This Year’s US Open Is a Must for Tennis Fans and Non-Tennis Fans Alike
Both tennis fans and non-tennis fans should go to the U.S. Open this year. Located right off the number seven subway line and just two minutes away from Citi Field, the U.S. Open arena is a bastion of the tennis world, a haven for tennis zealots and a permanent fixture of American sports pride. Although any year at the Open feels like an exceptional year, this year is especially important for a few big reasons.
For tennis fans: Novak Djokovic, widely considered to be the greatest player of all time, is attempting to make history by achieving the calendar Grand Slam –– winning all four majors in the year, starting with the Australian Open and ending with the U.S. Open. If he wins, he would join an elite club of only five other players in the history of the sport to have accomplished such a feat. Additionally, winning the tournament would grant him his 21st Grand Slam win, officially overtaking Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam wins of all time. The tennis world is holding its breath, counting down each of Novak’s seven requisite matches to win the final. Needless to say, if you are a tennis fan, this is the tournament to watch.
However, even if you have not watched a single tennis match in your life, there are plenty of reasons to visit the U.S. Open.
First, the atmosphere is unlike any other in the sports world. Attending a tennis event feels more like walking through a scaled-down city than it does attending a baseball or football game. While there are no skyscrapers or taxis, the excitement of the crowd and the sound of cheering replicate the experience of walking through a bustling city for the first time. The stadium is also different from that of any other sporting event. There are expansive grounds to walk around, host to all the Open’s amenities and sponsor booths; an experience different from other sports’ indoor, stuffy arenas. Walking through the complex, you'll find clothing stores such as Polo, Adidas and Wilson. There are food vendors serving all types of treats (including kosher food stands) and souvenir shops. The thrill of being at one of the premier tennis events of the year is palpable; the electricity in the air and the unique environment and venue are enough to give anyone a memorable experience.
Second, as a sports fan in general, tennis events provide an experience like no other. The players walk around the venue, sometimes right next to you. As they traverse the complex, you can sometimes (respectfully) ask for pictures or autographs. Additionally, you get to watch players in the practice courts. Tennis events grant everyone first-row access to their favorite players. The ticket that you bought for the stadium, with your specific seat, is not the place you'll be the entire day, nor is it the only opportunity you'll get to see world-class tennis. Throughout the day, players are warming up on training courts and playing matches around the venue. You choose how to spend your day and whom to watch. On that note, you're also able to see professional sports on another level; the smaller courts have standing sections that are about 20 feet away from the players. You walk around the complex, spot which match seems appealing to you, and walk right up to it, courtside. Tennis events democratize sports for those of us who wouldn't generally be able to afford first-row tickets, giving top-dollar seats to whoever’s first to the courts to claim them.
Last, the pricing structure is extremely appealing. For most sporting events, you pay an exorbitant amount of money to see one game from the nosebleed section. Tennis is different. Yes, the stadium tickets can be a little pricey; if this is a concern for you, you don't need to spend the money on stadium seats, and can instead buy a grounds pass for around $60. That fare gets you an entire day walking around a sporting city, witnessing upwards of 10 world-class tennis matches and sitting front row on all of them; this deal is amplified tenfold for avid tennis fans who really want to fill their entire day with tennis.
So everyone should head to the U.S. Open this year. It's one of the tennis world’s premier events, one of tennis' four major events of the year and this year may see a player make history. I’m not saying anything radical or revolutionary about the U.S. Open; enthusiasts know all about tennis tournaments’ unique atmosphere, entertainment experience and affordable pricing. Make this year the year that you take the two subways down to Flushing Meadows, Queens, and enjoy a sports experience like no other.
Photo Caption: The 2014 U.S. Open
Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr