This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to go see the U.S. Open for the first time. I had been to a much smaller tennis event (at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI), but never one of this magnitude. For those of you who have never been to a major tennis tournament, the day was wall-to-wall action.
The matches started at 11am, we got the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens around 12:00pm. With tickets for Arthur Ashe Stadium for both the day and night sessions, we were able to see matches across the grounds.
Following this match, we went to the grandstand court to watch Gaël Monfils take on Janko Tipsarević, the Serbian that took down Andy Roddick. One of the coolest things about the grandstand court is that you can watch the match from above, along the walkway between the grandstand and Louis Armstrong.
We popped out onto the walkway and peered down on what would be one of the most compelling matches of the day. Monfils, who has prodigious talent but hasn’t been able to stay healthy or put everything together, ran all over the court to make shots. It seemed as though he there were more than one Monfils out there, sort of like in his commercial for K-Swiss. Monfils eventually got the better of Tipsarević in 4 sets.
The non-stop tennis continued with a quick stop back in Louis Armstrong to see Caroline Wozniacki, the women’s number 1, absolutely destroy Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan (6-1, 6-0). In the span of a couple of hours, I had taken in three tennis matches featuring three highly ranked tennis players. I can’t think of anywhere else in sports where you can see this much action in such a small amount of time.
The fun didn’t stop there, as we finally made use of our tickets for Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch the end of Maria Sharapova‘s match against young, American Beatrice Capra. Sharapova showed her class, double bageling Capra. I could go on describing the rest of the day, where we saw Roger Federer, Richard Gasquet, Jürgen Melzer, and Juan Carlos Ferrero just to name a few. We also took in a mixed doubles match that featured Daniel Nestor, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Capra (again).
Following a short break in the action, the night session consisting of Novak Djokovic vs. James Blake and Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Maria Kirilenko began at Ashe Stadium. Neither match was particularly competitive, as Djokovic and Kuznetsova won their matches in straight sets. We had awesome seats for the night session, it was incredible to be that close to the court (only 6 rows away).
Despite swirling winds that made the last match of the evening rather unpleasant for everyone in Ashe Stadium, my experience was certainly one of the most interesting sporting experiences of my life. I’ve never been to an event where you could see so much action over the course of an entire day. The 12 or so hours spent in Flushing were action-packed and a sports fan’s dream. The ability to move around the grounds and take in all or parts of matches featuring the best tennis players in the world make the U.S. Open a unique experience. This trip left me thoroughly enamored with the U.S. Open. I sincerely hope that this will not be my last trip to the courts in Queens.
Check out my flikr page for pictures from my trip.