This was the year for me to go to the US Open in New York. I’ve been actively playing tennis since I moved to Texas in 1997. I dabbled with it since my high school days when I watched Chrissy and Martina duking it out Slam after Slam but only since my adulthood have I become the avid tennis fan, watching it on TV and making the occasional trip to a professional event. This year the stars aligned and my US Open dreams came true!
Not only did I just take my first trip to the Open; I had the best US Open guide EVER! My nephew is 12 going on 25 and he is the encyclopedia of current tennis. He just happens to live a short 20-minute train ride away from Flushing Meadows and it also just happens that New York schools do not go back to session until AFTER Labor Day!
I learned that the Sunday before opening day Monday is practice day and FREE! Stores are of course open for shopping and the food court is open and all the courts are busy with coaches and players. But, and please do not broadcast this because the place is not packed and not packed is awesome. There is room to walk, gawk, and soak in the atmosphere without the hustle of normal New York. There was time and space for photo ops and you might even run into a player or two willing to pose!
Practice day was a magical experience such that even my non-tennisy husband could enjoy it! So magical I got to meet Wristpect Sport athlete and Olympic Champion #BethanieMattekSands! Without my wonderful nephew I would NEVER have dreamed to make the trip to watch practice and I would have missed one of the BEST events EVER!
Opening day was more like the zoo I had expected and the line to get through the bag check was like Disneyland only without the heads up timeline! And it was about 45 minutes to an hour just to get in! He knew better than to get there when we did but there was a never to be mentioned again train depot debacle… ‘nuff said!
The line to get in was soon forgotten as we made our way to match after match after match! We were like kids in the candy store eating all the candy we could find! The night before we had carefully printed out the order of play and highlighted the matches we most wanted to watch. With my very own professional guide we didn’t miss anything! Staying late to watch the final match in the Grand Stand, Bethanie Mattek-Sands VS Johanna Konta. While it was an amazing display of power and grace by both players it did not go as we had hoped, Jo (as her fans called her) had just too much for BMS that day—night.
We left the Grand Stand with plenty of time to stop at Ben and Jerry’s before we headed to the train. At 9:45 pm there are no long lines at the food court either! We caught the 10.04 train and were at our stop by 10:30, tired but oh so very happy!