2015 U.S. Open Preview

Coming off a 2015 Wimbledon Championship, world number one Novak Djokovic had a very lopsided 48-3 record on the year in early August
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A Look at the 2015 U.S. Open Men’s and Women’s Draws
By Jacob Mishkin
On the heels of the final Grand Slam of 2015, the U.S. Open descends upon New York to bring the pageantry and electricity that only the backdrop of NYC can bring.

If last year is any indication with the 14th-seeded Marin Cilic defeating the 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori, upsets may be abound, as any player at any time can score a shocker in Flushing Meadows en route to the championship match.

The Men’s Draw
The contenders ...
Coming off a 2015 Wimbledon Championship, world number one Novak Djokovic had a very lopsided 48-3 record on the year in early August, winning more than 94 percent of the matches he has played this season. His winning percentage so far this year by far eclipses that of world number two Roger Federer (85 percent) and world number three Andy Murray (87 percent). Djokovic is also 20-1 in Grand Slams this year, a true testament to his consistency at the most pressure-ridden tournaments. If Djokovic manages to win the last Grand Slam of the year at the U.S. Open, he would earn his third Grand Slam title of 2015 and his 10th Grand Slam crown overall. Look for Djokovic to finish off the year the way he started it—strong.

The tennis world knows Andy Murray is back. After a disappointing 2014 where Murray made only one semifinal appearance in a Grand Slam at the French Open, Murray has made the finals of the Australian Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2015. In the semifinals of Wimbledon, Murray played superb tennis, however, ran into a resurgent Roger Federer. There was simply nothing he could have done to beat the Swiss Maestro on that day. The Andy Murray of the past wouldn’t be able to push that loss aside. However, the new Murray, under the guidance of two-time Grand Slam Champion Amélie Mauresmo, has done a great job of transitioning his game both on and off the court. After Wimbledon, Andy led Great Britain to a Davis Cup quarterfinal victory over France, with wins over world number 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and world number 11 Gilles Simon. Murray followed those wins up by beating world number one Djokovic in the finals of the Rogers Cup. The 2012 U.S. Open Champion has won beneath the bright lights of Arthur Ashe before and Murray will be on a mission to end his remarkable run in 2015 with his first Grand Slam title in two years.

Stan Wawrinka possesses unlimited firepower. His forehand is huge, his backhand is colossal, and his serve is untouchable at times. His quarterfinal loss to Richard Gasquet inn early July at Wimbledon was an anomaly, as Stan has played some of his best tennis this year. Wawrinka won the 2015 French Open Championship and has a 16-2 record in Grand Slam events this year. Stan has won a hard court Grand Slam before at the 2014 Australian Open, and will look to use his pure strength to put his opponents on edge. Consistency for Stan will be key in hopes of winning the U.S. Open. If Stan is off or going for too many lines, he could exit Flushing Meadows earlier than expected, but if he is playing close to his peak, Stan “The Man” will be a tough man to defeat.

 



 

The pretenders …
Spaniard David Ferrer, ranked seventh in the world, never gives up. He plays every point like it’s his last, he runs for every ball, keeps the rally going, and is always in peak shape. This year, however, has been a struggle for Ferrer. He has had knee and wrist issues, which forced him out of Wimbledon, and he owns losses against world number 59 Marco Baghdatis and world number 66 Pablo Andujar. Though Ferrer has won two hard court tournaments this year, but did not face the likes of Djokovic, Federer, Murray or Wawrinka in any of those ATP events. He did beat world number seven Tomas Berdych and world number five Kei Nishikori, but can he maintain that consistency on a regular basis? It would be great if Ferrer proved his doubters wrong, but the U.S. Open is not the best place to get over injuries.

