennis's four Grand Slam tournaments. Since 1987, the US Open has been the final Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar, following the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon.
The US Open schedule starts on the last Monday of August. The tournament lasts for two weeks and is held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York. The US Open is played on hard courts, in contrast to the French Open, which is played on clay, and Wimbledon, which is played on grass.
The list of US Open singles champions features some of the biggest names in tennis. In the Open Era, three men's players are tied for the most singles titles: Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Jimmy Connors. Federer won the US Open a remarkable five years in a row, from 2004-2008. Sampras won the US Open in 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, and 2002, while Connors won the singles title in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1983.
On the women's side, two tennis players are tied for the most singles titles in the Open Era: Chris Evert and Serena Williams. Evert won the US Open from 1975 through 1978 and in 1980 and 1982. Williams was US Open champion in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
US Open history stretches back to 1881 when the U.S. National Championship was played on the grass courts at the Newport Casino in Rhode Island. In 1915, the tournament relocated to the New York City area and was played at the West Side Tennis Club. The US Open moved to its current home at the USTA National Tennis Center in 1978, which is when the tournament switched from being played on clay to being played on hard courts. The National Tennis Center was renamed after tennis legend Billie Jean King, who won the US Open singles title four times, in 2006.
Matches during the US Open are spread out across more than 20 courts. The two highest-profile courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center are Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium, both of which have retractable roofs so that play can continue during inclimate weather. Arthur Ashe Stadium has seating for more than 20,000 people and hosts the singles championship matches. It is named for tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who won the US Open singles title in 1968. The surface on the hard courts at the US Open is called Pro DecoTurf and is rated by the International Tennis Federation as medium-fast. Since 2005, the courts have been painted a color of blue known as "US Open Blue."