The U.S. Open and Wimbledon are two of the biggest sporting events of the year, and they represent the height of the tennis season. Both events pull in about 500,000 spectators each, and both are highly anticipated and feature some of the best players in tennis.
Yet there are a few differences between these two major matches. Here’s how they stack up:
Wimbledon is older than the U.S. Open — but only by a few years. Wimbledon began in 1877 as a small match open to only a few hundred people. It had the atmosphere of a garden party, but with tennis. The U.S. Open started in 1881 as a men’s singles tournament. The U.S. Open was more for entertainment, while Wimbledon was seen as more of a social event.
Both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon have huge sponsors each year, but the tournaments have developed long-standing relationships with different partners. The U.S. Open typically features American Express, IBM and Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) as sponsors. Wimbledon usually welcomes Hertz, Rolex and Philips, though it is much stricter about limiting commercialization.
Winning either the U.S. Open or Wimbledon will result in major career advancement for any tennis player, as well as lucrative sponsorship opportunities. But both tournaments also award hefty cash prizes.
The winner of the U.S. Open will get $3.3 million (either men’s singles or women’s singles). The winner of Wimbledon will get £1,88 million. Many other prizes are available for runners up, so the total prize pool for each competition is much, much higher.
Some of the greatest tennis players in history have played at both of these tennis tournaments — and even won a few times — including Serena and Venus Williams, Andre Agassi, and Martina Hingis. Watching these matches can be some of the most thrilling moments in sporting history.