It’s still hard to believe, but Rafael Nadal is currently ranked 10th in the world. In back-to-back tournaments in June and July, Nadal suffered a first round loss to world number 75 Alexandr Dolgopolov at the ATP AEGON Championships at The Queen’s Club, and was defeated by world number 81 Dustin Brown in the Round of 64 at Wimbledon. Even though those losses were on grass courts, they were still poor losses for Nadal. Most importantly, Rafa lost to world number 41 Fernando Verdasco and world number 122 Michael Berrer in 2015. Both of those losses were on outdoor hard courts and do not forecast a successful 2015 U.S. Open for the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in early August, slipped from the 12th-ranked player in the world to the 24th-ranked player in the ATP Men’s Singles Rankings. Though he had a nice showing at the 2015 French Open and 2015 Wimbledon, Tsonga has not won any ATP titles this year, and owns a pedestrian match record of 13-8 to date. Tsonga always seems to have bumps and bruises, and just weeks ago, was working through an abdominal injury. Only he knows if he is truly healthy and if he is, Tsonga might turn some heads at the U.S. Open. Tsonga may not be in top form as we approach the Open, having not played many tournaments since Wimbledon. While his forehand is one of the strengths, you can attack his backhand for some easy points. He struggles with big serves, so he will need to step up his return game to be exploited in Flushing.



 

The sleepers …
Vasek Pospisil, the 25-year old Canadian and the 29th-ranked player in the world, is coming off his best results in a Grand Slam. By far, 2015 has been Vasek’s best when it comes to Grand Slam finishes. Pospisil made it to the third round of the Australian Open and advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. While his 13-13 match record this year is middle of the road, Pospisil’s confidence should be at an all-time high after such strong showings at the Slams. If the Canadian rides his Wimbledon momentum into the U.S. Open, look for him to make a heavy push in Flushing Meadows.

Kevin Anderson, the 6’ 8” South African, has played well as of late. The former University of Illinois standout has used his big serve to notch wins over Stan Wawrinka and Gilles Simon en route to the finals to Andy Murray at the ATP AEGON Championships. He also made it the Round of 16 at Wimbledon before losing in five sets to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He had control of his Wimbledon match with Djokovic, and the loss might have been difficult to shake off, but Anderson knows if he plays like that, he will have a chance to sneak into the latter stages of the U.S. Open. For the 2015 season, Anderson owns a career high 79 percent first serve percentage points won. It is the highest it has been throughout his career, and if Anderson continues to serve near that percentage and keeps hanging with his opponents at the baseline, Anderson might go deep into the second week at the year’s final Slam.



 

The Women’s Draw
The contenders …
Who else would be the favorite to win the U.S. Open besides Serena Williams? Serena has been a woman on a mission. She has gone 40-1 on the year and has won 82 percent of her service games. Serena is three for three in Grand Slam events this year and will look to achieve the “Golden Slam” in Flushing Meadows. The 21-time Grand Slam winner will look to get her 22nd title and tie Steffi Graf for second place on the list of major championships won in the Open Era.

Twenty-one-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan Garbiñe Muguruza is at the top of her game. She made it to the finals of Wimbledon this year and defeated Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska before losing to Serena Williams in a tightly contested 4-6, 4-6 defeat. Her run at Wimbledon was her highest finish ever in a Grand Slam and she should take her confidence and young legs with her to Flushing Meadows. Keep your eyes peeled for Muguruza, as she could very well be the future of the WTA tour.

After injuries caused Victoria Azarenka to take some time off from tennis, the Belarusian is back. The 19th-ranked player in the world is not actually the 19th best player in the world as her ranking does not do her justice. When healthy, Azarenka is a top three player in the world and one of the few players who can compete with and beat Serena Williams. This year alone, Azarenka lost to Serena three times, yet she split sets in all three of the matches that they have faced off in. Behind Serena, Victoria is the best baseliner on the WTA Tour because of her ability to attack with her forehand and backhand. If Azarenka can get a favorable draw at the Open and avoid a top-seeded player early on, don’t be shocked if you see Azarenka make it to the last day and possibly earn the third Grand Slam title of her career.



 

The pretenders …
Though she remains ranked third in the world, Simona Halep’s best tennis seems to be a thing of the past. In two tournaments prior to Wimbledon, Halep has lost to world number 70 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and world number 43 Kristina Mladenovic. At Wimbledon, she lost to the 106th-ranked Jana Cepelova in the first round. Halep did have hard court success early in the year, but a coaching change, along with recent poor play, will be difficult to overcome on such a huge stage.

