Charting a sporting event is always great fun. More so, if that happens to be the vibrant US Open Tennis Championships which I came across in this piece. But to me, it appeared somewhat wayward and lacking purpose. Most of its charts could have been more efficiently represented through a table, and the only one which made some sense, or added some value was the one which depicted US women’s singles champion by country over time (1900 - 2011).
I decided to approach this from a different perspective. Firstly, I separated the amateur years from the open era which began in 1968. From 1881-1911, the US Open used a challenge system whereby the defending champion automatically qualified for the next year's final, creating in the bargain, some unbelievable feats like Richard Sears remaining undefeated in the tournament and winning the inaugural seven editions of the Championships. Furthermore, the difficulty in travelling to and from the USA in the earlier years can also be attributed to US ladies winning 26 of the first 28 editions, with only Mabel Cahill from Britain managing to break the stranglehold, and the men topping it by winning all but one between 1881-1925, when in 1903, Lawrence Doherty triumphed.
It also threw up some quirky facts:
- Players from 5 nations have won the US Open Men's & Ladies Championship before the Open Era.
- Players from 11 nations have won the US Open Men's & Ladies Championship in the Open Era.
- In 44 years of US Open since 1968, a total of 44 players has won either the Men or the Ladies Championship.
My Chart looks as follows.
Pick a Country:
Pick a Year:
and finally, Pick a Champion: