While some tennis fans plan their year around attending the US Open, for many, it’s a bucket-list event they’ll only attend once. Like any big event, the Open can be stressful and overwhelming if you go in without a plan and without having done your research. In order to help you enjoy your US Open experience as much as possible, we put together a list of tips on how to get the most out of your time in Flushing Meadows without losing your mind to stress.
1. Plan your travel plans far ahead of time.
Traffic, subway backup, over-priced taxis, and long lines can all add unnecessary stress to your trip to the Open. If you want to have your own car there, make sure to buy a parking pass in advance. If you plan on taking the subway, have a backup plan – Uber, Lyft or other taxi alternatives may be good. You’ll want to have this backup in case a night match runs late and you miss your last train.
2. Wear Sunscreen.
This one may be a little obvious, but in the excitement of getting out the door to watch your favorite players, you may forget. New York can get hot in the summertime and that sun can be very unforgiving. In case you don’t have shady seats, make sure to apply and reapply.
3. Go to two back-to-back days early on in the tournament.
A big worry when buying tickets to the US Open is that you’ll miss your favorite player due to unlucky scheduling or an early loss. If you can, get tickets to two back-to-back days early on in the tournament. This increases your chances to see the players you want since players play every other day and are less likely to lose in the early rounds.
4. Don’t confine yourself to Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Like all grand-slam events, the US Open bring some of the finest tennis talent from all over the world. True, it’s usually the most popular players playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium, but many former slam champions, up-and-comers and entertaining players will be playing on outside courts. Venture out and you’re likely to see some of the more entertaining matches of the whole event.
5. Watch the girls’ and boys’ events.
Yes, you’re there to see the pros, but the pros started somewhere too. Roger Federer and Eugenie Bouchard both won junior titles at grand-slam events. If you watch some of the younger players, you may be watching the beginnings of some world-class tennis careers.
6. Go see some doubles matches.
If you’ve never watched a doubles match, you’re missing out! And I’m not just talking about the Bryan brothers or the Williams sisters. Doubles tennis is a very different game than singles tennis, but just as exciting. The bonus: a lot of singles players will form unique doubles teams for grand-slam events. This is a great opportunity to see some of your favorite players on court while experiencing something a little different.