It’s no secret that Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro’s best results have come on clay. The hard courts of the U.S. Open don’t suit her topspin-heavy shots and craftiness. Although she is in the top 10 of the world, Navarro has never made a semifinals appearance in any Grand Slam tournament and will have trouble doing so in Flushing Meadows.

While Agnieszka Radwanska has been a consistent player on the WTA Tour for years, a Grand Slam title has yet to be in her cards. She has made deep runs into past Grand Slam tournaments, but she has only made one Grand Slam final (2012 Wimbledon). As Radwanska progresses into the deep stages of these Grand Slams, her style doesn’t bode well. Radwanska is an extremely consistent player who has touch, footwork, craft and patience, but she has little offensive weapons to defeat the very best. If Radwanska hopes to contend for a Grand Slam, she will need to take more risks and practice being more offensive.

Caroline Wozniacki is very similar to Radwanska in that she simply does not have the shot-making abilities to keep her opponents on edge. Similar to that of Radwanska, she has the finesse, speed, smarts and racquet skills, but that alone will not be enough to beat those who have Grand Slam Championships on their resumes. Wozniacki made the finals of the U.S. Open last year, but in 2015, she has shown some inconsistent play at the Grand Slams, as she has failed to advance past the fourth round in all three events.



 

The sleepers …
Twenty-year-old Madison Keys has the chance to make some noise on and off the court at this year’s U.S. Open. She has the serve and powerful shot-making skills to creep into the last few days at Flushing and will undoubtedly cause the boisterous American crowd to root her on every step of the way. Keys advanced to the semifinals of the 2015 Australian Open and should attempt to equal or better that results on a very similar and familiar surface. I can already hear the U.S. Open crowd chanting … “USA, USA, USA!”

In the last seven years, Flavia Pennetta has reached the quarterfinals or better at the U.S. Open five times. With her best result coming in 2013, with a semifinal appearance, Pennetta will search for that form once again. For her career, Flavia has gone 24-10 at the U.S. Open, which is her best record in all of the Grand Slam events. Though she is 33-years-old, she brings needed experience to Flushing Meadows. Though she did not have a great Wimbledon showing, she made it to the Round of 16 at this year’s French Open and she defeated Azarenka in March at the hard courts in Miami. She also came out victorious against Maria Sharapova at the hard courts of Indian Wells in March. If she can beat Azarenka and Sharapova on the hard courts, she is definitely someone who deserves attention when the U.S. Open begins.



 

Americans Headline U.S. Open Junior Championship Field
World number one junior Taylor Fritz, Wimbledon Boys Champion Reilly Opelka, French Open Boys Champion Tommy Paul and reigning ITF World Junior Champion CiCi Bellis (pictured right) headline the Americans entered into the boys and girls singles fields at the 2015 U.S. Open Junior Championships, which will be played Sept. 6-13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.

Top-10 world-ranked juniors Michael Mmoh, a 2015 French Open boys semifinalist, and William Blumberg, who reached the boys singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the boys doubles final at Roland Garros this year, are also entered into a U.S. Open boys field that included 24 of the Top 25 juniors in the world when the International Tennis Federation released the entry lists last week.

Bellis, the breakout star of the 2014 U.S. Open with her upset of Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the women’s draw, headlines a girls field that includes other top American prospects, such as Katerina Stewart, Sofia Kenin, Usue Arconada and Claire Liu, among others, along with Wimbledon girls champion Sofya Zhuk of Russia, and Australian Open Girls Champion Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia. Tornado Alicia Black, a 2013 U.S. Open Girls Singles Finalist, is entered into qualifying.

