It’s been an exciting week for the U.S. Open. We saw 19-year-old Coco Gauff make it to the women’s semi-finals, un-seeded 20-year-old Ben Shelton win against No.10 Francis Tiafoe, plus big wins from the top-two men’s players Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. The Grand Slam tournament also celebrated 50 years of equal prize money among men and women tennis players. 

Since the tournament’s opening ceremony on August 22, CivicScience has been tracking U.S. open viewership among U.S. adults. As of September 7, a total of 18% of respondents say they’re watching the tournament at least ‘somewhat closely’ (with 5% watching ‘very closely’) – down two points from last year. Nearly two-thirds aren’t following the U.S. Open, compared to 58% in 2022. General awareness, though, has grown since last year. Seventeen percent say they aren’t familiar with the tournament, down from 22% last year. 

Millennials aged 25-34 are leading the decrease in viewership, as 21% are tuning in this year compared to 30% last year, whereas viewership among other generations stayed relatively stagnant from 2022. Viewership is also down among men – 14% are watching the matches at least somewhat closely compared to 17% last year.

Who’s tuning in? While U.S. Open followers are highly likely to be people who enjoy playing tennis themselves (making up more than 50% of followers), the CivicScience InsightStore uncovered unexpected insights about this year’s viewers by scanning thousands of always-on questions and ranking them by strength of association. Here’s who’s following the matches very closely: 

  • Fashion-followers. Two-fifths follow fashion trends ‘very closely,’ compared to just 3% of those not following the U.S. Open.
  • Bank switchers. Nearly half are ‘very likely’ to switch banks in the next three months (47%), far outpacing those not following the matches (6%). 
  • Upscale diners. Thirty-nine percent of those watching very closely dine at upscale restaurants at least once a week, compared to 2% of non-viewers. 
  • WNBA fans. Those following the U.S. Open the most closely are significantly more likely also to follow the WNBA (Women’s NBA) very closely (41% compared to 1% of non-viewers). 
  • People who share celebrity gossip. Sixty-three percent of the U.S. Open’s biggest followers report sharing celebrity gossip on social media daily – far outpacing all other consumers.

Another important factor influencing how closely Americans follow along is who’s in the tournament. This year, we’ve seen many new and upcoming players hop into the spotlight, like Ben Shelton who’s playing No.1 seeded player Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals after just playing college tennis last year. 

As the tournament heads into the semi-finals and finals rounds through the weekend, who do Americans want to win? Among the women’s semi-finalists, viewers are rooting for American player Coco Gauff (33%), with Madison Keys following closely behind at 30%. Among the men’s semi-finalists, Novak Djokovic is the top pick for winning (24%), with Ben Shelton following behind at 18%.

CivicScience is always tracking the latest sports events and breaking news. Get in touch to learn how to access CivicScience’s immediate data and always-on-questions.