U.S. Open tips and tricks?

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by ari1974, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. ari1974

    ari1974 New User

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    I'm finally going to be in New York for the U.S. Open, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips.

    Are there particularly good places or bad places to stay in New York, or can you get to the U.S. Open from almost anywhere (I get the impression it is the latter)?

    Are there any obstructed views in Arthur Ashe stadium?

    Are there any tricks for getting tickets?

    Here is what I've found so far:
    1. I managed to get discount tickets from plumbenefits. I'm not sure what is involved in getting a membership (borrowed a friends), but the tickets were 40% off using their code at Ticketmaster, and you could get them as late as the day sessions for the last Thursday (one of the men's quarterfinals). I wanted to see the men's quarterfinals (Wednesday and Thursday) or men's semfinals (Saturday morning and afternoon) or men's final (Sunday). I couldn't get tickets to the finals, and couldn't get discount tickets to the semifinals, but did get discounts to one of the men's quarterfinals (Thursday during the day)

    2. It sounds like there isn't really a better or worse place to sit in Ashe, beyond just ticket price and personal preference.



    As a weird additional question, has anyone every had success trying to get a press pass? I've written a few articles online (http://www.lunch.com/tags/Tennis-1002541-Overview.html), and I was hoping to parlay that into some sort of press pass. I'm guessing the odds are infinitesimal, and that press passes are reserved for real journalists, but if someone had pulled this off without writing for a real paper, I'd love to hear how.
     
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  2. AmericanTemplar

    AmericanTemplar Professional

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    I wouldn't sit above the Loge level. Other tips are go to an early round & go to a day session. Everyone will be out playing & practicing during the day in the early rounds. Also if the match in AA isn't good there is plenty to see on the other courts.
     
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  3. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    If you are planning on staying in Manhattan, just know that you'll take the 7 train OR you can go to Penn Station (underneath Madison Square Garden and take a LIRR train.

    Highly advisable that you attend the first week of the tournament, more crowded, more action, get a real "people" feel for the tournament and atmosphere. Just get a Grounds Pass for the first week.

    You should take in one night session just because you have the chance, hopefully the match will be epic and you get to stay there way past midnight. It will get cooler at night in late august, early september.

    If you are a USTA member, first Firday is member appreciation day.

    The food inside has gotten much better lately so I almost don't mind eating dinner there :)

    By really good food and bring it in to eat in the late morning.

    For late lunch, I get my hand stamped and go out and eat at the Park concession. Hot dogs, chips, soda are much cheaper. Last year, Mr. Williams and his new girlfriend were there. He's a regular. He took our table after we were done.

    For dinner, I eat inside.

    If if gets really hot, go to the top of the armstrong, stand in on of the "exits" the wind and shade will cool of really quickly

    Wear a hat, with 360 brim. Many men wear baseball cap, not as good. I feel 10-5 degrees cooler with my "sun hat".

    If you get there really early, be the very first one in the park. You can head to Grand Stand and sit in the shade portion, you'll have shade for the entire day.

    Be sure to check out the practice courts.

    If it rains, get your hand stamp, take the 7 train, one more stop to Flushing. You can get good food, sit down for coffee to tea with boba. Check out one of the China Town in NYC, very colorful. When rain clears, you can hop back quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
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  4. treo

    treo Rookie

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    When I went in 05 they didn't let you carry a daypack but you could carry a tote bag. Do they still have that rule?
     
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  5. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Yes, it got worse in 07, the lowest point but they seem to have loosen up a little after all the complaints. No back packs, you need to carry a tote of a certain size. Of course, once you are inside. feel free to buy the biggest tennis backpack.

    Cameras, no Professional grade recording devices. stupid rule really, you can't bring in a big lens but you can bring in a superzoom camera that can reach 500mm (35mm equivalent) and record in HD.
     
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  6. ari1974

    ari1974 New User

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    Thanks again for all the advice. I unfortunately can't get to the U.S. Open for the first week. I'm close enough to Indian Wells that I can see all the players practicing there, so really I just want to see a Grand Slam singles match.

    I'll definitely make sure to bring binoculars, I hadn't realized quite how far away my seats were going to be.

    Thanks also for the advice about the tote bag and the food.
     
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  7. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    If you've been to Indian Wells, you've seen the Pros up close and personal.

    Say hi to the Promenada and the Pacific Ocean for me :)
     
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  8. FuriousYellow

    FuriousYellow Professional

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    Is it difficult to get tickets at the box office the same day during the first week?

    I may be in NYC that week working, but don't know what days I'll be able to go.
     
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  9. Dgpsx7

    Dgpsx7 Professional

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    Another tip that may or not be useful to you. If you have an American Express card they let you rent this little screen that you can carry around that will show all the matches "live"(5 sec delay) on the grounds. Usually I would have no use for this but last US open I would use it to toggle through matches to see if any good matches are developing and if I should leave one to go to another. This way you would not have to watch a bad match at one stadium when there is a good match developing at the grandstand for example.
     
