US Open Tournament Guide for Tennis Fans: Places to Stay, How to Get Tickets & Watch on TV

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

US Open doubles match on outside courts
Fans can get close up access to the outside, smaller tennis courts at the US Open. I took this picture at the US Open in 2016.

2020 US Open: COVID-19 Update

The 2020 US Open was completed on September 13. It was slightly different due to COVID-19.

  • The 2020 US Open was held in New York, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with no fans.
  • The 2020 US Open dates were August 31 – September 13.
  • There were no qualifying draws for singles.
  • Both main draws for singles had 128 players.
  • The doubles draws had 32 teams (typically 64).
  • There was no mixed doubles draw.

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.


About the US Open: Tennis’ Final Grand Slam

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.

Where is the US Open?

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.

When is the US Open?

The tournament takes place each year around Labor Day, with the dates for 2021 starting on August 30th and running through September 12th.

Who Won the US Open Last Year?

Here is the list of champions for the 2020 US Open in tennis.

  • Men’s singles: Dominic Thiem from Austria
  • Women’s singles: Naomi Osaka from Japan
  • Men’s doubles: Mate Pavić (Croatia) and Bruno Soares (Brazil)
  • Women’s doubles: Laura Siegemund (Germany) and Vera Zvonareva (Russia)
  • Mixed doubles: There was no 2020 mixed doubles draw. The 2019 champions were Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Jamie Murray (UK).

What Surface is the US Open Played On?

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.

What is the Prize Money for the US Open?

The total prize money at stake for the 2020 US Open was $53.4 million.

  • Singles Champion: $3,000,000 per player for the both the men & women
  • Singles Runner-up: $1,500,000 per player for both the men & women
  • Doubles Champion: $400,000 per team
  • Doubles Runner-ups: $240,00 per team

US Open Ranking Points for ATP & WTA

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 PointsWomen’s WTA Points
Champion20002000
Finals12001300
Semifinals720780
Quarterfinals360430
Rd. of 16180240
Rd. of 3290130
Rd. of 6445 singles | 0 doubles70 singles | 10 doubles
Rd. of 12810 singles | no doubles10 singles | no doubles

How to Get Tickets to the US Open Tournament

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.

US Open tennis stadium
The US Open has 22 tennis courts including 3 stadium courts with reserved seating available.

How do I see the Big Matches like Federer, Nadal, or Serena?

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.

There are 4 Different Ticket & Seating Options

You can purchase reserved seats for three different stadium courts:

  • Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • The Grandstand

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.


Where to Stay in New York for the US Open

There are many different hotel options to stay in New York near the USTA National Tennis Center.

New York City hosts the US Open in tennis
Each year, in late August through early September, New York City hosts the US Open tennis tournament.

High-End Hotel Options

For a 3-4 star hotel experience, consider these hotels:

Budget-Friendly Options

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.


Getting Around New York City

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. 


How to Make Your US Open Experience Great

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.

When to Arrive at the Tournament

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.

What to Bring with You

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.

What to Expect Inside

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.


How to Watch the US Open Tournament on TV

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.

  • The big matches, held in Arthur Ashe Stadium, are being aired on ESPN & ESPN2.
  • To watch doubles or some of the lesser-known players, you can choose the match you want to watch on ESPN3.
  • You will need to sign in with your cable or TV service provider before streaming the US Open.

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About the Author

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.