After the red clay of the French Open, the grass at Wimbledon, the next tournament shifts to the hardcourt when the U.S. Open gets underway in late August.

Played at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York, the U.S. Open will begin on Monday, August 29, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, as First Round gets stared for the two week tournament.

The Women's Final will be played on Saturday, September 10th, while the Men's Finals will take place on Sunday, September 11th, at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

In the U.S., television coverage will be shown on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel, and will be shown on TSN in Canada. Sky Sports will provide coverage in the UK, and will be shown on FOX Sports in Australia.

Rafael Nadal will try to repeat as Men's champion after defeating Novak Djokovic in four sets in the 2010 Final, while Kim Clijsters will defend her Women's title after breezing past Vera Zvonareva.

According to the official Web site, the 2011 U.S. Open purse has increased by more than one million dollars to reach a record $23.7 million. In addition to the base purse of $23.7 million, the top three men's and top three women's finishers in the Olympus U.S. Open Series may earn up to an additional $2.6 million in bonus prize money at the U.S. Open, providing a potential total payout of $26.3 million. 

The U.S. Open has tiebreaks in every set, including the last set.  The tournament dates back to 1881.

Here are the current Men's Rankings:

1. Novak Djokovic

2. Rafael Nadal

3. Roger Federer

4. Andy Murray

5. Robin Soderling

6. David Ferrer

7. Gael Monfils

8. Mardy Fish

9. Tomas Berdych

10. Nicolas Almagro

Here are the Women's Rankings:

1. Caroline Wozniacki

2. Kim Clijsters

3. Vera Zvonareva

4. Victoria Azarenka

5. Maria Sharapova

6. Na LI

7. Petra Kvitova

8. Francesca Schiavone

9. Marion Bartoli

10. Samantha Stosur