Treasures of New York

FULL EPISODE

US Open

Treasures of New York: US Open explores the history of America's Grand Slam tennis tournament; from the founding of the US National Championships in 1881, to the start of the Open Era and the US Open in 1968, through today.

AIRED: August 23, 2018 | 0:56:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>>> IT'S THE MOST-ATTENDED

ANNUAL SPORTING EVENT IN THE

WORLD -- THE U.S. OPEN.

>> I LOVE TO COME AND SEE GREAT

TENNIS.

>> IT'S MY FAVORITE THING TO DO

IN NEW YORK.

>> A LEGENDARY MAJOR TOURNAMENT

WHERE THE WORLD'S BEST TENNIS

PLAYERS COMPETE AND BECOME

CHAMPIONS.

>> YOU CAN'T TOUCH THE U.S.

OPEN.

IT'S MAGNIFICENT.

>> GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS

ENORMOUS EVENT AND WITNESS THE

TRANSFORMATION OF THE ICONIC

USTA BILLIE JEAN KING NATIONAL

TENNIS CENTER.

>> IT'S NEW YORK IN ALL ITS

GLORY.

>> THESE ARE THE MOST ELITE

ATHLETES IN THE WORLD.

THEY'VE MADE IT AGAINST ALL

ODDS.

>> YOU HAVE TO BRING ALL OF

YOURSELF TO IT BUT IT'S PURE JOY

TO HIT THE BALL.

>> WHEN I KNOW PEOPLE TALK ABOUT

THE U.S. OPEN THEY SAY WELL IT'S

LOUD.

IT'S NEW YORK.

NEW YORKERS ARE LOUD.

>> IT'S NOT ONE OF THOSE CLAP

POLITELY WHISPER KIND OF CROWD

SITUATIONS.

WE GET INTO IT.

>> THEN YOU HAVE THIS CITY AND

THIS -- IT'S UNBELIEVABLE.

>> IT'S A TREASURE IN NEW YORK,

NO QUESTION.

>> JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE 50

YEARS OF OPEN-ERA TENNIS AND

NEARLY A CENTURY OF MEMORABLE

MOMENTS.

AN UNFORGETTABLE MATCH HERE IN

NEW YORK CITY.

IN TREASURES OF NEW YORK, U.S.

OPEN.

>> EVERY AUGUST AS THE SUMMER

COMES TO A CLOSE, HUNDREDS OF

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, ATHLETES,

COACHES, JOURNALISTS,

CELEBRITIES AND SPORTS FANS

DESCEND UPON NEW YORK CITY FOR

TWO THRILLING WEEKS OF HIGH

STAKES AND HIGH OCTANE TENNIS.

THE U.S. OPEN, ONE OF TENNIS'

MOST PRESTIGIOUS TOURNAMENTS

WHERE THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE

WORLD COMPETE FOR GLORY.

>> A TENNIS MATCH BETWEEN

WORLD-CLASS PLAYERS IS WAR.

IT 1 GUTS ON THE COURT.

IT'S FIGHTING EVERY PLAY.

IT'S AN AMAZING THING TO SEE

LIVE.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> EVERY PLAYER UNDERSTANDS WHEN

THEY STEP OUT ON ARTHUR ASHE

STADIUM THAT THE WORLD IS

EXPECTING THEM TO PERFORM AT

THEIR BEST.

>> HERE AT THE HEART OF QUEENS

INSIDE THE IMMENSE BILLIE JEAN

KING NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER

UNDER THE LIGHTS OF THE ARTHUR

ASHE STADIUM, RECORDS ARE

SMASHED, HISTORY IS MADE,

LEGENDS ARE BORN AND CHAMPIONS

CROWNED.

>> WINNING WOULD BE INCREDIBLE.

THAT'S WHAT ANY AMERICAN PLAYER

DREAMS OF.

>> I THINK WINNING MY FIRST U.S.

OPEN IN 2004 AGAINST LLEYTON

HEWITT, AN INCREDIBLE GRAND SLAM

TITLE.

AFTER NEW YORK, ALMOST ANY PLACE

WOULD BE EASY AFTER THAT.

>> THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST

GRUELLING GRAND SLAMS THAT THEY

HAVE TO COMPETE IN.

THE STRONGEST DOES SURVIVE AND

WHOEVER CAN DEAL WITH IT THE

GREATEST IS STANDING LAST IN THE

END.

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS KNOWN FOR

BEING THE LOUDEST OF THE GRAND

SLAM COMPETITION WITH THE

LARGEST TURF AND THE MOST

RAUCOUS FANS.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> NUMBER ONE AT THE TIME, NOVAK

DJOKOVIC WINNING, FULL STADIUM,

IT'S SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL.

>> THE HECKLING AND THE

EXCITEMENT AND I THINK IT ADDS

TO THE ELECTRICITY.

>> THE CROWDS HAVE GOTTEN

ROWDIER WHICH I LOVE.

ARE YOU KIDDING, IF I WERE

PLAYING NOW I WOULD BE IN HOG

HEAVEN.

>> GAME SET AND MATCH.

>> COMING TO THE U.S. OPEN, WHEN

YOU'RE YOUNG YOU ALWAYS HEAR

U.S. OPEN I'M FINALLY HERE, I

MADE IT.

IT'S TRUE.

>> THE OTHERS ARE NICE.

IT'S A SMALLER STADIUM SO IN A

SENSE NO BAD SEATS BUT YOU CAN'T

TOUCH THE U.S. OPEN.

ADMITTEDLY I'M BIASED BUT IT'S

MAGNIFICENT.

>> IT'S THE MOST ENERGETIC BRASH

RAUCOUS HIGH ENERGY TOURNAMENT

IN THE WORLD REFLECTIVE OF WHERE

IT'S BEEN HELD FOR MANY, MANY

DECADES NOW.

>> IN THE 50 YEARS SINCE IT

OPENED UP TO AMATEUR AND

PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS, THIS GRAND

SLAM TOURNAMENT HAS EVOLVED INTO

AN INTERNATIONAL SENSATION WHERE

THE WORLD'S BEST PLAYERS COME

FACE TO FACE AS MILLIONS OF FANS

CHEER THEM COURT SIDE AND ON

TELEVISION.

>> THE U.S. OPEN HAS LED THE WAY

OF TAKING THE GAME TO THE NEXT

LEVEL AND THAT'S BEEN CODE FOR

MASSIVE POPULARITY AND REALLY

ATTRACTING WHAT YOU WANT IS A

CAB DRIVER WHO -- YOU KNOW, DID

YOU HEAR WHO BEAT WHO TODAY?

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS THE JEWEL OF

NEW YORK BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING

PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY

YEAR WHERE THEY CAN GO HAVE A

MAGNIFICENT TIME, ENJOY THE

GREATEST SPORT OF ALL TIME,

WATCH SOME OF THE GREATEST

ATHLETES OF ALL TIME AND REALLY

BE IN AN ATMOSPHERE THAT IS

INCLUSIVE EMBRACIVE AND

EXCITING.

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS A WORLD

CLASS FESTIVAL CELEBRATING

TENNIS AND ALL THE BEST

OFFERINGS OF NEW YORK CITY.

BEHIND THE ENTIRE SPECTACLE IS

THE UNITED STATES TENNIS

ASSOCIATION, A NOT FOR PROFIT

ORGANIZATION WHICH NOT ONLY OWNS

AND OPERATES THE U.S. OPEN BUT

DEVELOPS THE SPORT OF TENNIS IN

AMERICA.

>> THE NATIONAL GOVERNING BODY

WE ARE INVOLVED WITH TENNIS FROM

THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF

PROFESSIONAL TENNIS AT THE U.S.

OPEN TO KIDS GETTING INTO THE

GAME.

>> THE USTA ORGANIZES TENNIS

TOURNAMENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

BUT THE MAIN EVENT IS ITS ANNUAL

GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENT DRAWING IN

OVER 700,000 SPECTATORS AND MORE

THAN 300 MILLION DOLLARS IN

REVENUE EACH YEAR.

>> WE'RE VERY FORTUNATE, WE'RE

ONE OF THREE NATIONAL

ASSOCIATIONS AROUND THE WORLD

THAT ACTUALLY OWN THEIR GRAND

SLAM.

THAT'S HOW WE MAKE OUR MONEY TO

BE ABLE TO FUND OUR MISSION.

WE GO DOWN FROM THE GRASS-ROOTS

BACK UP.

>> AND IN 2018 THE USTA

COMPLETED A FIVE YEAR

MULTIMILLION DOLLAR

TRANSFORMATION OF ITS FACILITY

IN FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK.

>> EVERYTHING IS VIRTUALLY NEW

ON THE SITE.

WHEN WE'RE DONE IN 2018, WE WILL

HAVE REDONE 45 ACRES.

