Fancy a bit of tennis this summer? Well Wimbledon might be over, but now it’s America’s turn to host a major tournament of its own. The US Open is happening August 26th through September 8th so get yourself to New York City to see the best tennis players in the world in the last Grand Slam of the year. Here’s what to expect at the US Open and where to get cheap tickets!
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About the US Open – A Little History
The US Open is the fourth and final grand slam tournament of the year, following the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon, in that order. One of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world, the US Open has been going down since 1881. While it moved around in its early years, this tournament has been held in New York City since 1924 and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens since 1978. The complex has 22 courts where fans can watch men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles matches.
The prize money this year is the richest purse in tennis history, with the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions receiving $3.85 million each.
What to Expect, How to Prepare as a Fan
Since the US Open takes place over nearly two weeks, including Labor Day weekend, you’ll have lots of dates (and tickets) to choose from. Obviously, the farther along you get in the tournament up to the Finals, the higher tickets prices will go and the tougher they’ll be to get, particularly because matchups can include two big-time stars (like that Djokovic-Federer Final at Wimbledon).
So which days should you go to the US Open? Depending on what you’re looking for in your experience, you may not want to go too early because you risk seeing blowout matches with lesser-known players. Days 4-7 are a good bet because they’re the second and third round matches (so you’ll get to see winners play). There are also day tickets and night tickets, grounds passes, and decisions to make about whether you’ll choose the the new Louis Armstrong Stadium or the main Arthur Ashe Stadium. For some great advice on which tickets to purchase, check out this guide to the US Open.
As a fan, how should you prepare? Well, be sure to bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. (Maybe a poncho too!) It’s summer in New York, after all. As a general rule, it is professional tennis, so you want to look nice… but you’ll also want to be comfortable if it gets super hot. There’s no actual dress code though, so you can go sporty or preppy – some people wear their tennis ensembles. Linen and white are always a good choice, as well as shorts, dresses, and skirts – so long as you wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing quite a bit of walking. You can check out some celeb US Open outfit inspiration here.
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How to get there? Don’t even think about driving to the US Open. Take public transportation, bike, or call an Uber or Lyft. Matches start early so arrive early as security can take a while (if you can avoid bringing a bag, it’ll go faster). You can also bring your own snacks in small amounts, but there will also be food available at the stadium – pretzels, hamburgers, burritos – and of course, drinks. Just be prepared to pay. Or fill up ahead of time in nearby Flushing before heading inside. You can bring a (non-glass) water bottle and refill it to save money and stay hydrated too!
Print off or get the draw sheet ahead of time (or pull it up on your phone) so you can see when and wear each match is happening. Then you can plan ahead to catch your favorite players. There are other activities besides matches going on during the US Open too – American Express sponsors lots of cool stuff – and there may also be autograph sessions with players.
And of course, get your tickets ahead of time. Don’t risk buying them from the guys standing outside the stadium – they may be fake!
Any 2019 US Open Drama I Should Know About?
Yup, how’d you guess? You’ve heard about 15-year-old tennis prodigy Coco Gauff who made waves at Wimbledon when she beat Venus Williams? Well, it looks like there might be some rules that would bar her from playing in the US Open because due to her age. She’s used up her allowed wild card bids for the year at the Miami Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon. But given her receive performance and popularity, and the fact that the US Open is a Grand Slam, the folks in charge will likely reserve the right to ignore those minor little World Tennis Association rules.
And of course, last year’s US Open saw favorite Serena Williams break her racket in the Finals, lose to relatively unknown Naomi Osaka, and call the umpire a “thief.” So we’ll see if she can come back this year and get what she came for in 2018… her 24th and world record-tying Grand Slam title.
Also, a bit of tech trivia if you’re not a regular tennis follower: As of last year, all courts are outfitted with Hawk-Eye camera technology to allow for instant replays of line calls. It knows whether the ball was in or out, and players get three incorrect challenges per match.
Players to Watch
As always, the top players in the world will be there – Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. Djokovic won the men’s singles last year, and – as mentioned above – Osaka beat Serena for the women’s championship in dramatic fashion. Both champs will be back this year to defend their titles. Andy Murray may also be back again after a pretty serious hip procedure – but probably only in doubles.
Djokovic, who also won the US Open in 2011 and 2015, will be going for his 17th Grand Slam title and Serena for her elusive 24th. If she can get it, she’ll tie Margaret Court’s record for the most Grand Slam titles… ever. Federer still leads the men’s singles Grand Slam record with 20. But this one is anybody’s to win!
Shop Cheap US Open Tickets! We’ve got tickets for all of the tournament days. Go see your favorite tennis player!