The full list of Americans entered into the U.S. Open Junior Championships:

Boys–Main Draw: Taylor Fritz, Michael Mmoh, Reilly Opelka, William Blumberg, Tommy Paul, Nathan Ponwith, Ulises Blanch & Sam Riffice

Boys–Qualifying: Emil Reinberg

►Girls–Main Draw: CiCi Bellis, Usue Arconada, Sofia Kenin, Michaela Gordon, Raveena Kingsley, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ingrid Neel, Claire Liu & Katerina Stewart

Girls–Qualifying: Kayla Day, Alexandra Sanford & Tornado Alicia Black



 

Locals Loeb and Elbaba Selected for 2015 American Collegiate Invitational
The USTA has announced that 2015 NCAA champions Jamie Loeb (pictured right) of the University of North Carolina of Ossining, N.Y., and Ryan Shane of the University of Virginia, will lead the group of top American collegiate players selected to play in the second annual American Collegiate Invitational at the 2015 U.S. Open, Sept. 10-12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Joining Loeb and also representing the New York area will be Winston Lin, a senior at Columbia from Williamsville, N.Y., and Oyster Bay, N.Y.’s Julia Elbaba, a junior at the University of Virginia.

The American Collegiate Invitational, open only to American college players, began last year as a way to spotlight college tennis during the U.S. Open. Eight men and eight women will again play single-elimination singles tournaments Thursday to Saturday during the second week of the U.S. Open, with the winners receiving a wild card into the 2016 U.S. Open, main draw or qualifying, depending on their ranking next summer.

“It is important that college tennis continues to be a part of the U.S. Open,” said U.S. Open Tournament Director David Brewer. “We are excited to once again feature a high level of competition between some very talented players with the American Collegiate Invitational.”

The men’s field will consist of (italics indicates that the player is a graduating senior and/or has turned pro/exhausted collegiate eligibility):

Gonzales Austin, a senior from Vanderbilt from Miami, Fla.
Mitchell Frank, a senior at Virginia from Annandale, Va.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, a sophomore at Virginia from Charlotte, N.C.
Winston Lin, a senior at Columbia from Williamsville, N.Y.
Mackenzie McDonald, a sophomore at UCLA from Piedmont, Calif.
Quentin Monaghan, a junior at Notre Dame from Chatham, N.J.
Ryan Shane, a junior at Virginia from Falls Church, Va.

The women’s field will consist of (italics indicates that the player is a graduating senior and/or has turned pro/exhausted collegiate eligibility):

Robin Anderson, a senior at UCLA from Matawan, N.J.
Brooke Austin, a freshman at Florida from Indianapolis
Julia Elbaba, a junior at Virginia from Oyster Bay, N.Y.
Lauren Herring, a senior at Georgia from Greenville, N.C.
Josie Kuhlman, a freshman at Florida from Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Jamie Loeb, a sophomore at North Carolina from Ossining, N.Y.
Maegan Manasse, a sophomore at Cal from Redondo Beach, Calif.

In addition to the participants listed, the USTA will issue one men’s and women’s wild card to fill out each field of eight. The fields are comprised of the top two players in the ATP/WTA rankings (as of June 1) and the top five players in the year-end Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings (excluding those selected by pro ranking), including at least two graduating seniors or players who have turned pro/exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

The men’s/women’s American Collegiate Invitational champions will receive main draw wild card entries into the 2016 U.S. Open if either is ranked 120th or better by the U.S. Open entry deadline next summer. Otherwise, the winners will receive qualifying wild cards. The champions will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will get one.



 

Total U.S. Open Purse Surpasses $40 Million Mark
The USTA has announced that the total purse for the 2015 U.S. Open will increase by $4 million dollars, bringing the total purse for the tournament to a record $42.3 million and a 10.5 percent increase over the 2014 U.S. Open.

Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $3.3 million, the largest payout in U.S. Open history. Each round of the singles competition will see double-digit percentage increases over last year’s record payouts, with the minimum increase of 10 percent for the champions and up to a 14.4 percent increase in the Round of 32. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $570,000, the highest in U.S. Open history, and overall doubles prize money has been increased by 8.4 percent. The U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament will now offer more than $1.7 million in prize money, a 12 percent increase over 2014.

In the last three years, U.S. Open main draw prize money has increased by 67 percent.

“We continue our commitment to ensure that the US Open offers one of the most lucrative purses in all of sports,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “As we have stated, total player compensation at the U.S. Open will reach $50 million by 2017.”

