10 Facts to Know as You Watch the U.S. Open Tennis Championships

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You finally understand that "love" actually means zero, and you're ready to soak up the last of summer with the final Grand Slam tennis championship of the year. Before the first serve of the 2015 U.S. Open, which runs Aug. 31 through Sept. 13, brush up on some interesting facts and get ready to ace your watching experience.

1. Arthur Ashe won the first U.S. Open as an amateur, and the main stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world — is named after him. Virginia Wade won in women's singles.

2. Men and women receive the same amount of prize money — a tradition that started in 1973. This designated tennis as the first sport to pay equal prize money for men and women.

3. The trophy is designed by Tiffany & Co.

4. In 1975, the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tourney to have night games.

5. A shot rang out during a game between John McEnroe and Eddie Dibbs' match in 1977. The commotion in the crowd briefly stopped play, but the game quickly resumed, and McEnroe won the match (but not the tournament). It was later discovered that a fan had been shot in the leg by a stray bullet from outside the grounds.

More: Get Your Kids Interested in Tennis by Watching the U.S. Open

6. Since 1978, matches have been on a hard-court surface covered with DecoTurf II.

7. In the other Grand Slam tournaments, there's no tiebreaker like there is in the U.S. Open; opponents just play until one person has two more winning games.

8. Americans usually dominate the singles finals. U.S. male players have won 85 titles; male players from Australia have won 18; and male players from Great Britain and Switzerland have, respectively, won five. In women's singles, the U.S. has won 93 titles; Australia six; and Belgium and Germany, respectively, five.

9. Venus and Serena Williams became the first sisters to meet in a U.S. Nationals/U.S. Open final in 2001.

10. The 2015 singles winners will each earn $3.3 million. Doubles winners (per team, men and women) will receive $570,000.

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