>> FINISHED JUST IN TIME TO

CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF OPEN ERA

TENNIS AND CELEBRATE THE RICH

HISTORY OF A SPORT THAT HAS

CAPTIVATED THE WORLD FOR

CENTURIES.

>> TENNIS AS WE KNOW IT TODAY

WAS CREATED IN THE 1800s BY A

BRITISH ARMY OFFICER NAMED

WALTER WINGFIELD WHO ROAD OUT

AND PATENTED A SIMPLE SET OF

RULES.

PLAYERS VOLLEY A SMALL HOLLOW

BALL BACK AND FORTH OVER A NET

KEEPING THE BALL INBOUNDS WHILE

OUTMANEUVERING THEIR OPPONENT TO

EARN POINTS.

>> IN THOSE DAYS IT WOULD LOOK

VERY MUCH LIKE IT WAS TODAY.

THE LINES WERE THE SAME.

THE RACKETS WERE NOT THE SAME.

THEY WERE WOODEN AND SMALLER AND

OF COURSE THE CLOTHING WAS VERY

DIFFERENT.

>> OVER TIME, TENNIS BECAME A

POPULAR PAST TIME FOR THE ELITE

PLAYED IN PRIVATE CLUBS ACROSS

EUROPE AND THE BRITISH EMPIRE

RESTRICTED BY ONE'S SOCIAL RANK

BUT NOT GENDER.

>> WOMEN PLAYED IN LARGE PART

BECAUSE OF THE SOCIAL ELEMENT.

IT WAS A WAY FOR A YOUNG WOMAN

TO MEET APPROPRIATE MEN WHO WERE

OF A CERTAIN CLASS.

>> BY THE 1870s, THE SPORT MADE

ITS WAY ACROSS THE POND,

BECOMING FASHIONABLE AMONG THE

EAST COAST UPPER CRUST.

>> IT WAS VERY MUCH A GAME OF

THE ELITE.

IT WAS THE VERY RICH PEOPLE IN

RHODE ISLAND AND NEW YORK AT

PRIVATE CLUBS WHO PLAYED.

>> TENNIS QUICKLY BECAME MORE

THAN JUST A WAY TO PASS THE TIME

ON A SUMMER AFTERNOON.

SERIOUS PLAYERS THIRSTED FOR

ORGANIZED COMPETITION.

IN 1881, A GOVERNING

ORGANIZATION WAS FORMED IN

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, THE

UNITED STATES NATIONAL LAWN

TENNIS ASSOCIATION --

PREDECESSOR OF THE USTA.

THAT SAME YEAR, THE ASSOCIATION

HOSTED THE FIRST U.S. NATIONAL

CHAMPIONSHIPS, THE PRECURSOR TO

THE U.S. OPEN.

THE TOURNAMENT WAS HELD AT THE

NEWPORT CASINO WHICH TODAY

HOUSES THE INTERNATIONAL TENNIS

HALL OF FAME.

>> I SHOULD POINT OUT THAT IT

WAS MEN ONLY.

I THINK THAT'S QUITE IMPORTANT.

IT WASN'T IN NEWPORT THAT WOMEN

PHILADELPHIA, THE PHILADELPHIA

CRICKET CLUB SO I THINK ONE OF

THE MAJOR EVENTS OF THE U.S.

NATIONALS WAS WHEN THE MEN AND

WOMEN CAME TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE

AND THAT WAS HERE IN FOREST

HILLS AT THE WEST SIDE TENNIS

CLUB.

>> THE MANAGERS OF THE THENS ANY

CLUB AT FOREST HILLS, QUEENS,

PROVED THE IDEAL LOCATION, A

14,000 SEAT CONCRETE STADIUM WAS

BUILT TO ACCOMMODATE THE LARGE

CROWDS OF SPECTATORS EAGER TO

WITNESS TENNIS MATCHES BETWEEN

THE WORLD'S BEST.

>> DURING THOSE AMATEUR YEARS IT

WAS A CAVALCADE OF GREAT PLAYERS

WHO CAME THROUGH THESE GATES AND

COMPETED AT FOREST HILLS.

>> AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYERS LIKE

BILL TILDEN AND HELEN WILLS

MOODY.

>> THEY HELPED IT GAIN IN

STATURE AND POPULARITY.

>> YOU'LL MEET AMERICA'S QUEEN

OF THE COURTS, HELEN WILLS.

>> THAT'S WHEN ALL THE GRAND

SLAMS WERE EMERGING.

>> CALIFORNIA AGAINST THE BLOND

GERMAN BUT IN THE END THE

WIMBLEDON RESULT IS REPEATED AND

THE GERMAN WINS.

>> BY THE MID-1920s, THE U.S.

NATIONALS JOINED FORCES WITH

THREE OTHER INTERNATIONAL

TOURNAMENTS IN FRANCE,

AUSTRALIA, AND BRITAIN FORMING A

CHAMPIONSHIP CIRCUIT KNOWN AS

THE MAJORS.

>> TENNIS CONNOISSEURS WERE WELL

AWARE THAT HISTORY WAS BEING

MADE AND THEY WERE COMING TO TRY

TO COMPLETE THE GRAND SLAM AND

THAT WAS THE HIGHEST HONOR YOU

COULD ATTAIN TO WIN THE FOUR

MAJORS IN ONE YEAR WHICH

CONSTITUTE IT HAD GRAND SLAM.

>> AND WHAT WILL THE HISTORIANS

SAY?

THIS AMERICAN CHAMPION IS ONLY

16 YEARS OLD.

>> FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE

20th CENTURY, A PARADE OF

VICTORS WROTE THEIR NAME INTO

THE GRAND SLAM HISTORY BOOKS,

PLAYERS LIKE MAUREEN CONNOLLY,

DON BUDGE, ROD LABOR ALL BECAME

GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS.

BUT WHILE PLAYERS GREW IN

POPULARITY, RACIAL

DISCRIMINATION AND SEGREGATION

IN TENNIS AND THE WORLD AT LARGE

PREVENTED PEOPLE OF COLOR FROM

ENTERING THE SPORT AND COMPETING

AT THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS

TOURNAMENT.

>> PEOPLE OF COLOR COULDN'T PLAY

AT THE U.S. NATIONALS UNTIL

1950.

>> TO QUALIFY FOR NATIONALS,

PLAYERS HAD TO EARN ENOUGH

POINTS AT SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT

WHICH IS WERE GENERALLY HELD AT

RACIALLY SEGREGATED COUNTRY

CLUBS.

IT WASN'T UNTIL ALTHEA GIBSON, A

YOUNG AFRICAN-AMERICAN PHENOM

FROM HARLEM CAME ON TO THE SCENE

AND FOUGHT HER WAY ACROSS THE

COLOR LINE, BECOMING THE FIRST

BLACK TENNIS PLAYER TO COMPETE

IN A MAJOR TOURNAMENT AT THE

1950 U.S. NATIONALS.

>> A NEW TENNIS QUEEN WAS BORN.

>> SHE WAS THE FIRST PERSON OF

COLOR THAT EVER WON A MAJOR.

SHE WON THE FRENCH IN '56, THE

U.S. OPEN OR U.S. NATIONALS IN

'57 AND '58, WIMBLEDON IN '57

AND '58.

>> SPORTSMEN EVERYWHERE

APPLAUDED ALTHEA'S TRIUMPH AND

SHARED IN HER MOMENT OF GLORY

WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH HERSELF

PRESENTED THE SYMBOL OF VICTORY

TO THE GIRL FROM HARLEM.

>> TO BE ABLE TO SHOW THE WORLD

A BLACK ATHLETE COULD PLAY AT

THAT LEVEL WITH SUCH AMAZING

CLASS, THAT DID A LOT TO BREAK

DOWN BARRIERS.

>> BY THE LATE 1950s, ALTHEA

GIBSON WAS A TOP-RANKED PLAYER

IN THE WORLD AND WAS KNOWN AS

THE QUEEN OF TENNIS AND WHILE

GIBSON'S RISE TO THE TOP HAD

BEEN FRAUGHT WITH

DISCRIMINATION, SHE PAVED THE

WAY FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN PLAYERS

WHO WOULD FOLLOW HER.

>> I USED TO CALL HER CHAMP.

SHE WAS AHEAD OF HER TIME.

>> ALTHEA GIBSON IS OUR JACKIE

ROBINSON OF TENNIS.

MOST PEOPLE THINK IT'S ARTHUR

ASHE PROBABLY.

BUT OUR GENERATION HAD A LOT

MORE EXPOSURE WITH TELEVISION.

SHE DIDN'T HAVE THAT.

>> TENNIS WAS NOT AN INCLUSIVE

SPORT.

IT WAS AN ASPIRATIONAL SPORT AND

THERE FOR PEOPLE.

