Tennis Anyone? See the 2017 U.S. Open in NYC
We can think of one good reason to look forward to the end of the summer, especially if you're a big-time tennis fan: the 2017 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, held right here in New York City. This will be the tournament’s 137th year. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens will be the host, as it has been since 1978. One of the most prestigious events in tennis, the U.S. Open is the final event in the Grand Slam, following the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. The matches are easily reached by subway; some 700,000 fans attend the U.S. Open every year.
Sessions for the 2017 tournament begin on Monday, August 28th, and continuing through Sunday, September 10th, when the men’s final and women’s doubles final are held. The biggest stars in the men's game will be here, including World No. 1 Andy Murray, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, and No. 3 Roger Federer. The women's side is equally impressive, with defending U.S. Open champ Angelique Kerber taking on perennial favorite Serena Williams.
Tickets for the biggest matches can be scarce, but with tennis of this caliber, even a warm-up rally on a side court can be thrilling. Looking for free tennis? The U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament runs ahead of the main event (Tuesday, August 22 through Friday, August 25), with 256 men and women competing for the final 32 spots in the singles competition. It's open to the public and free to attend.
This year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will be held on the Saturday ahead of the U.S. Open. There are games, activities, roving entertainers, and the chance to watch the pros practice from 9:30am to 3pm. At 1pm, big-name acts take the stage for a live concert Stadium Show.
New since 2016 is a state-of-the-art 8,125-seat Grandstand stadium, with more food, more shade, and some spectacular architecture, located in the southwest corner of the tennis center. (It has a retractable roof, so weather will be less of a factor than ever in U.S. Open scheduling.)
(Note that this is a tentative schedule, and subject to change.)
*Field court time TBD.
The fastest and least frustrating way of getting to the Open is by subway. The 7 train provides easy access from 42nd Street stops in Manhattan, including Grand Central Terminal, to the Mets-Willets Point Station right near the stadium. Alternatively, you can take the Long Island Rail Road to Mets-Willet, which will cost a little more, but have much fewer stops. For detailed directions on Google Maps, click here or visit usopen.org/transportation for more information.
Image: Andy Murray at the U.S. Open by Bobby Das/Flickr
Remember, pack lightly. The U.S Open has strict rules and security procedures that prevent all non-medical food items from being brought in. Only one bag is allowed per person (and no backpacks). It can't be any bigger than 12” x 12” x 16”. Flags, banners, and signs, along with recording devices, are also strictly prohibited. Cell phones are allowed; just don’t get caught trying to record Djokovic's wicked serve. For details on the U.S Open security procedures, including a complete list of what is allowed on the grounds, click here.