US Open….my way!
Dates visited: September 2016
When I started learning how to play tennis, thanks to my tennis coach Mike Watson, I caught the tennis bug. I wanted to learn everything there was about tennis. After one summer of playing tennis, I had the opportunity to see the US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York. Not only was it an opportunity to see the US Open, but it was the Men’s final. At the time, I didn’t realize the significance of this match. It was Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi. There is no place like New York. At the beginning of the final (9/8/2002), there was a ceremony commemorating 9/11. It was a special moment as the sold out crowd remembered and mourned the devastation that America had suffered almost a year, prior. The solemn start to the match turned to excitement because it was an all American final (Serena and Venus Williams were the women finalists). Pete Sampras won in five long sets. It was also Pete’s last match as a tennis professional. I’ll never forget my first experience at the US Open. How do I top that going forward?
I try to go to the US Open every year. The US Open has not only inspired me to play better tennis but to attend other professional tennis tournaments. The atmosphere at the US Open is like nothing else. The crowds are spectacular. When you arrive at Flushing Meadows, you will see the large unisphere in the park. You know you are in the right place to see the greatest tennis tournament! In my opinion, the best time to go to the US Open is the first weekend of the tournament. All the outer courts are filled with tennis action. My advice is to buy a grounds pass for the day so you can experience all the outer courts. You can also view the practice courts where you can see the top players practicing for their upcoming matches! Then on to the night session!
I purchase my night sessions through my American Express platinum card. Each year American Express platinum provide an experience for their platinum members, where you can purchase loge or courtside tickets with hospitality tickets. The hospitality pavilion offers a place to cool down, rest your feet, and refuel before you head off to the night session. The Arthur Ashe stadium has been recently renovated to include a retractable roof (no rainouts!) and new seating in the massive stadium.
The US Open is important to me. It reminds me of where I started with tennis, how I love tennis, and how tennis brings everyone together. You don’t have to purchase tickets through American Express to get the most out of the US Open. If you have a chance, go….you will not be disappointed!
Tip: Take the train from Penn Station. The Long Island Railroad transfer has a train that drops right in front of the entrance of the US Open venue.
Another tip: If you have restaurant reservations, you can skip to the front of the line, and you can enter the stadium up to an hour early! (for the evening session) The American Express Hospitality qualifies. Look to the left of the big lines or ask someone where the queue is for Restaurant/Hospitality. You will have to show your hospitality ticket or dining reservation, along with your ticket to the venue in order to gain entry.