THERE WERE TENNIS CLUBS ARTHUR

ASHE COULDN'T GO INTO AT THE

START OF HIS CAREER SO THIS IS

ALL REALITY IN MECHANIC'S

HISTORY BUT IN ANOTHER SENSE

TENNIS WAS ALWAYS STRIVING TO

GET PEOPLE IN.

>> OVER TIME TENNIS CAME OUT OF

THE COUNTRY CLUB AND BEGAN TO BE

PLAYED IN PUBLIC PARKS AND IT

DID CHANGE THE POOL OF PLAYERS

THAT PLAYED.

BUT I THINK THE BIGGEST THING

THAT HAS CHANGED THE MAKEUP OF

THE TENNIS POOL IS, IN FACT, THE

INFLUX OF MONEY.

>> IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT

BEFORE 1968 TENNIS PLAYERS

WEREN'T PAID AS PROFESSIONALS TO

PLAY TENNIS.

>> ALL OF THE BEST KNOWN

TOURNAMENTS, INCLUDING THE U.S.

NATIONALS AND OTHER GRAND SLAM

EVENTS WERE RESERVED FOR

AMATEURS.

LOOSELY DEFINED AS AN ATHLETE

WHO DID NOT EARN MONEY BY

PLAYING OR TEACHING TENNIS.

IT WAS A MUCH MORE EMPHASIS ON

COMPETITION BECAUSE THERE WAS NO

MONEY INVOLVED.

IT WAS COMPETITIVE INSTINCTS

THAT YOU WANTED TO WIN FOR

WHATEVER YOUR REASON.

BUT IT WASN'T FOR MONEY.

THERE WASN'T ANY.

>> THE SPORT BELIEVED A PERSON

SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE PAID TO

COMPETE.

>> THERE WERE PLAYERS WHO COULD

NOT MAKE IT PLAYING TENNIS ALL

YEAR.

THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH MONEY AND

WHAT DEVELOPED WERE THESE UNDER

TABLE PAYMENTS.

AND I DON'T THINK ANYBODY WAS

HAPPY WITH THAT, CERTAINLY

PLAYERS WEREN'T.

THEY WANTED TO BE PAID ABOVE

BOARD AND THEY WANTED TO BREAK

AWAY.

>> PLAYERS DECIDED THEY WANT TO

EARN A LIVING PLAYING TENNIS AND

JOIN A PROFESSIONAL TOUR.

>> IN THE WORLD OF PRO-TENNIS --

>> THESE PROFESSIONALS WERE ABLE

TO MAKE MONEY AS TENNIS PLAYERS

BUT THEY WERE BARRED FROM

PLAYING AT AMATEUR EVENTS.

>> SEVEN PLAYERS AND TENNIS

ORGANIZERS DECIDED TO ALLOW

PROFESSIONALS.

>> SOME OF THE OLD GUARD THOUGHT

IT WAS A TERRIBLE THING TO

CHANGE TENNIS AS IT WAS.

>> OPEN TENNIS, IN 1968 TENNIS

SAID YOU KNOW WHAT?

WE'RE A SPORT, WE'RE WORTHY OF

BEING A PROFESSIONAL SPORT.

>> IN 1968, WIMBLEDON ANNOUNCED

IT WOULD OPEN UP THE

PROFESSIONALS.

THE U.S. NATIONALS CAME NEXT,

OFFICIALLY CHANGING ITS NAME TO

THE U.S. OPEN.

FOLLOWED BY THE FRENCH AND

AUSTRALIAN GRAND SLAM

TOURNAMENT.

IT WAS THE YEAR THAT WOULD

FOREVER CHANGE THE SPORT OF

TENNIS.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, BUD COLLINS

ALONG WITH JACK CRAMER WITH YOU

AT FOREST HILLS WHERE WE'RE

REACHING THE CLIMAX OF AN

EXTRAORDINARY EVENT IN TENNIS,

THE FIRST U.S. OPEN.

>> THAT WAS REALLY THE FLASH

POINT WHEN SUDDENLY THE GAME

OPENED UP TO PROFESSIONALS.

ONCE THAT HAPPENED IT WAS -- YOU

COULD SEE ALL THE BEST PLAYERS

ALL THE TIME AND THE

PROFESSIONALISM, COMMERCIALISM

BROUGHT ADVERTISING, SPREADING

THE WORD ABOUT TENNIS, WHAT A

GREAT SPORT IT WAS AND IT REALLY

SNOWBALLED FROM THERE.

>> AT THE FIRST U.S. OPEN IN

1968 AS A RESULT OF THIS

MONUMENTAL CHANGE FANS WERE

TREATED TO SPECTACULAR SHOWDOWNS

BETWEEN THE WORLD'S TOP PLAYERS.

SIXTH SEED VIRGINIA WADE OF

GREAT BRITAIN WON HER FIRST

GRAND SLAM TITLE TAKING DOWN THE

DEFENDING CHAMPION BILLIE JEAN

KING IN TWO STRAIGHT SETS.

THE MEMBER'S SINGLES EVENT CAME

DOWN TO A NAIL BITING FINAL

BETWEEN ARTHUR ASHE AND A

TOP-RANKED PROFESSIONAL TOM

OKER.

>> HE WON A VERY WELL PLAYED

EXHILARATING FIVE SET SHOWDOWN.

IT WAS A TERRIFIC WAY TO START

THE OPEN ERA AT FOREST HILLS.

>> ASHE MADE HISTORY AS THE

FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN'S

SINGLE CHAMPION AT THE U.S. OPEN

BUT IN THE FIRST YEARS OF THE

OPEN ERA, AMATEURS LIKE ASHE

COULD NOT ACCEPT THE

CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE MONEY.

HIS $14,000 CHECK WENT TO OKKER,

THE PROFESSIONAL RUNNER-UP.

MEANWHILE, THE WOMEN'S SINGLES

CHAMP, VIRGINIA WADE, ONE OF THE

MOST DECORATED BRITISH TENNIS

PLAYERS IN HISTORY, WAS AWARDED

ONLY $6,000 -- FAR LESS THAN HER

MALE COUNTERPART.

>> IT WASN'T EVEN CLOSE, IT

WASN'T EVEN 50%.

>> DIDN'T SEEM QUITE RIGHT, DID

IT?

>> I WENT OH, GREAT, ANOTHER

CHALLENGE.

LET'S SEE IF WE CAN CHANGE THAT

OVER TIME.

>> BY THE LATE '60s, THE CIVIL

RIGHTS AND WOMEN'S LIBERATION

MOVEMENT HAD HIT THEIR STRIDE

CHALLENGING THE CULTURE OF WOMEN

IN THE WORKPLACE AND AT HOME.

IN THE SPORTS ARENA THE CHARGE

WAS LED BY BILLIE JEAN KING.

>> I ALREADY WANTED EQUALITY FOR

EVERYBODY, MAN OR WOMAN OR

HOWEVER PEOPLE SELF-IDENTIFY FOR

EVERYONE.

>> IN 1970, KING BANDED TOGETHER

WITH EIGHT OTHER PLAYERS TO FORM

A PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S TENNIS

ASSOCIATION.

THEY WERE KNOWN AS THE ORIGINAL

NINE.

KING AND THE WTA VIEWED EQUAL

PAY AS THE PATH TO LEVELING THE

PLAYING FIELD IN PROFESSIONAL

TENNIS.

>> WE HAD SOME TALKS WITH

EVERYBODY.

I SAID YOU KNOW, THIS IS GREAT

BUT I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE

PROOF WHY WE DESERVE IT.

AND MONEY ALWAYS TALKS SO TWO OR

THREE COMPANIES CAME FORWARD AND

SAID THEY'D PAY THE DIFFERENCE

IN THE PRIZE MONEY.

>> THANKS TO BILLIE JEAN KING

AND THE SPONSORS SHE HELPED

SECURE, IT BECAME THE FIRST

MAJOR TOURNAMENT TO AWARD EQUAL

PRIZE MONEY TO THE MEN AND

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS IN 1973.

>> IT SHOWED HOW GREAT IT WAS TO

DO THAT AND BE AHEAD OF THE

TIME.

>> AS IT TURNS OUT, THE U.S.

OPEN WAS AHEAD BY OVER 30 YEARS.

IT WASN'T UNTIL 2007 THAT

WIMBLEDON BECAME THE LAST OF THE

FOUR MAJORS TO OFFER EQUAL PAY.

>> I ALWAYS KNEW YOU COULD GET

ONE MORE OR THE OTHER WOULD FOLD

LIKE A NAPKIN.

SO THEY DID.

>> THE FIRST WAS VENUS WILLIAMS

WHO CARRIED ON THE FIGHT FOR

EQUALITY.

>> WHEN WE STARTED WOMEN'S

PROFESSIONAL TENNIS, OUR DREAM

WAS FOR ANY GIRL BORN IN THE

WORLD IF SHE WERE GOOD ENOUGH TO

HAVE A PLACE TO COMPLETE.