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  10. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Yes. Recommend bying online, try the night sessions and get there early so you can enjoy the remaining day matches.
     
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  11. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    Have they ever sold out the first day or two ?

    Also how do the tickets work ? Does a grounds pass get you everywhere but AA stadium ? and if you have a day pass what happens at night ?
     
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  12. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    I doubt they sell out the first days. They do allocate a number if tickets for the day so get there early and get in line, you're more than likely good. I have done this a couple of times. But if you can buy them online do so to save you all that hassle. Grounds pass, Arhtur Ashe tickets during the day session is not good at night.
     
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  13. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    In the past, I used to go there early, wait in line and get a grounds pass for the first week, no problem.

    They started to sell out so I buy them before hand now. You never know how many grounds pass will be available for that day but it is not worth it because you have to get there early, wait in lines for hours to be the first few hundred. It is so much better to know that you have the ticket and just go there.

    The grounds pass will not let you into AA but you can stay there until there is nothing left to see. I've stayed past midnight watching matches on the outside courts so you will have your fill of tennis. During the first week, there will also be matches on the outside courts. I don't recall ever leaving the Open earlier than 10pm with a ground pass. That's a lot, a lot of tennis. The atmosphere at night is different.

    You are welcome to sit outside and watch on the big screen the night matches so some people just have dinner while watching the night match in AA on the big screen, nice atmosphere.
     
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  14. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    the last time I went was 6 years ago, I got there about 11:30am and bought a stadium ticket... no wait

    then about 6pm or so bought a night pass. Are tickets harder to get now for the first two days ?
     
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  15. cr8zymike

    cr8zymike New User

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    My wife and I are taking our first trip to the open this year as well.
    Is it better to go later in the morning (e.g. 11:30am) instead of the morning rush? We're only looking at grounds tickets b/c my wife wants to do more time shopping wherease I would like to watch some tennis :-?
    Also, is it better to buy tickets online before we fly into NYC or try to get them on arrival?

    thanks!
     
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  16. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    If you are definite of the date you are going and you have online tickets available then buy it before hand. Saves you the hassle and stress.
     
    #16
  17. innoVAShaun

    innoVAShaun Hall of Fame

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    TIP...

    The lines to each entrance are usually split up:

    -The long ass, slow line checking Bags and scanning people with metal detectors

    -And the short, quick one right to a quick metal detecter, then to the ticket handler to be scanned.
     
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  18. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    we should do a us open meet up for all the TT people going.
     
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  19. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    TW! whos all going to the Open?
     
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  20. TennisPassion5

    TennisPassion5 Rookie

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    I will be there.
     
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  21. aceyou

    aceyou New User

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    i wish i was going.
     
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  22. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    mj, can u take me?
     
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  23. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    The worst pizza in NYC can be gotten at the food court. Bring a wide brimmed hat. Last time I went, backpacks weren't allowed, but shoulder bags were.

    Bring a cushion or something for the metal benches. It's not just for the cushioning, it's just really hot. The qualifiers are free and you can watch a lot of the seeded players practicing in the big courts while the qualies are going on.
     
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  24. 10ACE

    10ACE Professional

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    I'll be there, best show in town that time of year. Except of course Yankee baseball
     
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  25. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    please dont use my name. i would but unfortunately i didnt the score the tickets i wanted:(
     
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  26. Gellin

    Gellin Rookie

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    Will be there all of qualifying week. See you there!
     
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  27. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i'm looking to get a ticket (grounds or ashe) for the day session of saturday 9/5. the us open website is sold out. i looked online and can't find anything for less than $78 for grounds and even more expensive for ashe. any advice?
     
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  28. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Would like to see the mens' final but don't have tickets? No problem. A friend of mine shows up for the finals a few minutes after the 4 PM starting time and usually gets tickets at LESS than face value, as the scalpers panic at that point because they don't want to be left holding tickets they didn't sell.
     
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  29. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    ok it's official i am going monday 8/31!!!! we should do a TW meet up and take some pics. jolly? anyone?
     
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  30. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    What's considered professional? I am planning on bringing an old obsolete digital slr with a canon 70-200 f/4. Will they allow it?
     
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  31. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    The people checking do not know anything about cameras or camcorder. It depends. Their supervisor are no better. I've been stopped for bringing in a Canon 350D with 70-200 f4 in the past. So, what I did was to put the lens on the bottom of my bag, put my camera and smaller lens on top, fill it with a sandwich, knicks knacks and you are safe.

    I was there today and saw a guy with a 1D and 70-200 f2.8 and asked him if he had any problem and he said no, just show them the printout of the policy and no where do they specify that you can't bring this in.

    I'll stick to hiding my white canon lens. Even if you can try another line, on the other side of the grounds. It means you'll lose time.

    They don't check that hard and they are more relaxed as the tourney progresses because the workers feel more comfortable. They are just temporary worker.
     
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  32. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    Thanks for the info. I'll put a small lens on the camera and hide the 70-200 in the bottom of the bag.
     
