Sizing Up The US Open

In more ways than one, the US Open is different from other Grand Slams. There are no dress codes on or off court, planes routinely fly over the stadium, and cafeterias offer hot dogs.

Perhaps most important, it is the only Grand Slam that offers equal prize money ($700,000) for men and women players. This year marks the 25th anniversary of that radical break from tradition. Holdouts such as Wimbledon say it's not equal work: Men play best-of-five sets, women best-of-three.

Top-seeded Pete Sampras was on course in his quest to tie Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any man in the Open era. Sampras has won four US Opens.

While many pundits favor Sampras for the men's title (despite his recent slump in form), the women's draw is not as easy to predict. Young guns Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Anna Kournikova, and seasoned stalwart Steffi Graf have been in raving form.

Television coverage is on both CBS and USA channels. Play continues through Sept. 13.

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