>> TODAY THE U.S. OPEN IS A

BEACON FOR EQUALITY.

WOMEN AND MEN RECEIVE THE SAME

AMOUNT OF MONEY ACROSS EACH OF

THE EVENTS, SINGLES, DOUBLES,

JUNIOR AND WHEELCHAIR TENNIS AND

WITH THE LARGEST PURSE OF ALL

THE MAJORS, NO COMPETITOR IN THE

MAIN DRAW OF THE TOURNAMENT

LEAVES EMPTY HANDED.

>> BY THE WAY, WE REWARD PLAYERS

WHO LOSE IN THE FIRST ROUND OF

THE U.S. OPEN.

THEY MAKE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT

OF MONEY BECAUSE YOU SHOULD

WHERE REWARDED FOR QUALIFYING

FOR THE GRAND SLAMS.

PEOPLE WHO LOSE IN THE FIRST

ROUND MAY BE YOUR WINNER IN

THREE OR FIVE OR TEN YEARS AND

THEY NEED TO MAKE A LIVING SO WE

HAVE TO MAKE SURE PLAYERS AT

WHATEVER LEVEL OF THE TOURNAMENT

ARE COMPENSATED WELL FOR WHAT

THEY DO.

>> SO HOW DOES THE U.S. OPEN

GENERATE ENOUGH MONEY EACH YEAR

TO LEAD THE MAJORS IN TOTAL

PRIZE MONEY?

>> THERE ARE THREE PRODUCTS,

PLAYERS, PRIZE MONEY, AND

THERE'S TELEVISION.

THOSE THREE HAVE TO BE IN SYNC

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A MAJOR

EVENT.

>> THERE IS ONE WAY TO BECOME

NUMBER ONE.

>> AND GOOD AFTERNOON FROM THE

WEST SIDE TENNIS CLUB.

WE'RE AT THE FINALS.

>> I THINK THERE WAS NO WAY THE

COURT COULD HAVE TAKEN OFF AS

QUICKLY AS IT DID IN THE OPEN

ERA WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT

TELEVISION PACKAGES TO EXPOSE IT

TO THE PUBLIC ALL OVER THE

COUNTRY.

>> FROM THE TIME TELEVISION

BEGAN TRANSMITTING SPORTS OVER

THE AIRWAYS, THE U.S. OPEN HAS

BEEN A HOT TICKET ITEM FOR MEDIA

OUTLETS.

THE USDA SCOOPED UP MULTIMILLION

DOLLAR DEALS WITH THE TELEVISION

NETWORKS AND MARKETS AROUND THE

WORLD FOR THE RIGHT TO BROADCAST

THE U.S. OPEN WHILE PLAYERS EARN

LUCRATIVE ENDORSEMENTS FROM

GLOBAL BRANDS.

>> THE TELEVISION IS THE HIDDEN

GOAL POT.

THAT'S IMPORTANT.

AND THAT'S WHAT HELPS YOU WITH

SPONSORS.

>> IN MY OPINION YOU CAN'T FIND

A BETTER MID-SIZED RACKET.

>> THE PLAYERS ARE THE PERSONAL

BILLBOARDS AND THEY'LL BE ON

INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION FOR

SEVERAL HOURS AT A POP.

THAT'S WHY IT'S INCREDIBLY

IMPORTANT FOR SPORTSWEAR

MANUFACTURERS TO HAVE

ENDORSEMENTS WITH BIG STAR

PLAYERS.

>> TELEVISION ADDS AN ENTIRELY

NEW DIMENSION TO THE U.S. OPEN

TOURNAMENT.

>> THEY HAD TO GET THE RIGHT

CAMERA ANGLES AND FIGURE OUT A

WAY TO MAKE IT APPEALING TO THE

VIEWER AT HOME.

>> IN A BID TO MAKE IT TV

FRIENDLY, THE USDA EXPERIMENTED

WITH CHANGING THE COURT SURFACE

FROM GRASS TO GREEN CLAY, A MOVE

THAT BODE WELL FOR AMERICAN

CHAMPIONS CHRIS EVERT AND JIMMY

CONNORS WHO SET RECORD ON THE

NEW SURFACES.

THE TOURNAMENT ALSO SWITCHED TO

NEON YELLOW TENNIS BALLS WHICH

WERE EASIER TO SEE ON

TELEVISION.

AND THEN THERE WERE THE DEMANDS

OF PRIME TIME.

>> IN THE '70s, MONDAY FIGHT

FOOTBALL WAS STARTING AND USTA

REALIZED TENNIS NEEDED TO BECOME

A PRIME TIME SPORT.

>> FLOOD LIGHTS WERE INSTALLED

IN 1975 AT FOREST HILLS STADIUM

AND THE U.S. OPEN BECAME THE

FIRST OF MAJORS TO HOLD NIGHT

SESSION.

TENNIS LIT UP THE CITY.

>> NIGHT TENNIS ON TELEVISION

FROM THAT DAY FORWARD DURING THE

U.S. OPEN HAS BECOME ICONIC OF

THE TOURNAMENT AND NEW YORK

CITY.

>> BUT SINCE THE RULES SAID THE

FINAL SETS MUST BE WON BY TWO

GAMES, MATCHES COULD GO ON FOR

HOURS.

ALL OF THAT WOULD CHANGE WHEN

TENNIS OFFICIAL JIMMY VAN ALLEN

INTRODUCED A NEW RULE -- THE

SUDDEN DEATH TIE BREAK.

>> JIMMY VAN ALLEN, WELL AWARE

OF WHAT TELEVISION WANTED BUT

JUST BEING AN INNOVATOR TO BEGIN

WITH CAME UP WITH SOMETHING

APPEARING TO TELEVISION WHICH IS

YOU HAVE A STEP AT SIX GAMES ALL

YOU WILL PLAY A TIE BREAK AND

SETTLE THAT RIGHT THERE.

>> OUT COMES THE RED FLAGS.

ALL OVER THE STADIUM.

SIGNIFYING SUDDEN DEATH TIME.

>> NO LONGER DID YOU HAVE STEPS

GOING TO 25-23, THAT TIE BREAK

WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE IN

THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT.

>> THE U.S. OPEN WAS THE FIRST

GRAND SLAM TO ADOPT THIS

MONUMENTAL RULE CHANGE AND

REMAINS THE ONLY MAJOR

TOURNAMENT TO END WITH THE

DECISIVE FINAL SET TIE BREAK.

>> I THINK THE U.S. OPEN HAS

BEEN A LEADER IN SO MANY AREAS.

I THINK INNOVATION HAS BEEN

THEIR HALLMARK AND CONTINUES TO

BE.

NIGHT TENNIS UNDER THE LIGHTS, I

COULD GO ON AND ON BUT THE U.S.

OPEN HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ONE

THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE PUSHING

THE ENVELOPE IN TERMS OF TRYING

NEW THINGS.

>> WITH A THIRST FOR INNOVATION,

THE U.S. OPEN STANDS APART IN

THE TENNIS WORLD NEVER AFRAID TO

BREAK WITH TRADITION AND FORGE

NEW GROUND.

WITHIN THE FIRST DECADE OF

OPEN-ERA TENNIS, THE SPORT'S

POPULARITY EXPLODED ACROSS THE

NATION.

>> TELEVISION BROUGHT IT INTO

PEOPLE'S HOMES AND THEN THEY

TOOK IT UP AND THEY USED TO WEAR

TENNIS OUTFITS TO THE GROCERY

STORE.

YOU COULD NOT GET ON A TENNIS

COURT IN THE '70s.

>> YEAR AFTER YEAR MORE AND MORE

PEOPLE FLOCKED TO THE QUAINT

WEST SIDE TENNIS CLUB.

>> FOREST HILLS USED ON THE A

SEDATE PRESERVE FOR THE

PRIVILEGE FEW AND VICTORY MEANT

A FAINT RIPPLE OF BLUE BLOOD

APPLAUSE.

OBVIOUSLY THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

>> IT WAS JUST BULGING AT THE

SEAMS AND I REMEMBER THINKING TO

MYSELF, IT'S TOO SMALL HERE NOW.

IT'S NOT ACCOMMODATING EVERYONE.

>> IT SOON BECAME CLEAR TO

PLAYERS AND ORGANIZERS ALIKE

THAT THE TOURNAMENT COULD NOT BE

SUSTAINED AT FOREST HILLS.

>> I DON'T KNOW WHO IS REWRITING

HISTORY OR NOT, BUT IT WAS

REALLY ALL ABOUT PARKING.

IF YOU'RE FROM NEW YORK THEN YOU

UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS.

BUT THEY WEREN'T WILLING TO MAKE

THE INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGES

STARTING WITH THE PARKING THAT

WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED MORE.

