Why US Open Is the Most Exciting Major of the Year

Michael Ann McKinlayContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

Why US Open Is the Most Exciting Major of the Year

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    On the eve of every Grand Slam tournament comes a major headline. Whether it's if Andy Murray will join the big three with a Grand Slam, or whether anyone can knock off Serena Williams; it gets the excitement brewing among tennis fans.    

    What makes the U.S. Open extra special is that it tells the final story of the Grand Slam season. It's the last chance players have to define their current season with unpredictable runs, matches and emotion. 

    As the finale of the Grand Slam season comes upon us, here are five reasons why the U.S. Open is the most exciting major. 

Late Night Entertainment

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    The U.S. Open isn’t the only major with night matches, but nothing beats Arthur Ashe marathons in the city that never sleeps.

    From American dramas brought to you by Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick and James Blake to the birth of Novak Djokovic and his impersonations, nights are never dull.

Sudden Death Tiebreakers

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    After going the distance in all three of the other Grand Slams in his career, John Isner has to be grateful for this invention.

    Since 1970, the U.S. Open has used the tiebreaker system in each set, and to this day, is the only major to do so in the deciding set.

    Tiebreakers are great for the modern game, as we see which player has a little more consistency and stamina to win the set. These are the kind of endings we live for in sports.   

The New York and Fan Atmosphere

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    New York City is the largest host city of all the Grand Slams, and contains the largest tennis crowd in Arthur Ashe stadium. 

    From high-fives to crazy brawls in the nosebleeds (which surprisingly don't interrupt play), the upbeat New York vibe lives at the U.S. Open.  

Super Saturdays

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    Although top players such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal might not think this is the greatest scheduling invention, it's great for T.V. viewers to witness two men's semifinals and a women's final all in one day. This makes the final weekend of the Grand Slam season extra special. 

    Having said that, the men's format looks like it's headed for change, according to the New York Times.

    The men may be given a rest on Sunday, with the final moved instead to Monday. Due to inclement weather, the last two men's finals have been played on Monday as it is.

    With this change, it would also prompt the organizers to move the women's final to Sunday.   

    Either way, thanks to CBS and their television contracts, we can enjoy "Super Saturday" for one last time this year. 

US Open Series Bonus Prize Money

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    Although there isn't a strong correlation of U.S. Open Series winners to U.S. Open champions, two players have taken advantage of the extra money.

    Kim Clijsters in 2005 was the first player to reap the benefit of the bonus prize money by successfully winning the series and her first Grand Slam title. She went home with 2.2 million dollars.

    On the men's side, Roger Federer in 2007 won both, and came away with 2.4 million dollars. That's the highest paycheck the U.S. Open has ever given, according to ABC.net.

    This aspect is what makes the U.S. Open unique, since no other Grand Slam rewards players for playing in warm-up events.

    The U.S. Open Series is also great because it provides televised tennis matches each weekend throughout the summer, which gets tennis and non-tennis fans alike excited for the two weeks in New York. It's a win-win situation.