No matter what your level of appreciation is for tennis, you have to love the US Open, held here at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens across from Citifield where the New York Mets play.
They’ve opened their doors this week, Monday through Saturday, free to the public for Fan Week, a showcase of recognizable tennis names practicing, and hopefulls competing in qualifying rounds to advance to the Open matches which officially begin Monday (Aug. 26), concluding with the championships the weekend of the 7th and 8th of September.
There will be two great weeks of tennis, played by the world’s greatest players.
Serena Williams is on the schedule, vying for her 24th Grand Slam win which would tie her with Margaret Court for the all-time record. So is Coco Gauff who wowed tennis fans at Wimbledon earlier this summer.
Also scheduled is Naomi Osaka, last year’s US Open women’s singles winner and Sloane Stevens, the 2017 winner.
Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, Rafael Nadal, an 18-time winner and Novak Djokovic, last year’s men’s Open winner and 16-time Grand Slam winner, will also appear.
To officially begin the Open, a statue honoring Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win the U.S. Nationals in 1957, the precursor to the US Open, and winner of 11 Grand Slam tournament titles, will be unveiled Monday morning, 11 a.m. in front of Arthur Ashe
Stadium, located on the tennis center grounds.
The US Open, the fourth tournament of the Grand Slam, Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon, had a record number of total patrons last year at 732,663. The year before had 691,143.
The tournament consists of five primary championships: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The tournament also includes events for senior, junior and wheelchair players.
The USTA, the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. which oversees the operations of the US Open, have also selected 12 vocalists, ages 14 and under to perform patriotic-themed songs, i.e., the national anthem during the night sessions of this season’s Open and at
Saturday’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day program, which requires a paid admission. Six of the performers selected are from the New York-tri-state area.