The U.S. Open turns 125 this year and has only become more vigorous after passing the century mark. In its early days, America’s premier tennis tournament offered only one title: the men’s single championship. Now there are five—men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. To help you keep track, here’s a TV schedule, from the official website, which is chock-full of information including regular match updates, analysis and features (A great primer on racket history is, unfortunately, marred by overzealous sponsor, Wilson). The mildly addictive Ball Boy Challenge provides a break.
Besides the rivalry between top-seeds Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the big story going into this two-week tennis bonanza is Andre Agassi. The Open has hosted some of the finest moments in his 20-year career. ESPN has a rundown of his numbers. The 36-year-old Agassi faces an uphill battle though, drawing the young phenom Marcos Baghdatis in the second round. If he gets by the eight seeded Baghdatis he will likely face a rejuvenated Andy Roddick in the fourth round. No matter what happens, Agassi will always have his new charter school.
The second story, wait for it, is the appearance of the instant replay at Forest Hills. If a call is questioned, fans, and players, will be able to watch the replay on an overhead screen.
On the women’s side, four of the top six players are Russian. They look to beat top-seeded Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo. The 49-year-old Martina Navratilova will be competing in doubles at the same time she is getting inducted into the U.S. Open’s Court of Champions along with Don Budge. Anyone whose spent time on a tennis court, knows the fast pace of doubles play is nothing to laugh at. Or maybe it is?
The BBC makes it easier to support up and coming players from your couch or the stands with printable masks for Rafael Nadal, the gawky Scottish superstar Andy Murray, and the angular Russian hottie Anastasia Myskina. To help you get primed, here are the top five U.S. Open points of the televised era. But really, the Open should consider miniaturizing.