Round-by-round individual prize money for the U.S. Open is as follows:

Singles Doubles (each team)
Winner: $3,300,000 Winners: $570,000
Runner-Up: $1,600,000 Runners-Up: $275,000
Semifinalist: $805,000  Semifinalist: $133,150
Quarterfinalist: $410,975 Quarterfinalist: $67,675
Round of 16: $213,575   Round of 16: $35,025
Round of 32: $120,200  Round of 32: $21,700
Round of 64: $68,600 Round of 64: $14,200
Round of 128: $39,500    

 



        

Five Reasons to Love the U.S. Open
5. Night tennis
Night tennis at the U.S. Open is where fans will create memories for years to come. Late-night tennis has been a tradition at the Open since 1975, when New Zealand’s Onny Parun defeated American great Stan Smith at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.

Last year, two top 10 players did battle under the lights, as Kei Nishikori won a four-hour, 19-minute match over Milos Raonic that ended at 2:26 a.m., tying the record for latest finish at the U.S. Open.

And who can forget Andre Agassi, at the age of 35, coming back from two sets down to defeat James Blake in five sets in 2005? After the match, Agassi said, “At 1:15 a.m. for 20,000 people to still be here … I wasn't the winner, tennis was. I don't know if I've ever felt this good here before."

The magical run by Jimmy Connors at 39-years-old in 1991 included a five-set win over Patrick McEnroe that ended at 1:35 a.m.

You never know what to expect at the Open, but it is often worth staying up late to find out.

4. Celebrities
Celebrities, like the rest of us, love tennis. Spotting athletes, actors and musicians in attendance throughout the tournament becomes easy. The U.S. Open has attracted the likes of former U.S. President Bill Clinton (pictured above), Ricky Martin, Eva Longoria, Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Sean Connery, Ben Stiller and many more to Flushing Meadows. When you are on grounds this year keep your eyes open for your favorite celebrities!

3. Practice court viewing area
A two-story practice gallery debuted at the 2014 U.S. Open. This allowed fans a better view of their favorites stars as they warmed up for matches on the practice courts. What made this area even better is that you could view Courts 4, 5 and 6 from the same spot by simply turning around. The practice courts are always packed with fans looking to catch a glimpse of players or get autographs, but this new viewing area allowed people to be a bit more spread out. Make sure to stop by this new spot at the 2015 U.S. Open.

 

 

2. Entertainment
From live music to interactive games and kids tennis sessions, there’s something for everyone at the 2015 U.S. Open. It starts with Arthur Ashe Kids Day on Saturday, Aug. 29, which features games and activities all over the grounds of the National Tennis Center, as well as a stadium show in the afternoon featuring top stars from the worlds of tennis and music.

The American Express Fan Experience offers great family fun for all ages throughout the tournament. Kids can take part in youth tennis sessions, while adults can have their swing analyzed by a teaching pro. Fans can also sit in on interviews with top players on the Fan Court or get an autograph from their favorite stars at the WTA booth.

The U.S. Open includes plenty of live music, with performers ranging from solo singers to jazz bands, which can be heard throughout the tournament at the South Plaza and President’s Gate.

1. The stars
Well this one is simple … the best players in the world are in our backyard, here in New York for three weeks (including qualifiers and practice days). Whether you are a fan, casual player or a serious tennis player, you will not want to miss out on your chance to get up close with the best players when they come to town for the biggest and best tennis tournament in the world! 

 



 

2015 U.S. Open Restaurant Guide
Along with the best tennis and entertainment in the world, the U.S. Open offers premium-dining experiences—from Mojito, a Cuban-inspired restaurant and bar, to Champions Bar & Grill, a classic American steakhouse. Whether you are in the mood for a light snack, lunch, dinner, meeting friends for cocktails or satisfying a sweet tooth, restaurants on the grounds of the National Tennis Center can cure any craving. Come experience all that the U.S. Open has to offer.

