As with any other sports, Tennis fans believe that their actions directly affect the outcome of their idols' matches. I know of a person who, considering himself extremely unlucky, bet on Rafa just so The Fed would win. Meanwhile, a huge tennis fan, afraid that she would jinx the game, refused to make any comment on social media during Roger Federer's final match with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. Are you one one them? The 137th edition of tennis' US Open, which is also the fourth and final Grand Slam Tennis event of the year, will be held from August 28 to September 10, 2017, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. If you're going to cheer for your idols on the hard courts, this article will help you plan your US Open Tennis itinerary.
Where to stay
The best way to book your accommodation is by availing a US Open Travel Packages. Steve Furgal's International Tennis Tours is the official travel package partner of the 2017 US Open. Whether you opted to stay for three or six days, their travel package includes 4-Star to 5-Star hotel accommodations and round trip transfers to the tennis arena. Plus, you are guaranteed an official US Open Tennis tickets for your choice seating. Your other Tour Package options include the Grand Slam Tennis Tours, Championship Tennis Tours, and Roadtrips, among others.
These US Open Travel Packages, just like tennis itself, are very lucrative but you may still find your way around by going frugal. New York City has its wide array of accommodations to fit everyone's budget; from dormitory hostels to boutique hotels, New York City has got you covered. Be sure to book your accommodations as early as possible to get the best deals; securing a room 45 to 60 days before the tournament is a safe bet but you could book as early as June for maximum savings.
Securing a parking space can be difficult and it could cost you up to USD30 so it's best to use public transportation.
To arrive at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, take a subway from Times Square or Murray Hill to Subway #7 or take a Long Island Railroad train from Manhattan to Flushing Meadows.
The subway and local bus could cost USD2.50 per ride so if you’re staying in New York City for several days, acquiring a 7-day Unlimited MetroCard is recommended to save on transportation. It only costs USD30 per person and can be availed at MetroCard vending machines or at a subway station ticket booth. This will allow you an unlimited bus and train rides within the City.
Buying your US Open Tennis Tickets
Buying your tickets can be a bit of a guessing game; you don't know which player would pop up for a match when you arrive at the hard court. Most tennis aficionados recommend buying a series of four Night Sessions at the Arthur Ashe Stadium during the earlier games as at least one of the top players is sure to be billeted in the main arena during one of the evening matches.
Arthur Ashe Stadium - (Reserved Seating)
This is where the top players are usually billeted so if you want to see Murray, Nadal, or Federer slay lower ranking opponents during the early rounds or compete against each other, better secure a seat at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Tickets ranges are as follows: Promenade (USD60 to USD700); Loge A-F (USD170 to USD1,700); Loge G-N (USD150 to USD2,500); and Courtside (USD450 to USD7500). Prices may double if bought from third-party resellers.
Take note that Arthur Ashe tickets are available as Day and Night Sessions; you must leave the stadium before 6:00 PM if you have a Day Session and arrive before 6:00 PM if you're on a Night Session pass. Day Session Arthur Ashe passes also gives you day and night passes on every other court on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here's the trick, you could actually secure Day Session Arthur Ashe passes at the same price range as a Grounds Admission pass (see below). The seating may be on the promenade but you also get a first-come, first-served admissions on all the other courts including Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand.
Large screens are placed outside Ashe in case you can't secure your tickets.
Louis Armstrong Stadium (Reserved Seating)
These tickets are available as Day and Night passes and provide you with assigned seats at the Louis Armstrong Stadium as well as first-come, first-served passes to the Grandstand and any other field courts; again, not including the Arthur Ashe. Provides an assigned seat in the Loge level of Louis Armstrong Stadium, along with first-come, first-served access to the Grandstand and all of the field courts. Louis Armstrong passes are only sold for the first nine days of the tournament. Prices range from USD100 to USD1200 depending on your chosen seats.
Grounds Admission (General Admission)
This is the cheapest ticket you could find but is only available on the first eight days of the US Open. Standard tickets range from USD60 to USD120 and could go double when booking from third-party ticketing networks. Tickets can be booked in advance but also available in very limited quantity at the site grounds on the day of each event.
