The US Open is one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world.
If you have never attended the US Open, or have questions about the tournament, this US Open guide is for you. Below we will cover everything you might want to know about the US Open, including information about the venue, where to get tickets, where to stay, how to watch on TV, and more!
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Table of Contents
2020 US Open: COVID-19 Update
About the US Open: Tennis’ Final Grand Slam
How to Get Tickets to the US Open Tournament
Where to Stay in New York for the US Open
Getting Around New York City
How to Make Your US Open Experience Great
How to Watch the US Open Tournament on TV
The 2020 US Open was completed on September 13. It was slightly different due to COVID-19.
The Western & Southern Open, which usually takes place in Cincinnati, took place immediately before the US Open, August 20-28, in New York at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The US Open in tennis is the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year. Grand Slams are the biggest professional tennis tournaments of the year, and the US Open is the only one in the United States. It has been in existence since 1881.
The US Open is located in New York each year. The venue for the tournament is called the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It is located in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park neighborhood of Queens, New York, right next to Citi Field where the New York Mets play baseball.
The tournament takes place each year around Labor Day, with the dates for 2021 starting on August 30th and running through September 12th.
Here is the list of champions for the 2020 US Open in tennis.
The US Open is played on a hard court surface.
Specifically, it’s Pro DecoTurf that is replaced each year after the tournament. It’s a medium-fast playing surface that’s painted blue.
The total prize money at stake for the 2020 US Open was $53.4 million.
The US Open awards each singles and doubles champion 2000 points towards their ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) rankings.
Below are the points for each round for both the singles and doubles draws of the US Open.
|Men’s ATP Points||Women’s WTA Points|
|Rd. of 16||180||240|
|Rd. of 32||90||130|
|Rd. of 64||45 singles | 0 doubles||70 singles | 10 doubles|
|Rd. of 128||10 singles | no doubles||10 singles | no doubles|
The best way to start looking for tickets to the US Open is by going to websites like Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, or StubHub which are guaranteed resale sites. You may not get a bargain with these sites, but they will have decent tickets available. Check both to see where you can get a better price.
You can also purchase ticket packages through the US Open’s website (usopen.org), but they sell out quickly.
Arthur Ashe Stadium is where the biggest matches take place. Keep in mind though, there are 21 other courts where matches take place.
You’ll be able to see a lot of exciting tennis action from top players all over the tournament grounds. You will have to spend more money to get into the matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium where the most popular and best players usually play.
You can purchase reserved seats for three different stadium courts:
This is usually only worth the price if you care about seeing a specific, big-name player. When you purchase reserved seats, your ticket includes access to the entire grounds, except Arthur Ashe Stadium (unless you have an Ashe Ticket).
If you don’t want to reserve a specific seat, most fans opt for the grounds ticket which gets you access to 21 of the 22 courts. The grounds ticket allows you to get into Louis Armstrong and the Grandstand as well. However, the lower level seats are reserved for reserved seat ticket holders.
There are many different hotel options to stay in New York near the USTA National Tennis Center.
For a 3-4 star hotel experience, consider these hotels:
For a more 2 star or budget-friendly hotel experience, try one of these options:
All of these hotels are within 5 miles of the Tennis Center, many are just a mile away. Try to book early because these hotels near the venue tend to sell out for those dates rather quickly.
Of course, you can also skip the hotel option and find a place to stay on Airbnb. Many people who live in the area will stay somewhere else with friends, and then rent out their entire home or apartment during the weeks of the US Open.
It’s very easy to get around New York City and all of the boroughs, like Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens where the USTA National Tennis Center is located.
If you are just going from the hotel to the courts, call a taxi from the front desk or use an Uber or Lyft. There are always cabs outside of each hotel waiting to take you anywhere in New York City.
Also, if you choose a hotel that’s less than a mile away, you can walk to the stadium. It’s a safe and populated area with many people around, so if you are going with a group, put on some comfortable tennis shoes and walk to the US Open. You’ll avoid the New York traffic that way too.
The best way to maximize your US Open experience is to attend the event for a couple of days. If you are a huge fan, go for as many days as your wallet sees fit. Plan for a New York size budget though. It’s one of the most expensive pro tennis tournaments.
Day sessions start at 11 a.m., and night sessions begin at 7 p.m. If you’re there during the first week, you can show up at 11 a.m. and watch tennis non-stop for a dozen hours or more. During week 2, there are fewer matches, so schedule accordingly.
You can’t bring outside food or drink, but there are plenty of food stands, restaurants, and bars inside the gates.
The weather can get hot, so bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat is usually a good idea. The night sessions can get colder though, so be sure to check the weather. There are some shaded seats during the day, but it depends which tennis court you’re on and where you sit.
Get a free map of the grounds when you walk in, and plan to spend some serious time there checking out all the different matches. With over 20 courts, it will take you a while to explore the whole venue.
If you need a break, there is a food village with lots of tasty food and drink options. If you’re over 21, be sure to try one of the famous Honey Deuce cocktails at one of the many bars around the grounds.
There’s also an Amex Experience Lounge that has free radio and activities that are located in the air conditioning, which is a nice break from the August heat, and shops where you can buy tennis gear and souvenirs.
The US Open tennis tournament has every match available live on the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, and available for streaming on ESPN3.
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Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played tennis for over two decades, including in college. Will has worked with ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He currently lives in Austin TX where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments, writes about tennis, and teaches doubles workshops.