5 reasons why Wimbledon pales in comparison to the US Open


If you're the sort of tennis fan whose season begins and ends with Wimbledon, you're really missing out.

The US Open gets under way today and - at the risk of alienating British tennis fans - we reckon it's actually a better tournament than the one served up in London each year. And here's why...

1. Variety

Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori after the US Open final in 2014
(Darron Cummings/AP)

The big four have dominated the men's singles at the US Open like they have pretty much everywhere else over the last decade, but while you have to go back to 2002 to find the last time Wimbledon was won by someone other than Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray, it's been a different story at Flushing Meadows.

Just two years ago Marin Cilic beat Kei Nishikori in a final nobody predicted and a few years before that Juan Martin del Potro lifted the trophy. It's a similar deal in the women's game, where the dominance of the Williams sisters has been punctured more frequently in New York than in London.

2. Night tennis

Andy Murray playing a night game at the US Open
(Jon Buckle/EMPICS)

There's something about sport played at night under a black sky that just can't be beaten. Whether it's a Champions League clash or a Twenty20 game, the atmosphere is just lifted by the romance of an evening fixture with the lights, the dark sky above and the sense that anything could happen.

We get occasional brief hints in that direction at Wimbledon when play on Centre Court overruns and the roof is closed - but at the US Open night tennis is a regular fixture. Obviously the dew setting in on a grass court makes the prospect a slim one at SW19. Speaking of which...

3. The courts

Marin Cilic playing at the US Open
(Charles Krupa/AP)

It's pretty much heresy to say it among British tennis fans, but hard courts are just better than grass. The lawns of Wimbledon can be inconsistent and the particular characteristics of the grass favour certain types of players - and not always the best ones.

The grass can also get slippy, leading to possible injuries - and nobody wants to see the best players pulling out because they got hurt. So while we're glad that Wimbledon and the clay courts of the French Open are there to ensure variety in the slams, we're gonna put it out there - the Australian and the US Opens produce better tennis.

4. Food

Wimbledon, you can keep your strawberries and cream. The US Open's food village is a thing to behold, with some of New York's hottest food spots descending to provide a ridiculous mix of street food and treats.

So you can try Fuku's exclusive spicy fried chicken and bacon ranch sandwich, Korilla's Korean tacos made with slow-0roasted pork and pineapple kimchi salsa or BLT Fish Shack's classic lobster roll. True, this isn't a big factor when you're watching at home on your TV, but good to know nonetheless.

5. Celebrities

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon watching the tennis at the US Open
(Jon Buckle/EMPICS)

Remember how wild everyone went when Beyonce turned up to support Serena Williams at Wimbledon this year? At the US Open, they get that kind of thing all the time. So while we're straining to catch a glimpse of Cliff Richard in the Royal Box, the Americans are rubbing shoulders with Alec Baldwin, Anna Wintour, Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Fallon, Kendall Jenner, David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, Sean Connery, Bradley Cooper, Tiger Woods and Tony Bennett. They were all spotted at Flushing Meadows last year.

We'll skip over the fact that Donald Trump was also there.