Grounds Admission passes will give you day and night passes to Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and all the other field courts except the Arthur Ashe Stadium. All seating is on first-come, first-served basis so you need to be early on the site grounds where admission starts usually at 9:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the afternoon.
Any of these tickets will not guarantee you a match involving your favorite players especially when they are in the Top 10 ranks; matches are usually determined a day or the night before the actual event. The best way to predict the matches is by looking at the previous years' matches but still, you have no guarantee.
Ground Admission tickets are available at the site grounds on the day of each event but you may also secure your tickets in advance online through Ticketmasters' website or some other online ticket resellers.
Day Session events start at 11:00 AM but admission may start as early as 9:30 AM. You are to leave the stadiums before 6:00 PM to allow for ticket holders for the Night Sessions. Night Session events start at 7:00 PM but you may proceed to the stadiums as early as 5:00 PM.
Note the following dos and don'ts during admission:
- Backpacks are not allowed while all bags are subject to search and cannot be larger than 12"W x 12"H x 16"L.
- There are fast lane admissions for those who do not carry a bag.
- Video cameras or other video recording devices are not allowed on the grounds except for cell phones and SLR cameras with video recording capabilities.
- Food is not allowed except for special dietary purposes.
- Drinks are allowed buy may not be contained in glass or metallic materials.
- Computers, laptops, selfie sticks, and drones are prohibited.
- Banners, noisemakers, laser pointing devices are not allowed.
- Tennis racquets, not allowed.
The US Open is not only about tennis
You are in for a US Open Tour but you're not only there to watch tennis. Most travelers who avail of Tour Packages reserve a few days to explore the city so you might as well do the same. This is where your 7-Day MetroCard pass will come in handy. Whether you're in for seeing the monuments, nature parks, or arts and stage performances, New York City offers an endless array of places you can visit.
Landmarks and Monuments
A visit to New York City will not be complete without seeing iconic landmarks and monuments such as the Empire State Building; visit the observatory on the 86th-floor to reenact the scene from Sleepless in Seattle (yes, they met at the Empire State Building) or simply amaze yourself with the New York City skyline.
The Statue of Liberty is also not to be missed and visit the 9/11 Memorial to pay your respects to the victims of the World Trade Center tower attacks.
History and the Arts
The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be on top of your itinerary if you want to see millions of artworks covering 5,000 years of American history. Should you decide to go further, the American Museum of Natural History will present you with more than 30 million artifacts collected from land, sea, and outer space.
If you're inclined to visit the leafy paths, the Central Park is the way to go. Find a spot and just enjoy the landscape at the Sheep Meadow or Cherry Hill, take the Literary Walk or the Shakespeare Garden, or visit the Central Park Zoo or the North Meadow Butterfly Garden.
Alternatively, you can also visit the Washington Square Park or explore the neighborhood of the Greenwich Village.
The Broadway Show
You need to book in advance if you plan to see one of the long running shows but if you're in for whatever is playing, you may proceed straight to the TKTS Discount Booths in Times Square for same day tickets at 20 to 50 percent discounts.
The Big Four of Men's Tennis will not have a complete assemblage at the 2017 US Open. Twelve-Time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic (currently ranked #5) has decided not play again due to an elbow injury he suffered from his last Wimbledon quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych (ranked #14). Even last year's US Open Grand Champion, Stan Wawrinka (ranked #4), had chosen to not defend his title in order to recuperate from a knee surgery.
It will only be up to Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer (ranked #1 to #3, respectively), to compete for this year's title unless another dark horse rises during the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year. Meanwhile, at the Women's Division, Serena Williams (ranked #15) had also withdrawn from the tournament after a confirmed pregnancy April of this year.
Also, the Louis Armstrong Stadium won't be operational but an alternate Armstrong Stadium has been arranged.
About The Author
Noel Cabacungan was born and raised in the Philippines but is currently working in Saudi Arabia. He suspects the universe often conspires to put him in the unfriendliest of places and believes assimilation is the only way to survive. This belief made him capable of seeing the beauty beyond the most dreary locations. His favourite form of entertainment involves observing people do crazy things in the most mundane situations. Read more about his exploits on his blog, Ten Thousand Strangers, or follow his stormtrooper alter-ego on Instagram @troopertravelsph