>> IT WAS THE CLUB AND

TOURNAMENT JUST COULDN'T AGREE

ON TERMS AND THE PRESIDENT OF

THE USTA FELT TO SOME EXTENT THE

CLUB WAS TRYING TO HOLD OUT THE

U.S. OPEN AND JUST SAID WE'RE

NOT GOING TO DO THAT.

>> THE ANSWER LAY JUST A FEW

MILES TO THE NORTH IN A NEW YORK

CITY PARK THAT HAD RECENTLY

HOSTED ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL

EVENT -- THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR.

>> AS I UNDERSTAND, THE STORY,

HE FLEW INTO LAGUARDIA ONE DAY

ON HIS WAY TO NEW YORK TO GO

MEET WITH THE WEST SIDE TENNIS

CLUB AND THE NEGOTIATIONS

WEREN'T DOING WELL.

HE'D BE THINKING ABOUT WHERE CAN

WE PUT THIS TOURNAMENT AND HE

LOOKED DOWN AS HE WAS FLYING

INTO LAGUARDIA AND HE SAW THIS

FORMER WORLD'S FAIR SITE AND

STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS.

>> THE USTA IMMEDIATELY SET

ABOUT MOVING THE U.S. OPEN TO

FLUSHING MEADOWS, TRANSFORMING A

RELIC OF THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR

KNOWN AS THE SINGER BALL INTO

TWO MAIN ARENAS, THE GRANDSTAND

AND THE U.S. ARMSTRONG ARENA.

ALL IN TIME FOR THE U.S. OPEN IN

1977.

>> JUST A TOP LOB AWAY FROM SHEA

STADIUM IN FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW

YORK, STANDS THE NEW HOME OF THE

U.S. OPEN.

THE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER.

ON THE SITE OF THE 1964 WORLD'S

FAIR THE WORLD'S BEST PLAYERS

GATHERED TO DECIDE AN

INTERNATIONAL EVENT.

>> OVER 275,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED,

SETTING A NEW RECORD AND A NEW

COURSE FOR THE TOURNAMENT.

>> I THINK THE MOVE TO FLUSHING

MEADOS CORONA PARK CHANGED

EVERYTHING ABOUT THE U.S. OPEN.

IT TOOK THE U.S. OPEN FROM BEING

A COUNTRY CLUB SPORT, IT TOOK IT

INTO BEING A NEW YORK EVENT.

>> THE MOVE TO FLUSHING MEADOWS

ALSO INTRODUCED THE THIRD AND

FINAL COURT SURFACE IN THE U.S.

OPEN HISTORY.

>> IT WAS FASTER AND HARDER MORE

POWERFUL, NOISIER, MUCH MORE

REFLECTIVE OF NEW YORK.

>>EN -- ON THIS FASTER SURFACE,

PLAYERS BATTLED IT OUT FOR ONE

LAST CHANCE AT A GRAND SLAM IT

TOO.

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS THE LAST

GRAND SLAM OF THE YEAR SO IT'S

YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY TO SETTLE

OLD SCORES.

YOU HAD THE CHRIS EVERT MARTINA

NAVRATILOVA WAS ONE OF THE

GREATEST RIVALRIES IN SPORT.

YOU HAVE MARTINA, HIGHLY

EMOTIONAL AND CHRIS EVERT, THE

ICE MAIDEN.

THEY'RE DUKING IT OUT.

IT'S AMAZING.

>> MARTINA NAVRATILOVA.

>> YOU HAD PETE SAMPRAS RIVALRY.

>> JIMMY CONNOR, HE'S LIKE A

BLUE-COLLAR LITTLE STREET

FIGHTER, EAST ST. LOUIS, LEARNED

ON THE PUBLIC PARKS.

HE UNDERSTANDS THE CROWD.

HE KNOWS HOW TO GET THEM GOING.

HE LOVES THEM, THEY LOVE HIM.

>> CONNOR LIGHTS UP THE CROWD.

AND THE CROWDS KEPT COMING.

PACKING INTO THE NATIONAL TENNIS

CENTER BEYOND ITS CAPACITY.

BY THE EARLY 1990s, THE USTA HAD

A DECISION TO MAKE IN ORDER TO

GROW THE EVENT -- WORK OUT A

DEAL WITH THE CITY TO EXPAND IN

FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK OR

RELOCATE.

>> I LIVED IN ATLANTA FOR 50

YEARS AND AROUND THE ATLANTA

OLYMPICS I WAS INVOLVED WITH A

GROUP THAT TRIED TO LURE THE

U.S. OPEN TO ATLANTA.

>> THEY COULD CERTAINLY HANDLE

IT BUT NOBODY WANTED TO LEAVE

THE APPLE.

THIS WAS WHERE IT BELONGED.

>> BUT SINCE THE USTA NATIONAL

TENNIS CENTER WAS LOCATED ON

PUBLIC LAND WHICH THE USTA WAS

RENTING, THEY COULDN'T SIMPLY

BUILD A BIGGER FACILITY WITHOUT

PERMISSION FROM THE CITY.

LUCKILY, THE ORGANIZATION FOUND

AN ALLY IN NEW YORK'S

TENNIS-PLAYING MAYOR DAVID

DINKINS.

>> WE DIDN'T PLAY GAMES WITH

EACH OTHER.

THEY WANTED TO BE HERE, WE

WANTED THEM TO BE HERE.

IT WAS JUST A QUESTION OF

FUNCTION OF WELL, WHAT WILL THE

TERMS BE?

>> IN ADDITION TO NEGOTIATING

THE DEAL THAT WOULD ANNEX

PARKLAND AND DOUBLE THE SIZE OF

THE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER,

DINKINS NEEDED TO RESOLVE AN

ISSUE THAT HAD PLAGUED THE

TOURNAMENT SINCE THE DAY IT

MOVED TO FLUSHING MEADOWS.

LAGUARDIA AIRPORT IS JUST A MILE

FROM THE TENNIS CENTER AND

PLANES DISRUPTED MATCHES.

>> IF YOU'VE EVER PLAYED ON

THOSE COURTS -- AS HAVE I --

WHEN THOSE PLANES GO OVER IT

MAKES A HELL OF A ROCKET.

>> THE USTA WANTED THE FEDERAL

AVIATION ADMINISTRATION TO

DIVERT FLIGHTS AWAY FROM THE

TENNIS CENTER DURING THE TWO

WEEKS OF THE OPEN.

>> THEY WANTED TO FLY OVER

PENALTY PROVISION, PLANES WERE

TO FLY OVER THE TOURNAMENT

DURING THE U.S. OPEN THAT THE

CITY WOULD PAY TO THE USTA A

PENALTY.

IT WAS A GRADUATED THING.

FLY OVER ONCE, X, TWICE, 3X AND

WHATEVER AND I SAID, MAN, I

CAN'T DO THAT.

I CAN'T FINE SUCCESSIVE

ADMINISTRATIONS INTO THE DEAL

LIKE THAT.

WELL, THEY SAID, IT'S A DEAL

BREAKER.

>> WITH THE HELP OF HIS FELLOW

LOCAL OFFICIALS, DINKINS DID

WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS

IMPOSSIBLE -- SUCCESSFULLY

APPEALING TO THE FAA TO CHANGE

THE FLIGHT PATTERN AND GETTING

THE CITY SO SIGN ON TO THE TERMS

OF THE DEAL.

>> IT'S NOT FOREVER, JUST TWO

WEEKS SO WE WERE FORTUNATE THAT

WE WERE ABLE TO WORK THAT OUT

WITH THE FAA.

>> THE HISTORIC DEAL WAS

COMPLETED SHORTLY BEFORE MAYOR

DINKINS LEFT OFFICE, MUCH TO THE

CHAGRIN OF HIS POLITICAL

OPPONENT.

>> I WAS CRITICIZED BECAUSE OF

MY LOVE OF TENNIS.

THE CRITICISM WAS WELL, HE JUST

LIKES TENNIS BUT IT WAS NOT

THAT.

IT'S GOOD FOR THE CITY, IT'S

GOOD FOR TENNIS AND IT'S

CERTAINLY GOOD FOR THE USTA.

>> IN TWO WEEKS WE GENERATE MORE

REVENUE FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK

AND ALL OUR SPORTING EVENTS

COMBINED.

>> ONCE THE U.S. OPEN'S HOME IN

NEW YORK CITY WAS FINALLY

SECURED THE USTA PROCEEDED TO

EXPAND ITS FACILITY.

IN 1997, THEY BUILT A NEW 23,000

SEAT STADIUM AND DEDICATED IT TO

THE U.S. OPEN'S FIRST MEN'S

SINGLES CHAMPION, AN ICON OF THE

GAME, ARTHUR ASHE.

>> ARTHUR ASHE TRANSCENDED

TENNIS.

MORE THAN ANY OTHER PERSON IN

TENNIS THAN I CAN THINK OF.