Aces and Champions Bar & Grill
Both are located on the Club level in Arthur Ashe Stadium, between Gates 3 and 4, and are available to Courtside Box seat holders and Luxury Suite guests. You can access both restaurants by using the elevators on the east side of Arthur Ashe Stadium adjacent to the U.S. Open Club. Loge and Promenade Subscription Series ticket holders may purchase passes for the duration of the tournament by calling the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Ticket Office at (718) 760-6363. Reservations are recommended for both Aces and Champions Bar & Grill.

Aces features vaulted ceilings, vibrant colors and a casual but elegant wine and sushi bar, combined with superlative seafood offerings, making Aces the ultimate dining experience. You can also enjoy Aces’ flavorful and sumptuous cuisine in your suite with the Aces Platinum Package Series. Open for lunch, dinner or after the matches.

Champions Bar & Grill features a contemporary setting with classic leather and wood accents. Champions Bar & Grill is a modern take on the traditional clubhouse atmosphere. The Grill offers premium steaks, hearty chops, fresh seafood, salads and a wide variety of wines. Join us for fun, delicious menu items and the finest cuts of meat and more.

Bring your friends for lunch, dinner or after the matches, and you won’t miss a minute of the action with live matches and other sporting events on Champions’ many TVs.

U.S. Open Club
The U.S. Open Club is located on the ground floor of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The U.S. Open Club is available to all Subscription Series ticket holders for the duration of the tournament for a nominal entrance fee, and is included for Silver Loge Box seat holders.

The U.S. Open Club, with its striking contemporary décor, is famous for its Chef’s Table and seasonal selections of eclectic American cuisine.

Open for lunch, dinner or after the matches. Restaurant passes are required. To purchase passes, call the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Ticket Office at (718) 760-6363.

Patio Café
Soak up the beautiful surroundings of the U.S. Open grounds at the expanded charming outdoor Patio Café and bar located outside the U.S. Open Club. Enjoy fresh selections of seasonal sandwiches and salads paired with summer specialty cocktails. The Patio Café is available for all ticket holders. Open for lunch, dinner or after the matches.

Mojito Restaurant & Bar
Mojito, a Cuban-inspired restaurant, transports you to a dramatic setting in a tropical oasis reminiscent of 1950s Havana. Experience Mojito’s luscious flavors with Latin specialties and cool cocktails either inside or outdoors in our whimsical outdoor garden. Mojito is available for all ticket holders. Open for lunch, dinner or after the matches, Mojito is located on the ground floor of Arthur Ashe Stadium near the Patio Café.

►Heineken Red Star Café
The new Heineken Red Star Café is located next to the South Plaza Fountains. Sitting on the top level of the two-story building, it provides guests a spacious, ideal setting to unwind and keep track of the matches while enjoying the café’s laid-back atmosphere and enhanced menus. The new U.S. Open Collection Store, located on the ground level, will feature a complete assortment of U.S. Open merchandise and mementos alongside a limited selection of Heineken-branded offerings.

Heineken House
A trip to the U.S. Open isn’t complete without a stop at the Heineken House, located above the Food Village. You’ll be able to grab a few Heinekens from one of the three bars on-site, relax in cabanas, play games with friends, and even purchase limited edition Heineken-branded clothing from the Pro Shop. TVs will be set up throughout, so you won’t miss a moment of the action on the courts, while relaxing with a cold beer. You can also compete in the “Heineken Perfect Pour” each afternoon with local New York City bartenders judging the best, and awarding winners with VIP tickets to that evening’s match.

Rejuvenate by the Fountains
Visit the refreshing food destinations by the fountains, including the South Plaza Café, Cuppa Spotta, Carnegie Deli and Ben & Jerry’s.

♦Oyster Bar is located on the Club Level in Arthur Ashe Stadium and offers fresh oysters, lobster rolls and crab cakes in a unique setting.

♦Come quench your thirst with a full-service bar that includes premium wine upgrades at Baseline Cocktails.

♦Sample Mediterranean flavors with wines to match at Wine Bar Food.

♦Located in the Food Village, the Grey Goose Bar features the Grey Goose Honey Deuce, the U.S. Open signature cocktail, along with Grey Goose specialty cocktails and a full service bar.

♦Enjoy regional cuisine and specialty items at the U.S. Open Food Village. 



