US Open 2011: 12 things you might not know

With the final Grand Slam of the year under way, we bring you some facts you may not be familiar with

roger federer
Federer has equalled Andre Agassi's record of Grand Slam wins in New York Photo: Marianne Bevis

roger federer

1) The US Open was first held in 1881, making it the second oldest sporting event in the US after the Kentucky Derby and the second oldest Grand Slam. It is the only Grand Slam, however, to have been played every year since its inception. 2011 will mark the 131st edition.

2) The oldest man in the 2011 draw is 34-year-old Marc Gicquel and Bernard Tomic is the youngest at 18, but both are outdone by the women.

3) Kimiko Date-Krumm is 41 next month and Madison Keys is just 16. Keys won her main draw debut in straight sets over the 37-year-old Jill Craybas.

4) On 30 August 2008, both Andy Roddick and Ernests Gulbis aged by a year during a match which began on the 29th and finished at 1.34 the next morning.

5) A third man with a birthday on 30 August was No24 seed, Juan Ignacio Chela, who celebrated turning 32 with one of the shortest matches in Flushing’s history. His opponent retired at 1-3 down in the opening set.

6) The first match of Roger Federer’s 2011 US campaign, in his 50th Major, equalled the number of Grand Slam match wins of Andre Agassi. Federer needs just nine more to draw level with Jimmy Connors at the top of the list.

7) Federer has the longest active streak of Open era Grand Slam appearances””this is his 48th””and Francesca Schiavone has the longest female streak, with 45.

8) The prize money earned by Kim Clijsters in 2010 for winning the title and taking second place in the US Open Series Bonus Challenge was the largest amount ever earned in women’s professional sport: $2.2m.

9) The first round draw pitted sisters Usrzula Radwanska, a qualifier, against Agnieszka Radwanska, the No12 seed. The latter won, 6-2, 6-3 and they then held their press conference together.

10) Venus Williams holds the record for the fastest ever serve by a woman, produced at the 2007 US Open: 129 mph. The fastest man’s serve at the US Open was hit by Andy Roddick in 2004, at 152 mph.

11) With the opening rounds of the draw still not completed, there have already been six retirements. The swiftest was by Marinko Matosevic after four games, the longest by Misaki Doi, who lost the first set to Laura Pous-Tio, took the second in a tie break, 14 points to 12, and retired at 2-5 down in the final set.

12) Finally, it is 20 years since two British women reached the second round in the US Open: something to celebrate with Laura Robson and Elena Baltacha.

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