US Open is the most convenient grand slam in North America. It’s held in Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, New York. It’s not as fans friendly as BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. You will have a great time if you have never been to New York, or totally love New York and want to revisit.
When to Get There:
The US Open starts in late August every year. You should get your tickets early. It is recommended that you sign up for a USTA membership to get into the early round of ticket sales. If you like to get the experience without losing an arm and a leg, you should get the mini package. It will give you multiple day and night sessions. Or you can go another route to buy the full series and sell the tickets you can’t use. It is recommended to go in the early rounds if you want to see your favorite players, which means the first week. If you are going to watch the final, you should definitely get one of the ticket plans. The final tickets are hard to get individually and usually pricy if you get it from site like StubHub.com.
You can either fly in to JFK Airport or fly to New Jersey and take a cab, train back to the city. Getting to Flushing Meadow is another story. Take the subway, the #7 train runs from Grand Central Terminal to Mets-Willets Point Station. Depending on where you stay, it takes as much as 45 min to get from Manhattan to Flushing Meadow.
You don’t really need a car in New York unless you want to go to the premium outlet and drive to the pier to take the ferry to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty up close. Other than that, subway and occasional bus trips are more than sufficient.
The hotel room rates are quite expensive, no matter how many stars the hotel has. If you choose to stay in the Flushing Meadow area, the hotels are usually about 3 – 3.5 stars and they all charge as much as they can get away with during the two weeks. If you want to stay closer to the night life, you should find a flight and hotel package inside Manhattan. The schedule will go like this: wake up early in the morning, get some breakfast and hit the subway. You can enjoy your breakfast while on the train, that should save you an hour of sleep. Once you are there and after you are done for the day, you can take the subway back to the Broadway/Time Square area to have dinner, people watching, watch a Broadway show.
What to Watch?
The practice courts here are not really designed with tennis fans in mind. The top players love to practise at the far end of the practise area where they are undisturbed. So good luck getting autographs and seeing you favorite players. You could try getting up to the stadium court and climb to the top of the stand and watch with your long len DSLR camera. Mind you, the top players tends to be a bit camera shy in US Open, possibly because they want to focus on the match since the stake is high.