 

New Upgrades at the 2015 U.S. Open
The USTA has announced a series of physical improvements, fan and player upgrades, and new sponsor activations that will be unveiled at the 2015 U.S. Open.

Strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Roof superstructure over Arthur Ashe Stadium
More than 6,000 tons of steel now surround Arthur Ashe Stadium in a technological first–constructing a stand-alone support system for a retractable roof over an existing stadium. With the final piece of steel placed in late spring, the structure that ultimately will hold the retractable roof is now in place. At the conclusion of the 2015 U.S. Open, work will continue on the two retractable panels, as well as the installation of a chilled water ventilation system to control humidity inside the Stadium when the roof is closed, so that the retractable roof will be ready for the 2016 U.S. Open. When the roof becomes fully operational, it will be the largest of any tennis stadium in the world, with a 62,500-square-foot opening. Six thousand tons of steel form the superstructure, which contains 1,700 structural beams and 115,000 bolts. A total of 176 steel and concrete-filled pilings, driven 180 feet below the surface, anchor the 24 steel columns which rise 150 feet above ground to support the superstructure.

Technological upgrades elevate the in-Stadium experience
The completion of the roof superstructure has allowed the USTA to upgrade all technologies within Arthur Ashe Stadium including the lights, sound and video boards. In 2015, a total of four big screens (up from two) will be utilized in the stadium. Additionally, an LED lighting system has replaced the former light towers, providing sharper, more energy-efficient lighting for competitive play. Finally, a completely new sound system has been installed throughout the stadium taking advantage of the roof trusses and catwalks.

Grandstand construction
Construction has begun on a new 8,000 seat Grandstand and a new Food Village in the southwest corner of the campus; both are slated to open in 2016. The Grandstand will provide a one-of-a-kind fan viewing experience in a completely modern and state-of-the-art stadium setting.

West Stadium Courts and Practice Gallery
An immediate fan sensation in 2014, the West Stadium Courts and Practice Gallery will continue to be one of the most desirable fan areas in 2015. With seating for more than 3,000, fans can watch tournament action, as well as the top seeds practicing. The West Stadium Courts also will be the home of the second annual American Collegiate Invitational, which will take place from Thursday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Sept. 12.

Fan enhancements at the 2015 U.S. Open
“Doubles on Us” at the U.S. Open (Thursday, Sept. 10)
For the first time at the U.S. Open, complimentary grounds admission will be offered to all fans who come during the day of the tournament’s second Thursday, Sept. 10. The day’s action will be filled with doubles play, including the Men’s Doubles Semifinals and Women’s Doubles Semifinals, as well as semifinal action in the Champions Invitational, a showcase of former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists. The free grounds admission also will enable fans to watch competition in the American Collegiate Invitational, featuring top American collegiate players, taking place on the West Stadium Courts. Also on that day’s slate, the world’s top boys and girls will be competing in the U.S. Open Junior Championships; and top wheelchair athletes will see action in the U.S. Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition.

Nightly light show
The USTA has installed new lighting trusses in each of the upper concourse entryways in order to conduct a nightly light show which will highlight the steel truss and catwalk system now surrounding Arthur Ashe Stadium. The light show will take place between the two evening matches in concert with the performance of “America the Beautiful” by the USTA’s Casting Call winners.

U.S. Open television
ESPN ... new partnership
This is the first year that ESPN will be the exclusive live domestic media partner of the U.S. Open. Over the course of the 2015 U.S. Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,100 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3, which also will be available on the U.S. Open official Web site, USOpen.org. ESPN will enhance its coverage with a host of cutting-edge camera systems in Arthur Ashe Stadium, including the return of Spider-Cam (to be used for the first time during the entire tournament), a new rail-cam contained within the southern baseline wall and freeD replay technology for the first time at a Grand Slam event.



 

Kids comment on the U.S. Open experience
Every summer, Long Island Tennis Magazine visits dozens of local tennis camps. This summer during our travels, we asked kids the following question: "If you had a chance to play in the U.S. Open, how would you feel and who would they want to play against?" Here are some of the answers from our local tennis players:

Arianna Arcos (seven-years-old), Sportime Lynbrook: “I would feel really excited and happy to play at the U.S. Open. I would want to play against Serena Williams because she is my favorite player and is the best player in the world."