>> A PARADE OF U.S. OPEN

CHAMPIONS TURNED OUT TO HONOR

ARTHUR ASHE AND CELEBRATE THE

UNVEILING OF THE LARGEST TENNIS

STADIUM IN THE WORLD.

>> IT'S GREAT TO BE SIDE BY SIDE

WITH ARTHUR ASHE.

>> NINE YEARS LATER THE ENTIRE

FACILITY HOUSING ARTHUR ASHE

STADIUM AND OTHER COURTS WAS

RENAMED IN HONOR OF ANOTHER

TENNIS LEGEND AND PIONEER --

BILLIE JEAN KING.

>> BILLIE JEAN KING IS ALMOST

SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE

EXISTENCE OF THE WOMEN'S PRO

TENNIS GAME AS WE KNOW IT TODAY.

>> I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

I THOUGHT BACK WHEN I WAS 11

YEARS OLD AND DECIDED I WANTED

TO BE NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD

AND FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND HERE

I'M LIKE HOLY CANNOLI.

I'M STILL IN A DAZE WHEN I THINK

ABOUT IT.

MY HOUSE IS YOUR HOUSE.

THIS IS OUR HOUSE.

LOVE YOU, NEW YORK, AND EVERYONE

ELSE WATCHING AT HOME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GO FOR IT.

♪ I'M COMING OUT, I'M COMING,

I'M COMING -- ♪♪

>> SOME OF THE GREATEST MATCHES

OF THE OPEN ERA HAVE TRANSFORMED

ON THE COURT, ELECTRIFYING

BASELINE EXCHANGES ON THE OUTER

COURT.

ON CENTER COURT, SWINGS OF

RACKETS AND EMOTIONS.

>> YOU CAN'T CALL TIME OUT, YOU

CAN'T SAY I DON'T FEEL GOOD,

I'LL GET A SUBSTITUTE, RUN

SOMEBODY ELSE IN HERE.

NOT A TEAM SPORT, SO THE

SPOTLIGHT IS GOOD OR BAD, RIGHT

OR WRONG, IT'S ALL ON YOU.

THAT'S ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS

OF THE SPORT.

>> PEOPLE HAVE SAID IT'S LIKE

BOXING WITHOUT THE FISTS.

IT'S SO MUCH ABOUT PERSONALITY

AND REVEALING.

>> IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT

PLAYERS CAN LOSE COMPOSURE IN

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONABLE LINE

CALLS.

>> YOU'RE A BUM!

I'M OUT HERE PLAYING MY BUTT OFF

AT 39 YEARS OLD AND YOU'RE DOING

THAT?

VERY CLEAR MY BUTT.

>> YEARS AFTER JIMMY CONNOR'S

NOW FAMOUS SECOND-SET BLOWUP AT

REFEREE DAVID LITTLEFIELD,

SERENA WILLIAMS FACED JENNIFER

CAPRI YOTTY.

THE CHAIR MADE FOUR CALLS

AGAINST WILLIAMS IN THE FINAL

SET.

TO WILLIAMS AND THOSE WATCHING,

IT APPEARED THE UMPIRE HAD MADE

THE WRONG CALL.

BUT THE RULING STOOD AND

WILLIAMS ULTIMATELY LOST THE

MATCH.

>> CAPRIOTTI WINS IT WITH THE

HELP OF THE LINE JUDGES.

>> FOLLOWING THAT MATCH, THE

USTA BEGAN TESTING AN ADVANCED

BALL-TRACKING TECHNOLOGY CALLED

HAWKEYE WHICH USED A NETWORK OF

ENHANCED CAMERAS TO FOLLOW THE

TRAJECTORY OF THE BALL AND

GENERATE AN INSTANT REPLAY OF

ITS PATH THE U.S. BECAME THE

FIRST MAJOR TENNIS TOURNAMENT TO

USE HAWKEYE TO OFFICIATE

COMPETITION.

>> HAWKEYE HAS BEEN AMAZING.

YEARS AFTER WE BROUGHT

ELECTRONIC LINE CALLING IN, NOW

ALL OF THE MAJOR SPORTS ARE

USING REPLAY IN MEANS TO ENSURE

THEIR CALLS ARE RIGHT.

>> APPRECIATE THAT WE HAVE IT.

I THINK IT LEFT LESS PROBLEMS

WITH BETWEEN OFFICIALS AND

PLAYERS AND THE FANS KNOW AND

IT'S QUITE EXCITING.

BUT.

>> BUT THERE WAS LITTLE THEY

COULD DO TO SHIELD THE PLAYERS

AND FANS FROM THE WHIMS OF

MOTHER NATURE.

>> IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT

ATTENDANCE, IT'S HIGHLY LIKELY

IT'S BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER.

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS HELD DURING

A TYPICALLY DRY PERIOD DURING

THE LATE SUMMER.

BUT IN 2008 TORRENTIAL RAINS

DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF THE

TOURNAMENT UPENDED THE SCHEDULE.

>> A RARE MONDAY NIGHT FINAL.

HASN'T HAPPENED IN 21 YEARS,

FORCED BY THE HEAVY RAINS OF

SATURDAY AND HERE COMES FEDERER.

>> IF IT RAINED JUST A LITTLE

BIT WE WERE STUCK WITH A MONDAY

FINAL WHICH WAS JUST VERY

COMPLICATED FOR TICKETS AND

FLIGHTS AND EVERYBODY.

>> THIS WEATHER PATTERN REPEATED

AND THE U.S. OPEN FINALS HAD

RAIN DELAYS FOR FIVE YEARS IN A

ROW.

CALL IT CRAZY WEATHER

CONDITIONS, WHATEVER IT MIGHT

BE.

>> WIMBLEDON HAD A ROOF ON THEIR

CENTER COURT AND WE WERE MOVING

IN THAT DIRECTION.

OUR PROBLEM WAS WE HAD THE

LARGEST TENNIS STADIUM IN THE

WORLD.

IT'S ALMOST AS WIDE AS MOST

BASEBALL STADIUMS.

AND SO IT TOOK US SOME TIME TO

DO IT.

>> IN THAT PROCESS WE ALSO

REALIZED WE NEEDED TO MAKE SOME

ENHANCEMENTS TO THE REST OF THE

FACILITY.

>> OUR LOUIS ARMSTRONG STADIUM

WAS 50 YEARS OLD.

OUR GRANDSTAND STADIUM, OUR

THIRD-LARGEST STADIUM, 50 YEARS

OLD.

WE WERE NOT A WORLD CLASS VENUE

AND SO THE BOARD DECIDED WE'LL

REDO THIS.

AND THIS TRANSFORMATION IS NOT

JUST ABOUT GETTING BETTER, IT'S

TO BECOME THE BEST TENNIS VENUE

IN THE WORLD.

>> IN 2013, THE USTA ANNOUNCED

THAT THE ENTIRE BILLIE JEAN KING

NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER WOULD

UNDER GO A FIVE YEAR, $600

MILLION TRANSFORMATION.

>> THE INTENT OF THE

TRANSFORMATION WAS TO REINVENT

THE ENTIRE SITE.

>> IN ADDITION TO ADDING A

RETRACTABLE ROOF OVER ARTHUR

ASHE STADIUM, IT CALLED FOR

REDESIGNED OUTER COURTS AND

INCREASED FOOD AND HOSPITALITY

AREA AND THE COMPLETE DEMOLITION

AND RECONSTRUCTION OF THE

HISTORIC GRANDSTAND AND LOUIS

ARMSTRONG STADIUM.

THE PROJECT WOULD UNFOLD IN

STAGES OVER MULTIPLE YEARS.

>> WE HAD TO BUILD AROUND THE

U.S. OPEN.

YOU'RE ASKING YOUR CONTRACTORS

TO LEAVE DURING THE DRIEST TIME

OF THE YEAR WHEN THE WEATHER IS

GOOD.

YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM TELLING THEM

TO BE HERE IN JANUARY AND

FEBRUARY WHEN IT MIGHT BE

SNOWING AND MINUS TEN.

THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO BRING

700,000 PEOPLE THROUGH THE GATE

IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONSTRUCTION

SITE IS CHALLENGING.

>> BUT THE MOST COMPLEX

CHALLENGE WAS MOUNTING THE

RETRACTABLE ROOF OVER ARTHUR

ASHE STADIUM.

>> WE HAD SOME OF THE BEST

ARCHITECTURAL MINDS AND SPORTS

ARCHITECTURE AROUND THE WORLD

DEVELOP PLANS FOR IT.

WE NEEDED SOMETHING THAT WOULD

FIT INTO ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM AND

DIDN'T LOOK LIKE AN ALBATROSS ON

TOP OF IT.

WE HAD TO AFFORD IT AND IT

OPERATIONALLY HAD TO WORK.

>> CONSTRUCTED NEARLY 20 YEARS

EARLIER, ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM

HADN'T BEEN DESIGNED TO SUSTAIN

THE WEIGHT OF A ROOF.

