Monday is the official kickoff to the 2016 US Open, the 4th and Final Tennis Major of the year, held annually right here in NYC.
Tennis play begins this week with the qualifying rounds. Tens of players are trying to get into the remaining slots and while many of them may never have their names printed in a newspaper some winners have emerged from these rounds to take previous titles.
Admission is free all week, before the festivities next week, which include lots of free giveaways from the event sponsors, just by visiting their booths on the grounds or heading to their buildings for the week.
One of those examples is Chase Bank, who has a lounge open for RSVP’d card holders, where they can pick up refreshments in between matches.
The grounds are a great place to explore before/after you watch some tennis, with some great history points showing the greatest players in the sport, as well as lists of all previous winners.
This year also debuts the new retractable roof on Arthur Ashe stadium and center court for the tournament.
Another perk of this early week of play is that a lot of the matches are happening on the side courts, allowing you to get up close and personal with the players and the matches.
If you go to the US Open in the next few weeks be sure to let me know who you get to see!
A few years ago I had the pleasure of watching my favorite player Maria Sharapova face off against Victoria Azarenka.
And remember what Arthur Ashe said:
From what we get, we can make a living; What we give, however, makes a life.