Ryan Berg (11-years-old), Sportime Syosset: "I want to play Roger Federer because he has won the most trophies and tournaments and he's the best.”

Harrison Bruderman (11-years-old), Nike Tennis Camps: “I would like to play Roger Federer. To play at the U.S. Open would be so cool and I couldn’t imagine it!”

Jackie Bukzin (15-years-old), Bethpage Park Tennis Center: “I would like to play against Novak Djokovic. The U.S. Open is the biggest stadium in the world, and being from New York, it would be amazing to play there.”

Anthony Cacciato (11-years-old), Sportime Kings Park: “I would play Djokovic because I want to prove to him that there are better players than him.”

Ryan Dituro (11-years-old), Sportime Kings Park: “I would play Djokovic, and would like to formally challenge Novak to both a tennis match and a thumb war!”

Jordan Freeman (15-years-old), Sportime Roslyn: “I would like to play Roger Federer at the U.S. Open, and would feel excited in wanting to learn from him.”

Aaron Geula (14-years-old), New York Tennis Academy: “I would want to play Roger Federer because he is the best to ever play the game of tennis. It would be amazing and so fun to play against him at the Open.”

Diya Guglani (12-years-old), Hofstra Summer Camps: “I would like to play Caroline Wozniacki, because I love how she goes for every ball, no matter what. I feel like we have the same playing style. It would be a dream come true.”

Brandon Jager (12-years-old), Point Set: "I would feel really excited because when I grow up, I plan to win a Grand Slam and represent my country. I would want to play against Novak Djokovic because he's the greatest player of all time "

Michael Jager (13-years-old), Point Set: "I would definitely feel excited to play for my country and represent USA. I would want to play against Roger Federer because he's the best in the world and I would love the chance to play against him before he retires."

Benjamin Kaplan (10-years-old), Carefree Racquet Club: “I would like to play Roger Federer. I would try to do my best and would be so excited and even ask for a signature.”

Cole Kirincich (13-years-old), Sportime Syosset: "I would like to play Novak Djokovic because I know I'm probably not going to beat him, but I would love to have that experience of saying that I played him. I would learn what I did wrong and how he plays, so eventually I can get to the level he is at."

Brian Kornreich (13-years-old), New York Tennis Academy: “I want to play Novak Djokovic, as it would be the biggest challenge because he is number one in the world. It would really be a dream come true to play him at the U.S. Open.”

Patrick Maloney (15-years-old), Bethpage Park Tennis Center: “I would play Roger Federer because it would be a good experience to play against the best player ever.”

Natalie Obedian (10-years-old), Early Hit Training Center Junior Summer Tennis Camp at Glen Head: “I would like to play Serena Williams at the U.S. Open and I would be so excited … just really happy to play there!”

Justin Oresky (13-years-old), Sportime Bethpage: “I would challenge Andre Agassi, and it would feel amazing because he is my favorite player.”

Calista Sha (14-years-old), Sportime Bethpage: “I would play Serena Williams because she is a good player and it would be awesome to play against her. It would feel amazing to play at the U.S. Open.”

Madhul Shah (13-years-old), Carefree Racquet Club: “I would like to play Roger Federer. To play at the Open, I would be nervous, anxious and super excited all at once.”

Olivia Sinha (six-years-old), Sportime Lynbrook: "I would feel really excited, but would be nervous to play in front of a lot of people. I would want to play against Roger Federer, because he's really, really good."

Solomon Sion (12-years-old), Sportime Roslyn: “The player I would like to face at the U.S. Open is Rafael Nadal. I would be super happy to be there, but a bit worried and confident as well.”

Aaron Vinsky (14-years-old), Sportime Elite: “I would like to play Roger Federer, because he is my idol, and it would feel great to play at the U.S. Open.”

Alex Vinsky (12-years-old), Sportime Elite: “I would like to play Roger Federer because he's my role model and I look up to him. I would love the opportunity to play at the Open because you must be good.”