>> WE HAD A HUGE ARCHITECTURAL

AND TECHNOLOGICAL PROBLEM TRYING

TO GET A ROOF.

>> ENGINEERS DESIGNED AN

INGENIOUS SOLUTION, TO BUILD A

RETRACTABLE ROOF AROUND THE

STADIUM.

THEY DESIGNED AND BUILT A

FREE-STANDING, 7,000 TON FRAME

STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS.

THE ROOF ITSELF WAS COVERED WITH

10,000 SQUARE FEET OF

LIGHTWEIGHT FABRIC WITH TWO

RETRACTABLE PANELS EACH WEIGHING

500 TONS THAT OPEN AND CLOSE

USING A SYSTEM OF CABLE AND

WINCHES.

>> IN THE CENTER YOU CAN SEE TWO

WINCHES, TWO WHITE BIG DIALS AND

THERE ARE THICK AIRCRAFT CABLES.

THAT PULLS IT AND THERE'S A

TROLLEY SYSTEM LIKE AN OLD TRAIN

WOULD HAVE DONE IT.

>> THE PANELS MOVE AT MAXIMUM

SPEED OF 25 FEET PER MINUTE.

>> IT HAS TO SLOW DOWN WHEN IT'S

ABOUT THREE FEET AWAY BECAUSE

THE LAST THING YOU WANT IS TWO

MILLION POUNDS OF STEEL

COLLIDING WITH EACH OTHER.

>> AFTER THREE YEARS OF

CONSTRUCTION, JUST IN TIME FOR

THE 2016 TOURNAMENT, THE

RETRACTABLE ROOF ON ARTHUR ASHE

STADIUM WAS READY FOR ITS U.S.

OPEN DEBUT.

>> ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM, NIGHT

THREE OF THE U.S. OPEN.

>> UNDER A CLOUDY AUGUST SKY,

RAFAEL NADAL WAS IN THE LEAD IN

THE SECOND ROUND WHEN SUDDENLY

DROPS OF RAIN APPEARED ON THE

COURT.

>> DEFINITELY RAINING.

>> IT LOOKS AS THOUGH WE ARE

GOING TO HAVE THE FIRST-EVER

U.S. OPEN ROOF CLOSURE DURING

PLAY AND IT HAS BEGUN TO CLOSE.

>> I DO LIKE THE CROWD'S

ENTHUSIASM FOR THE ROOF.

>> IT WAS AMAING WHEN YOU WERE

WATCHING THE FANS IF THE CAMERAS

SPAN THE CROWD, ALL THEY SAW

WERE THE BOTTOM OF THEIR NECKS

BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS LOOKING UP

TO THE ROOF TO WATCH IT CLOSE

WITH THEIR CAMERAS, VIDEOING,

TAKING PICTURES, ET CETERA.

>> WELL, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE.

THIS IS REALLY COOL.

>> WITHIN SEVEN MINUTES THE ROOF

CLOSED.

PLAYERS WERE HAPPY, THEY WERE

HAPPY THAT THE WAY THE COURT

PLAYED WHEN THE ROOF WAS CLOSED.

>> A FIRST AT THE U.S. OPEN.

>> THE ROOF OVER ARTHUR ASHE

STADIUM ENSURES THE SHOW GOES ON

AS PLANNED AND IMPROVES THE

CONDITIONS FOR THE PLAYERS.

>> IT'S GOING TO CHANGE THE GAME

AT THE U.S. OPEN FOREVER BECAUSE

IT USED TO BE THE WINDIEST GRAND

SLAM, IT USED TO BE THE MOST

HUMID GRAND SLAM, THE HOTTEST,

AND NOW YOU CAN DUCK AWAY IN THE

SHADE OR YOU DON'T HAVE THE WIND

ANYMORE OR YOU CAN PLAY IN AIR

CONDITIONING SURROUNDINGS.

>> FROM THE ROOF TO THE NEW

GRANDSTAND, THE USTA REBUILT

OVER 85% OF THE ENTIRE 42 ACRE

BILLIE JEAN KING NATIONAL TENNIS

CENTER AND COMPLETED IT JUST IN

TIME FOR THE 2018 U.S. OPEN AND

THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE

MODERN U.S. OPEN.

>> IN 2018 WE WILL SAY IT'S

AMAZING WHAT WE COULD GET

ACCOMPLISHED.

WE TALKED ABOUT IT, DESIGNED IT

AND GOT IT BUILT.

WE WILL SIT BACK FOR FIVE

SECONDS AND GET EXCITED BUT IT

WILL ALWAYS BE ABOUT WHAT'S

NEXT.

>> IN ORDER TO WOW THE PLAYERS

AND FANS WHO RETURN YEAR AFTER

YEAR, THE U.S. A WORKS ROUND THE

CLOCK TO PREPARE FOR THE EVENT.

IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS LEADING

UP TO THE U.S. OPEN, CREWS ARE

ON THE GROUND LANDSCAPING,

RESURFACING COURTS, CONSTRUCTING

TELEVISION SETS AND SPONSOR

BOOTHS.

>> I THINK ANY GOOD EVENT LOOKS

LIKE A DUCK ON TOP OF THE WATER

AND BELOW THE WATER THEY'RE

PADDLING LIKE CRAZY.

THAT'S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO US

ALL THE TIME.

>> IN ORDER TO RUN THIS MASSIVE

EVENT SMOOTHLY, EACH YEAR THE

USTA EMPLOYS THOUSANDS OF

SEASONAL STAFF, CHEFS, SECURITY

GUARDS, TICKET TAKERS, RACKET

STRINGERS AND COUNTLESS OTHER

SERVICE PROVIDERS BUT THERE IS

ONE JOB COVETED ABOVE ALL

OTHERS -- BEING A U.S. OPEN BALL

PERSON.

>> THEY'RE THE ONES WHO MAKE THE

MATCH MOVE ALONG VERY

EFFICIENTLY BY CHASING DOWN THE

BALLS THAT ARE OUT OF PLAY AND

GETTING PLAY RESUMING AGAIN.

>> OVER THE SUMMER, USTA HOLDS

TRYOUTS WITH LOCAL TENNIS

ENTHUSIASTS TO FILL THESE HIGHLY

SPECIALIZED ROLES.

>> YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE SCORING,

HOW A TENNIS MATCH WORKS AND

BESIDES TENNIS YOU HAVE TO BE

ATHLETIC, HAVE A GOOD ARM,

RESPECTFUL, IF YOU'RE THAT TYPE

OF PERSON, THE JOB IS FOR YOU.

>> WE PUT THEM THROUGH A COUPLE

DRILLS WE DO AND THEN WE GO

BACK, WE EVALUATE THE SCORES

THEY GET DURING TRYOUTS.

>> ONCE EACH YEAR'S BALL PERSONS

ARE SELECTED, THEY WORK THE

MATCHES IN TEAMS, SILENTLY

OBSERVING THE MATCH AND BEING

READY TO STEP IN OR RUN AT A

MOMENT'S NOTICE.

>> THE BALL PERSON IS SUPPOSED

TO MAKE EVERYTHING RUN SMOOTHLY.

ALL THE PLAYER NEEDS TO FOCUS ON

IS THEIR GAME.

THAT'S IT.

>> VETERAN BALL PERSON JUSTIN

HOLMES HAS BEEN WORKING THE

COURT SINCE HE WAS 14.

HE SAYS THE REASON HE RETURNS

EVERY YEAR IS A CHANCE TO BE ON

THE SIDELINES OF TENNIS HISTORY.

>> IT DOESN'T GET OLD.

STILL GET NERVOUS, BUTTERFLIES

IN YOUR STOMACH WHEN YOU LOOK UP

AND SEE 23,000 FANS AND YOU'RE

LIKE, OKAY, WAIT A SECOND, DON'T

LOOK UP AGAIN.

>> WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT

YOUR YOUNG PLAYERS, THEY'RE

ASPIRING TO BE ONE OF THESE

PEOPLE ONE DAY AND SO HOPEFULLY

THEY'RE LEARNING A LOT, THEY'RE

ACTUALLY CREATING RELATIONSHIPS

WITH SOME OF THESE PLAYERS

BECAUSE THEY END UP ON THEIR

MATCHES TIME AND TIME AGAIN,

PLAYERS RECOGNIZE THEM.

THEY'LL SAY HELLO, THEY'LL JOKE

AROUND WITH THEM.

SO IT'S AN UNBELIEVABLE

EXPERIENCE TO BE A BALL PERSON.

>> IT'S A GREAT BUNCH.

THEY WORK SO HARD, THEY'RE SO

DEDICATED TO THE DOG.

IT'S LIKE A BIG HUGE FAMILY.

IT'S INCREDIBLY REWARDING.