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  33. ari1974

    ari1974 New User

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    Just saw an article from Jon Wertheim over at Sports Illustrated on how best to enjoy the U.S. Open if you are going to attend -- don't want to directly link because of bulletin board policy, but for anyone looking for advice, I thought it had some good tips. Thanks again for all the feedback.
     
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  34. tennisgeek84

    tennisgeek84 New User

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    great thread...im might try going this weekend
     
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  35. hellonewman

    hellonewman New User

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    Restroom tip: there are restrooms just behind the food court, nearest court is court 12. Not a lot of people know about them yet. Yesterday there were long lines for the other restrooms, but not these.
     
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  36. rogerfan85

    rogerfan85 New User

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    Hi all! We're going for the night session on Sunday at Arthur Ashe and have the grounds pass for Monday. now, I'm a Roger Federer worshipper and won't be able to see him in action, unfortunately, since his draw plays on Saturday night. :-( Does anyone around here know of Practice Courts that RF graces with his presence? And what other place can I, you know, be in just to catch a glimpse of my Idol???
     
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  37. hellonewman

    hellonewman New User

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    There are practice courts right beside Ashe Stadium that the name players are assigned on. In fact I saw Federer practicing yesterday, as well as Del Potro vs. Ferrer, Haas, etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG-_Fit3GnA
     
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  38. vapor guy

    vapor guy New User

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    Last year I caught Federer practicing on P1 which you can get a nice view from the stands of court 4. I'll be heading out this weekend as well. Enjoy!
     
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  39. hellonewman

    hellonewman New User

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    Good point. That's where I shot the video from.
    Unfortunately US Open organizers have caught on to people watching from court 4, they put in tarp now which you can still peek through if you lie on the ground and/or climb over other people (guilty of both. hahaha).
     
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  40. rogerfan85

    rogerfan85 New User

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    Oh my gosh! That sounds awesome! Thank you so much! Am I glad or what that we got the Grounds Pass for Monday so I can catch a glimpse of him someplace! ;) And I'm going to take your advice, hellonewman, of climbing over someone!
     
    #40
  41. Savio

    Savio New User

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    Hi all,


    I'll be attending the US OPEN in Flushing tomorrow and throughout Labor Day weekend. I just want to confirm from those of you who have went through this year if we can bring in food.

    It looks like from earlier post that we can bring in food/snacks and water (in my case an empty water bottle). Can someone please confirm? I plan on bringing fruit, trail mix and cliff bars. I think that should be ok.

    I would hate to go there and have things thrown out.

    Here's a picture on the snacks I plan to bring....
    [img=http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/1525/usopensnacks.th.jpg]
     
    #41
  42. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Hi all, I'm actually going to be crossing the Atlantic from UK to go to the US Open from middle of next week, can't wait:)

    Where is the best place to get tickets? Is it safe to buy from touts outside, just before going in?

    Also I havn't got any accommodation yet, so if anyone in NYC wants to put up a friendly English bloke for a few days, I can do the same in UK and get them some Wimbledon tickets, if that is any incentive:)
     
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  43. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i didnt look at your pic; just put them in your cargo pocket. the nabisco tent also hands out snacks:)
     
    #43
  44. Back210s

    Back210s New User

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    Parking at Willets Point Station

    Does anyone happen to know if the Willets Point Station parking lot will be open this weekend?
    This is the lot that the boardwalk from the subway station crosses over to get to the tennis center.
    Is this considered Mets parking (which will be closed due to their games this weekend)?

    I've parked here in the past for the US Open but the Mets have always been on the road at the time.
     
    #44
  45. ari1974

    ari1974 New User

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    Additional tips now that I'm back

    I just back from watching the U.S. Open. Two more tips about the practice courts:

    The pros frequently practice on a series of courts next to Arthur Ashe.
    There is a private area fairly close to the practice courts, with security at the entrance to the walkway to that area. While there is no official practice schedule, the security guards for that area, especially towards the end of the tournament, will tend to know when a particular player will come out to practice before their match.

    Sometimes the pros practice on the furthest of the 5 practice courts. There is a blocked off area right near the 5th court -- a bunch of people snuck into that area to watch the practice on the 5th court (Nadal was warming up). They didn't get very upset, and took quite a while to kick us off.
     
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  46. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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    One tip I always forget to tell people (& is worthless until the next US Open) is that you should bring a bottle of Evian water empty or filled (the Open's water sponsor). It saves you a ton of money & they can't assume you didn't buy it there either. I just stick it in my shorts pocket & walk in. The tough part is of course finding water fountains to refill it, which seem to disappear @ a rate of 1 per year. (We all know why they're doing that.)
     
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  47. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    #47
  48. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    My best tip is to go on the day it rains, try to persuade everyone you meet that this weather will continue "I live in the UK and can tell this weather will continue for days", and then offer to buy their tickets for the next few days (at a friendly discount)!

    Well it worked for me this year, I had an amazing time, and got to see all Semis and Finals for less than $300:)
     
    #48

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