Tennis is one of the most popular sports around the world, with 641 million people interested globally. Nine countries have interest levels of 50% or higher in the sport, and the U.S. is at 36%. According to Nielsen SportsDNA, the U.S. accounts for just over 12% of the global tennis fan base, and the U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam tennis event of the year, is the most popular among Americans.
In the U.S, 31.7% of people ages 16-69 are interested in the U.S. Open, making it more popular than Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open.
Out of the local television markets in the U.S., New York, the host city for the event, has the highest percentage of people who said they watched the U.S. Open last year. The tournament is also very popular among fans in Florida and Virginia. Last year, four of the top 10 local markets for watching the U.S. Open were in Florida.
According to Gracenote Sports, seven former U.S. Open champions are competing in the women’s singles draw at this year’s U.S. Open, headed by six-time winner Serena Williams. These seven former champions have won 13 of the last 19 U.S. Open women’s singles titles. Last year’s U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is the highest-ranked of the former winners, seeded three behind Europeans Simona Halep (one) and Caroline Wozniacki (two).
On the other side of the net, it has been 15 years since an American male has won the U.S. Open men’s singles tournament (Andy Roddick won in 2003). The only Americans seeded in this year’s draw are John Isner (11) and Jack Sock (19). Gracenote’s world ranking for men’s singles rates both Americans even lower, with Isner ranked 15th and Sock 42nd.
The 2018 U.S. Open is the 138th edition of the tournament and takes place in Aug. 27-Sept. 9 in New York City.