US Open Musings Day 1
Today is Day 1 of the 2018 US Open, and the schedule is jam-packed with matches and other activities around the grounds of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. While I won’t be in New York until Thursday nor on the actual grounds until Saturday, I will be posting daily over the next two weeks to try to give you a different look at the year’s final Slam. I urge you to follow @ParentingAces on Twitter and Instagram, too, for updates and live video once I’m on site.
For today, let’s focus on how best to utilize the USOpen.org website and mobile app.
- Schedule of Play: You can find a complete list of all matches in all divisions on all courts on both the website and app. On the website, just click here to see who’s playing where and when. With the app, simply click on the calendar icon at the bottom of your screen for the same information. Matches start at noon ET on Arthur Ashe Stadium but an hour earlier (11am ET) on all other courts. Your grounds pass will get you everywhere but Ashe, so be sure to map out your day using the online schedule to catch all your favorite players in action.
- Players: When looking at the schedule, you’ll likely see some names you don’t recognize. Don’t worry! Both the website and the app will tell you everything you need to know. On both, click the Players tab which will show you an alphabetical list of both the men and women and will let you search by first or last name and see a list of seeds. On the website, you can also see a list of players by country. When you click on a name, you will see all sorts of information such as birthday, country of origin, ranking, and a list of recent matches played. On the app, you can then designate players as Favorites and set the app to send you a notification when your Favorites are playing. I love that feature and use it to track matches throughout the day, especially when someone I want to watch may be third or fourth on a court without a specific start time.
- Grounds Map: The Open has greatly improved its Map feature this year on both the website and mobile app. This geo-location-aware, AI-powered smart map shows real-time scores overlaid on each court, where players are practicing, and where fans are in relation to the nearest restrooms, guest services, and dining options. Every eatery is detailed in the map with full menus and photos and, new for 2018, the map has been expanded to include all transportation and parking options. Finally, the map is integrated with the tournament’s AI-powered Guest Info feature so that fans can ask direct questions to find specific services. Amazing!
- Scores: Of course, you can always find live scores and stats on all the matches with both the website and app. New for 2018, fans that install the 2018 US Open App on iOS devices will be able to experience matches in Augmented Reality (AR). Combining scoring, player position and ball tracking data, the USTA and IBM will expose fans to a three dimensional rendering of the match. Additionally, for the first time, fans will be able to point their devices towards flat services and, utilizing the device’s camera and AR Kit, project the court onto the surface allowing them to interact with the match in a whole new way.
These are just a few of the many features the tournament has added to its digital offerings. Play around on the website and app before you go to make sure you know how to take full advantage of these very cool additions.
Please let me know if our dates at The Open will overlap so we can meet! The best way to reach me during the tournament is via text to 404-790-5134. Looking forward to seeing you there!