I got a day pass yesterday and all I can say is WOW: Serena, Naomi, Kobe Bryant, Colin Kaepernick, YBN Cordae all within ten feet of me!
Starting today the price of a ground pass doubles but if you can afford it, do it. Such a unique fan experience. And if you are in attendance today, you’ll see the superstar of the US Open (Coco Gauff) play doubles. However, Saturday is the day you really need to be there to see the match between Coco and Naomi Osaka. This new generation of female tennis players is AWESOME!
I’ve been a tennis fan for as long as I can remember and have been attending the US Open going back to when it was held at Forest Hills. This year, I held off on getting tickets because the weather has been so crazy but yesterday, at the last minute, I snagged a $70 ground pass.
My ideal day at the US Open is to arrive at 10 am (via subway) and check out what’s new on the grounds before heading to the practice courts. That’s where you get to see someone like Serena or Rafa up close and personal. I also love to wander around the smaller courts to catch some up-and-comers. That’s also where you often stumble into celebrities being escorted to lunch or a match, e.g., I saw Kobe Bryant being walked to Louis Armstrong Stadium with a six-man US Open security team.
Tip: Always get the American Express Radio thingie. It keeps you up to date on all the matches currently being played. They’ll also alert you if a game is really super hot on one of the side courts. That said, it’s almost impossible to get a seat at some of those courts, especially Court 17 – the line to get in to see whoever was playing yesterday afternoon was 100-deep.
Scroll down for my photos of the day, including my Kobe and Kaepernick sightings.
Take the subway, do NOT drive.
Make sure you download the US Open App, get the American Express radio, and log on to the free wifi.
The US Open App is fantastic. I use it to see who is scheduled for the practice courts. I saw Serena Williams practice with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, and her hitting partner, Jarmere Jenkins.
Serena puts on her own foot gear but has somebody apply suntan lotion to her face (which I was told is because she doesn’t want to get her hands oily).
Serena’s dog also comes courtside. He was brought out in a dog carrier bag and she gave the dog a big hug and kiss before hitting the courts.
And then on to the Naomi Osaka vs. Magda Linette match. Interesting to see Naomi’s Japanese fans with their “fans.”
Naomi also has quite the entourage: Kobe Bryant (with black baseball cap); Colin Kaepernick (in row behind him), YBN Cordae (Naomi’s rapper boyfriend next to Kaepernick).
Views from around the grounds:
Grey Goose with their Honey Deuce signature cocktail
Lunch in the shade. While the vendors are all big names, the food I had this year was a bit hit or miss.
The new Althea Gibson statue is a HUGE hit – everyone from visitors to the US Open to the groundstaff were having their photo taken here.
The Chase Charge and Watch booth is super cool. I didn’t use it but it sounds great: It’s a complimentary portable device capable of charging your phone and lets you watch video data-free from the live event you’re attending.
Andrea Petkovic being interviewed after her win over Petra Kvitova
Juice Press always super popular
Fabulous day. I actually prefer day passes to the whole VIP luxury suites rigamarole – primarily because I hate being stuck at Arthur Ashe way after midnight, which is when those big games generally end.
The US Open is one of my favorite NYC events. I cannot recommend it highly enough especially if you can do it during the week and early in the tournament.
For those of you heading there today, enjoy and make sure you see Coco Gauff play doubles!