I know many of you will be spending the Labor Day Weekend at the US Open – lucky you! It’s such a fun time to see the Open – the crowds, all the “extras” going on around the grounds, and, of course, some amazing tennis! In case you’re new to the Open or just need a refresher, I wanted to list some of the things you can see and do while you’re on site this weekend.
- Watch the pros practice: The practice courts are right inside the West Gate next to Arthur Ashe Stadium. The practice schedule is posted on a big board next to the courts, but you can also find it on the US Open app. After they practice, most of the pros are very gracious and will sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. There is a roped-off area where you can wait for them. Honestly, when my son was younger, this was his favorite part of the Open!
- Junior US Open Qualies: The top junior players in the world will be on site starting today, practicing and playing for a spot in the Main Draw of the US Open Junior event which begins on Sunday. These are the stars of tomorrow. If you look at the list of past winners, you will see names like Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Victoria Azarenka, CoCo Vandeweghe, and Kayla Day who won the Junior event in 2016 and is still in the Main Draw Women’s Doubles this year with partner Caroline Dolehide.
- Follow the NextGen players: Tennis is on the brink. Our top players, especially on the men’s side, are well past 30 years old, and we have a deep cache of Young Guns waiting to take the reins. Among those still in the US Open this year are Sofia Kenin (age 17) who faces Maria Sharapova tonight on Ashe in Round 3, Andrey Rublev (age 19) who took out Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets yesterday and faces Bosnia Damir Dzumhur tomorrow, Canadian Denis Shapovalov (age 18) who defeated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the night match on Ashe 2 days ago and faces Kyle Edmund today, and Borna Coric (age 20) who beat fellow NextGener Sasha Zverev in the 2nd round and faces former University of Illinois standout Kevin Anderson today on the Grandstand.
- Follow the college players: I love how many former college players are still in the Main Draw in both singles and doubles! Representing my alma mater UCLA is Jennifer Brady. Jen beat the 23-seed Barbora Strycova 6-1 6-1 yesterday and will play Monica Niculescu tomorrow. On the men’s side, in addition to Anderson we also have UGA’s John Isner playing on Ashe tonight. In doubles, watch out for Jen Brady who is playing with Allie Riske, Stanford’s Nicole Gibbs who is playing with Julia Boserup, former Stanford star Kristie Ahn playing with former Georgia Tech player Irina Falconi, and former UNC star Nick Monroe who is playing with former Tennessee star JP Smith.
- Player Meet-and-Greets: Each day the Open hosts meet-and-greets with several players. Today you can meet NextGeners Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe. Check the US Open app for up to date information on these and other interactive events.
- Shopping & Eating: There are several booths, kiosks, and full-on stores on the grounds to do some major shopping. If you have an American Express card, you can register it through the US Open app and get a $20 credit when you spend $100 on site. Chase Bank is offering Charge & Watch, a device that will charge your phone while you watch exclusive live event coverage. There are also several charging stations around the grounds that you can use while taking a break from the tennis (though I don’t know why you would ever want to do that!). As far as eating goes, the US Open takes stadium food to a whole new level! There are even gourmet vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher options for those with dietary restrictions. Of course, if you want a hamburger or hot dog, you can get those, too. And, for those in the over-21 category, be sure to try the US Open’s signature cocktail, the Honey Deuce.
For more information on the best way to visit the Open, check out my friend PJ Simmons’s in-depth blog here.
Have a great weekend at the Open! I’ll be there starting Wednesday and look forward to meeting up with you then.