Updated: May 29, 2015
US Open Tennis & History:One of the most prized tournaments an American born tennis player can win is the US Open Tennis Championship in Flushing Meadows New York. The US Open was originally held in Newport, Rhode Island (1881) and known then as the U.S. National Championships. With the Open Era in professional tenns, the US Open in 1968 was moved to the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. The current USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens NY and draws fans from the last few weeks of August into early September (usually over Labor Day weekend). The 2-week tennis event (a Grand Slam) is considered the biggest in the world with prize money nearing $20 million for the players (both men and women). The events are mens singles, womens singles, mens doubles, ladies doubles, and mixed doubles. There are also girls and boys amateur singles and doubles as well.
The US Open is a grueling event with mens matches requiring the best of 5 sets to determine a winner and the womens at best of 3. The hard court tennis is great not only for baseliners but server and volley players as well. The crowds in New York are wild and fun and enjoy their tennis at all hours of the day. A few years back when I went to the event, I watched a night match with Todd Martin that must have bone well past 1 AM and the crowd was rockin. Daytime matches are just as fun as the outer courts fill to capacity with close matches. The food is part of the experience at any tennis event and the US OPen is no different with plenty to choose from - Champions Bar & Grill, US Open Club, Aces, Patio Cafe, Mojito Restaurant & Bar, Heineken Red Star Cafe and Food Village. If you go to the Usopen.org website, there is an excellent interactive map of the entire grounds with information on courts, restaurants, restrooms, entrances, souvenir shops, and more. During the tournament and qualifying rounds, you can follow live tennis on the official site and get match updates. View draws for singles, doubles, or mixed and download wallpaper and games of your favorite players in action. A daily schedule is available online every day of the tournament so you can quickly see who is playing on what court for that day. There are also complete bios on every player entered in the event along with an online tennis shop to buy your gear if you can't make it to the tournament. Having been out to the event twice, I can say it's a great experience and New York City offers much more than tennis. Make it a plan one summer and join the excitement. We have tried to list the best places to buy tickets down below along with hotel accommodations that work best.
US Open Tennis Tickets:Buying tickets to the US Open is not that hard to do. Firstly, we suggest being a USTA member as they get first dibs on the best tickets. The more seniority you have in terms of years as a USTA member, the earlier you are allowed to order you US Open tennis tickets. They go on sale months in advance of the event so check the Usopen.org website often for updates. You can buy individual tennis tickets to the Arthur Ashe Stadium Promenade sections or courtside and loge seating at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Last year daytime tickets started at about $50 and worked their way up to over $100 depending on the stadium and location. If you are a big tennis fan and don't need to see the biggest stars in the larger stadiums, consider a grounds pass that lets you watch smaller matches on the outside courts. It's first come first serve seating, but those matches can be the biggest thrillers around as players fight to win. Of course it's nice to see Roger Federer play, but in the big stadiums you will mostly like not be courtside and for much cheaper you can watch talented players right up close on the outside courts. As for daily grounds passes, each day 1000's are available and they are very reasonable at $20 to $35 US. If you want to see where your seats will be in Arthur Ashe Stadium, there is a seating chart available HERE and for Louis Armstrong Stadium go HERE. For an even better map of the entire venue with all the courts listed go HERE. You can call 1-866-OPEN-TIX or visit Ticketmaster.com for ticket info and availability. If you go on a package deal with Tennistours.com or another company, you can often get tickets, hotel, and transportation to the event included.
Location & Hotels:Where is US Open Tennis located? It's in Queens at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park facility. Jumping on a subway from Manhattan is the easiest way to get to the venue. You will get dropped off right between Shea Stadium and the US Open Tennis complex. If you take the Flushing bound #7 subway from Times Square-42nd Street, 5th Avenue-Bryant Park, or Grand Central-42nd Street to Willets Point-Shea Stadium station you will be dropped off right near the entrance. Just a few minute walk down the ramp and you are at the US Open tennis center. You can also take the Queens bound E or F trains to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and transfer upstairs to the Flushing bound #7 train. The bus is another viable option to get to the tennis championships and you can check online at Mta.info for the latest routes. You can drive to the tennis center, but parking can be a hassle and there's really no point with how easy the subway is to get back and forth from Manhattan area. You can get more details for transportation and directions to the USTA National Tennis Center online HERE
US Open Tennis hotels and accommodations - New York City draws in hundreds of thousands of fans each year for the US Open in late August, so finding a hotel can be a bit challenging if you wait until the last minute. Hotel rooms and rates in NYC are not cheap and most will cost you at least $250/night with many priced at $400 or up (especially for that time of year). Unless you know someone you can stay with in the Manhattan area, expect to fork out some big bucks on a hotel room. There are package deals you can get through tour operators that may save a bit on hotels when combined with tennis tickets, but we are still not talking cheap here. You can check the best travel sites like Expedia.com, Travelocity, TripAdvisor, or Hotels.com for the best hotel rates in the New York City region. It's ok if you don't stay right next to the tennis center as the subway system in NYC is excellent. Also, we highly recommend you get out and see New York City and Manhattan when you are in town. See a Broadway play, visit museums, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, etc. If we had to choose a few hotels to look into, consider the Carlton Hotel, Paramount Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, and the Hyatt. There are 3 airports you can fly into when looking for airline reservations. You can book a flight into JFK, La Guardia or Newark (in New Jersey). All 3 handle major airlines like United, American, Delta, Continental, and Northwest.
TV Coverage:If you live in the United States, TV coverage of the US Open Tennis event is an all-day experience. USA Network starts live coverage daily at 11 AM eastern standard time and continues without many breaks into the night matches that can extend past midnight. CBS covers the Arthur Ashe Kids Day and late night highlight shows until the first weekend in the event when they cover all day Saturday and Sunday. CBS will also do the mens and womens semi-final matches along with the finals. John McEnroe provides all the commentary you need on both USA and CBS networks throughout the event. You can follow the TV schedules for this year on the official US Open website located HERE.
US Open Tennis Winners/Champions:Over the years there have been some great champions at the US Open tennis championships and some surprises like Bjorn Borg never winning the event. Players like Pete Sampras and Chris Evert Lloyd have dominated the event in the past and current stars like Roger Federer and Andy Roddick hope to continue the tournaments success. Top women such as Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin-Hardenne will most likely win several more times before their careers are done. We have provided a short list of past champions down below.
- Ivan Lendl (3 Titles) 1985-87
- Pete Sampras (5 Titles) 1990, 1993, 1995-96, 2002
- Jimmy Connors (4 Titles) 1974, 1976, 1982-83
- Rod Laver (2 Titles) 1962, 1969
- John McEnroe (4 Titles) 1979-81, 1984
- Roger Federer (3 Titles) 2004-06
- John Newcombe (2 Titles) 1967, 1973
- Stefan Edberg (2 Titles) 1991-92
- Andre Agassi (2 Titles) 1994, 1999
- Boris Becker (1 Titles) 1989
- Patrick Rafter (2 Titles) 1997-98
- Margaret Court (4 Titles) 1965, 1969-70, 1973
- Chris Evert Lloyd (6 Titles) 1975-78, 1980, 1982
- Steffi Graf (6 Titles) 1988-89, 1993, 1995-96
- Billie-Jean King (4 Titles) 1967, 1971-72, 1974
- Monica Seles (2 Titles) 1991-92
- Serena Williams (2 Titles) 1999, 2002
- Martina Navratilova (4 Titles) 1983-84, 1986-87
- Venus Williams (2 Titles) 2000-01