US Open – An Annual Rite of Passage for New Yorkers

US Open Tennis

The US Open has become an annual rite of passage for me for the last 15 years or so. I have to confess that I don’t obsessively follow tennis as a sport, but there is something special about going for the US Open that drives me to go at least one time a year, though I usually get lucky and make it more than once.

I usually buy tickets at a presale, which means you have no idea who will actually be playing at that session. Sometimes, you get lucky and catch a Serena vs Venus Williams thriller as I did in 2015. Other times not so, but there is so much more to the US Open than just the game you have tickets for. Getting tickets for the finals is not easy, but it is special to be part of the celebration as the winners are crowned after the game.

I usually take the 7 subway train there, and there is a whole buzz around walking through the ramp to enter the grouds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing. The theme for the US Open design changes every year, these are from photographs I have taken over the years –

Once you’re inside, the walks are really pretty with lots of greenery, and celebrating all the past winners of the US Open.

One of my favorite additions has been the addition of a statue to honor Althea Gibson, the first African American woman to make her mark in tennis history in 1947.

If you are lucky enough to make it for the US Open for a day in the intial sessions, there are matches going on at the smaller courts that you can just walk up to, there is no assigned seating.

Sam Querrey has retired from tennis and was thanked for his career at the session in 2022, I have been fortunate to watch him play in the past.

September 1, 2022 was also a celebration of Open Pride Day at the US Open –

The food options have really improved over the years, and there are plenty of choices for everyone, including kosher. My favorite tradition though is getting a Honey Deuce, which is a signature US drink. Here are some of the pictures of this drink, which I will be having again tomorrow since I am going for the 2022 Quarterfinals for the evening session –

There are a ton of perks if you are a Chase or an American Express cardholder and plan ahead with free lounges, benefits, access etc. Chase for instance has a lounge and they give out free hats – which cost a pretty penny to buy – and American Express has free radios, lounges, credits for using your Amex at the US OPen etc. You do really need to plan ahead for the lounge access though as that gets sold out quickly!

Here are some from the Chase lounge in 2022, ESPN has a section for live interviews within the lounge –

Amex gives out these radios which are a great perk –

Nosebleed seats are often looked down upon, but I don’t mind them at all as they offer such fantastic views of the Manhattan skline, sunsets, and even the 9/11 tribute lights, and you can still see/enjoy the game even from that distance –

One of my favorite things to photograph over the years is the Unisphere at the Flushing Meadows Park, which you can visit and is visible from the stadium –

Here are some memorable pictures I have taken over the years at the US Open –

And here is the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center saying goodbye as you leave –


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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.

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