The United States has historically hosted some of the most important tennis tournaments each season. Not only is it great for fans to check out, but athletes love coming to the United States to compete as well.
What are the seven best tennis tournaments in the United States currently? Based on prestige, prize money, points available, and more, these seven deserve attention.
1. U.S. Open
- Location: New York
- Level: Grand Slam
It can be argued that the U.S. Open is the best tennis tournament in the entire world. While others argue for the other three slams, the last one of the year takes place in New York City right around Labor Day.
The U.S. Open is home to the biggest tennis stadium in the world. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main showcase court, but several others host huge crowds. Fans love coming to New York City as there is a different level of energy in the area during this tournament.
Win a title at the U.S. Open, and it automatically leads to endorsement opportunities. Players have burst onto the tennis scene for the first time by making a deep run at Flushing Meadows.
2. Indian Wells
- Location: Indian Wells, California
- Level: WTA/ATP 1000
The next three tournaments all have the same level of points available for men and women. They are tournaments that are just that tier below Grand Slam events, so it’s a matter of personal preference more than anything. All three can be argued as the best, but Indian Wells seems to receive the most praise.
Taking place each spring, Indian Wells is the first big tournament in the United States each calendar year. It takes place in the middle of the desert in California, bringing fans from all over the world to this remote location for two weeks.
It usually has outstanding weather, which helps convince people to make the trip and see top players in action.
Indian Wells acts in a lot of ways like a Grand Slam event for the West Coast. There are a ton of tennis fans in the western United States, so being able to watch nearly all the top players compete each year is perfect.
3. Miami Open
- Location: Miami, Florida
- Level: WTA/ATP 1000
The Miami Open takes place every single year right after Indian Wells. It is basically the East Coast version of the same tournament, as it’s a high-level event for men and women players in a warm climate.
The reason why it is just slightly below Indian Wells is simply because of the schedule. If a player gets injured, or they have a really deep run at Indian Wells, they might end up pulling out of the Miami Open.
It is tough to play challenging events like this so close together. When picking between one or the other, the latter gets axed more often than not.
They recently made the move to Hard Rock Stadium, which takes away some of the uniqueness that the Miami Open had in the past in Key Biscayne. Now, they turn an NFL Stadium into a tennis grounds for two weeks.
It’s worth checking out during the month of March with the weather being great in Florida, but double-check to make sure that not all the players pulled out for one reason or another.
4. Cincinnati Open
- Location: Mason, Ohio
- Level: WTA/ATP 1000
Players seem to enjoy the Cincinnati Open. It’s been around forever, and it plays very similarly to the courts at the U.S. Open. It’s viewed as the perfect tune-up for the last Grand Slam of the year.
Located in the heart of the Midwest, players also love the more laid-back feel of the tournament compared to what they are about to face at the U.S. Open. They get great crowds every single year, but there’s enough space to move around and feel comfortable the entire time.
Success in Cincinnati does seem to translate to the U.S. Open in a lot of cases. Not only do the courts play similarly, but it’s usually pretty hot and therefore, a huge test for well-conditioned competitors.
5. Washington Open
- Location: Washington, D.C.
- Level: ATP 500
One of the first stops for players on the ATP Tour as they ramp up for the late summer hard court season is the Washington Open.
Taking place in the nation’s capital, it is currently the only 500 level ATP tournament in the United States. That means other than Cincinnati and the U.S. Open, it’s the chance to win the most points during this part of the season.
Players have always responded pretty well to the Washington Open throughout the years. The grounds are nice, it’s a great place for fans to visit, and most of the top Americans play in the tournament.
It doesn’t always grab the best of the best, but it’s an early test for players trying to do well at the U.S. Open.
6. Charleston Open
- Location: Charleston, South Carolina
- Level: WTA 500
The Charleston Open is a WTA-only event that takes place in South Carolina. It is one of only two WTA 500 series events in the United States. What makes the Charleston Open unique is that it’s the only bigger tournament to still take place on clay in the United States.
Almost all of the professional tournaments in the United States are on hard courts these days. Clay courts mostly receive use in European and South American tournaments only. It’s almost always on red clay as well. Charleston uses hard tru clay, which has a green and gray look to it.
The laid-back feel of Charleston, South Carolina makes it a fan favorite for a lot of people. Since it’s a WTA-only event, it’s not as packed as some of the other tournaments as well.
A lot of the top players will make the trip, since it’s a relatively short commute from the Miami Open that takes place the week before.
7. Hall of Fame Open
- Location: Newport, Rhode Island
- Level: ATP 250
Although just a 250 level event, The final tournament to make this list is the Hall of Fame Open which takes place in Newport, Rhode Island.
It is an ATP tournament only, and what makes it unique is that it’s on grass courts. They don’t always bring in the best players in the world, but there are usually at least a few highly-talented players in the draw.
When looking at the list of winners, about half of them come from the United States. John Isner is the most successful player ever at the tournament, winning it four times in his career.
Fans also love making this trip because it is a chance to see the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Depending on the year, there are big crowds to see the induction ceremony for some players.
What Makes Tennis in the United States Unique?
Almost every venue for tennis in the United States has unique features that make it stand out from the rest.
Whether a person wants the huge crowds and loud atmosphere of the U.S. Open, or a more traditional setting in Newport, Rhode Island on grass courts, there is something for everyone scattered around the United States.
Getting an opportunity to see the best players in the world up close is also a huge benefit. The schedule is spread out enough that tennis fans can pretty much make a road trip to somewhere in the United States and see tennis at least once a year.