The competitors were all male, competing in both singles and doubles. Not long after, women's singles and women's doubles and mixed doubles also became a part of the growing annual tradition. The very first Men's champion was Richard D. Sears. He went on to dominate the tennis world for the next six years. Clarence Clark and W.F. Taylor took the first doubles title. In 1887, the first US Women's National Singles Championship was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and was won by Ellen Hansell. After seven years at Newport , the Championships began to tour the country at nine different venues. Until 1911 a challenge round was used, whereby the defending champion automatically qualified for the next year's final. This challenge round was abolished in 1920, and the knockout system that we know today was employed.
When the five major championships were fused in 1968, it marked the beginning of the Open Era at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens , New York . The prize money offered totaled $100,000, and was shared between 96 men and 63 women who competed. In 1970, US Open was the first tennis tournament to introduce the tie-breaking system. The introduction of the Open era created the modern event as we know it today .
The late 70's and early 80's was a golden age for the Americans, with home favorites John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors winning seven consecutive titles between them. The women's game was subjugated by Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova who have won fourteen titles between them over two decades. A new breed of tennis conquerors rose to the scenario in early 90's. Legendary Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi had several memorable duals on the court. Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport and the Williams Sisters took the reins of Ladies events. Now in Flushing Meadows and celebrating its 123 rd year, the event has emerged into the richest professional tennis event in the world open to amateurs and professionals.