>> BUT BALL PERSONS ARE NOT THE

ONLY ONES WORKING BEHIND THE

SCENES AT THE OPEN.

>> WE HAVE A BROKEN STEP ON THE

BOTTOM OF COURT 7.

>> QUEENS NATIVE KATHY LIFFNER

HAS WORKED AT THE U.S. OPEN FOR

MORE THAN 30 YEARS, ASSISTING

VISITORS ON THE GROUND WITH

ANYTHING THEY MIGHT NEED.

>> THEY WANT ACCURATE

INFORMATION AND THAT'S WHY WE

TRY TO PROVIDE COURT CHANGES AS

FAR AS TICKET ACCESS, WHERE CAN

THEY GO, WHAT TYPES OF FOODS ARE

AVAILABLE, WHERE IS THE BEST

SNACK.

AS THE DAY PROGRESSES YOU WANT

TO GET EVERYBODY INTO THE FIFTH

SET TIE BREAK.

WE ARE ON A CHECKLIST SCHEDULE.

>> DURING THE REST OF THE YEAR,

SHE WORKS AS AN ELEMENTARY

SCHOOLTEACHER.

BUT OVER THESE TWO WEEKS, HER

JOB CENTERS AROUND THIS UNIQUE

COMMUNITY OF TENNIS FANS.

>> OH, THEY'RE AMAZING, THEY'RE

SO MUCH FUN AND MANY OF THEM I

SEE YEAR AFTER YEAR.

THEY COME THE SAME -- YOU KNOW,

I GOT MARRIED, WHO HAS CHILDREN.

AND WE START TO SEE THE SAME

PEOPLE.

SMILE AND THERE WE GO.

CHECK IT, SEE IF YOU WANT

ANOTHER ONE.

>> WHEN THEY'RE NOT WATCHING THE

MATCH COURTSIDE, VISITORS CAN

SAMPLE A WIDE VARIETY OF FOOD

AND DRINK FROM ESTABLISHMENTS BY

NEW YORK CITY'S MOST FAMOUS

RESTAURATEURS AND CELEBRITY

CHEFS.

>> I WAS SURPRISED AT HOW MUCH

PEOPLE EAT AND DRINK AT A U.S.

OPEN SO FOR TWO WEEKS IT'S AN

INSANE AMOUNT OF FOOD.

>> THE U.S. OPEN IS KNOWN FOR

HAVING THE MOST EXQUISITE

CULINARY OFFERINGS OF ANY

SPORTING EVENT.

FROM THE GRAB-AND-GO VENDORS IN

THE VILLAGE TO THE FINE DINING

RESTAURANTS INSIDE ARTHUR ASHE

STADIUM.

>> AS NEW YORKERS, WE WANT TO

MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION ON PEOPLE

COMING HERE TO EAT SO THEY WILL

GET A TASTE OF WHAT NEW YORK

CHEFS REALLY DO.

>> HI, I'M HERE IN NEW YORK

CITY, U.S. OPEN TENNIS.

>> IF YOU JUST LOOK AT THE

COLLECTIONS OF CHEFS WE HAD AND

IF YOU LOOK AT THE LEVEL OF FOOD

WE'RE MAKING, RESTAURANT LEVEL

FOOD NOT JUST GREAT FOR OUT

HERE, IT'S GREAT PERIOD.

>> IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT TENNIS,

IT'S ABOUT BEING ENTERTAINED AND

HAVING A GREAT DAY.

>> AND WHILE THE U.S. OPEN IS A

MEMORABLE AND UNIQUE EXPERIENCE,

THE TOURNAMENT'S ORGANIZERS AIM

TO SEND VISITORS HOME WITH MORE

THAN A FULL STOMACH OR SIGNED

TENNIS BALL.

>> THE USTA'S MISSION IS TO GROW

AT THE SPORT OF TENNIS.

THESE ASSETS, LIKE THE U.S. OPEN

ARE THE NUMBER ONE MARKETING

TOOL THAT WE HAVE TO PRESENT THE

SPORT AND GET KIDS EXCITED AND

ADULTS EXCITED TO PLAY THE

SPORT.

>> THE USTA ENCOURAGES FANS TO

GET EXCITED THROUGH FREE

COMMUNITY EVENTS AND CHILDREN TO

LEARN TENNIS FROM THE PROS.

>> THE PLAYERS ARE GIVING BACK.

WE HAVE PLAYERS OUT HERE HITTING

WITH KIDS, THEY'RE DOING PUBLIC

PRACTICE SESSIONS AFTER THE

SESSIONS.

THEY'RE GIVING AWAY FREE PRIZES

AND SELFIES AND THEY'RE PART OF

THE EQUATION TO INSPIRE KIDS

MORE TO PLAY THE GAME.

>> IT TEACHES YOU INDEPENDENCE,

IT TEACHES YOU HONESTY, IT

TEACHES YOU SPORTSMANSHIP AND

FAIR PLAY.

IT'S A GAME YOU CAN PLAY YOUR

ENTIRE LIFE.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO

PROMOTE.

THE MORE KIDS SEE PROFESSIONAL

TENNIS, THE MORE THEY ASPIRE TO

BE LIKE THAT.

>> SINCE THE BELOVED TOURNAMENT

BEGAN AT THE U.S. NATIONALS MORE

THAN A CENTURY AGO, THE U.S.

OPEN HAS EVOLVED INTO SOMETHING

GREATER THAN A COMPETITION

BETWEEN ELITE TENNIS PLAYERS.

IT'S AN ECONOMIC ENGINE.

A MEDIA POWERHOUSE AND ONE OF

THE TOP ATTRACTIONS IN NEW YORK

CITY AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

>> SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN

DOING IT FOR DECADES AND IT'S

PART OF WHAT THEY DO AND THEY

LOVE BEING PART OF IT AND WE

HAVE CROWDS WHO COME AND LINE UP

WHEN THE GATES OPEN AND THEY RUN

RIGHT TO THE SAME SEAT THAT THEY

ALWAYS GO TO.

>> I HAVE BEEN COMING TO THE

U.S. OPEN SINCE 2004.

I'VE BEEN HERE EVERY YEAR SINCE

2004.

>> IT'S ELECTRIC.

THE CROWD, WATCHING THE PLAYERS,

YOU HAVE MUCH MORE OF AN

APPRECIATION OF HOW TALENTED

>> I THINK WHAT I'VE GOTTEN TO

KNOW IS WHAT THE NEW YORK CROWD

EXPECTS.

THEY WILL SIT THERE, THEY WILL

ENJOY THE MATCH, BUT THEY WON'T

JUST START CLAPPING FOR NO

REASON.

THEY WILL EXPECT YOU TO HIT A

GOOD SHOT, TO PLAY WELL, TO DO

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THEM TO

WAKE UP AND ONCE THEY'VE WOKEN

UP, THEN THEY'RE IN IT.

>> WELCOME BACK TO THE U.S.

OPEN.

ROGER FEDERER WINS IT IN FIVE.

>> IT'S REALLY UNIQUE THERE.

IT'S A BIG SHOW.

THEY LOVE TO CELEBRATE.

THERE'S A LOT OF CROWD NOISE.

I THINK IT'S REALLY NICE.

IT'S ELECTRIC, REALLY AMAZING TO

BE ON THE COURT.

>> JUST ENJOY IT.

I HOPE THEY ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS

I DO WHEN THEY STEP ON THE

COURTS.

>> I FEEL LIKE THEY'VE GOT ON

THE KNOW ME, I'VE GOTTEN THE

KNOW THEM.

WE HAVE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP.

>> EVERYTHING SHOULD BE ABOUT

THE FANS.

WITHOUT THE FANS WE DON'T REALLY

HAVE THESE TOURNAMENTS SO IT'S

OUR JOB TO MAKE IT UNBELIEVABLE

FOR THE FANS SO WHEN THEY GO

HOME AND WANT MORE.

>> IT GOES LONG.

>> IT'S REALLY A TESTAMENT TO

WHAT WE PROVIDE AND WHAT WE

OFFER TO THE FANS THAT EVERYONE

WANTS TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE,

EVEN IF THEY COME FOR JUST ONCE.

I MEET PEOPLE ALL THE TIME AND

SAY OH, MY DREAM IS TO COME TO

THE U.S. OPEN.

I SAY WELL, JUST GO.

>> FOR THOSE WHO GO TO WATCH OR

TO PLAY, THERE'S NOTHING LIKE

THE ENERGY OF THE U.S. OPEN AND

THE EXHILARATION OF WITNESSING

SPORTS HISTORY BEING MADE UNDER

THE BACKDROP OF NEW YORK CITY.

>> IT'S A TREASURE IN NEW YORK.

THERE'S NO QUESTION.

>> FUNDING FOR TREASURES OF NEW

YORK, U.S. OPEN WAS PROVIDED

STREAM TREASURES OF NEW YORK ON

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