| By Andrew Eichenholz
Photo credit: Eric C. Peck

A closer look at the 2014 U.S. Open men’s and women’s draws
On the heels of perhaps one of the most exciting Grand Slam tournaments in years at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open comes at a perfect time to answer lingering questions, pull the curtains open on unknown stars, and provide excitement that only tennis in New York City could provide.

The Championships at Wimbledon left the tennis world with interesting storylines to ponder heading into the final major of the year. Could a legend maintain what some call his “resurgence?” Will arguably the best female tennis player to ever touch a racket bounce back from an underwhelming year?

For the first time in years, both the male and female draws respectively have an air of openness about them. The so-called “Big Four” aren’t as untouchable as they might have been even last year, and the firm grasp that Serena Williams has had on the women’s game is not as concrete as it once was.

Does that mean that the big names of the game will fail to take home the crown at Flushing Meadows? No, not at all, but the easy path to the second week of the big tournaments isn’t as breezy anymore. Who will come out on top? The world will have to wait and see, but here is what to look for when the tour takes over New York.

Contenders: The Men’s Draw
With Boris Becker in his corner, Novak Djokovic recently overcame what in his world may be a slump, taking his first Grand Slam title in nearly two years, winning the Wimbledon title. In arguably his best “big-moment” performance yet, Novak beat two opponents: Roger Federer and himself. Armed with the best return game of this generation, and possibly of all time, Djokovic should push every opponent he faces back right off the bat. For a man that hasn’t done worse than the quarterfinals at a slam in the last five years, the world number one’s title as “favorite” is well-deserved.

Coming into the Open, Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka was ranked fourth in the world, one spot behind his fellow countryman, Roger Federer. He is also the second-ranked Swiss in his nation, right behind Federer. But will Wawrinka continue to play second fiddle to Federer? With a trip to the U.S. Open semis last year, where he lost to Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka built on that run by starting off the 2014 season in a big way, capturing the 2014 Aussie Open title over then number one Rafael Nadal in four sets. With Nadal having withdrawn from the event, perhaps this is the year Stan takes that next step and steps up out of the shadow of Federer and into the spotlight of his own.

What can be said about Roger Federer … the man who has won more Grand Slam titles than any male player in the history of tennis? For one, he knows what it takes to win a major championship. After pushing world number one Djokovic to the brink in the 2014 Wimbledon finals, Federer has shown his critics that he isn’t over the hill just yet. In fact, the father of four is playing better tennis than he has in years, and should be a threat on the fast courts of the Open.


Pretenders: The Men’s Draw
Tomas Berdych is one of the more confusing players on the ATP Tour. On any given day, he can serve and hit his forehand unlike anybody else on the Tour, much like Robin Soderling once did before his fight with various illnesses. The difference is, it seems as if Berdych has less of a feistiness to him than the top men in the game. This could be totally off base, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see Berdych come up against a big server, and go out in a few tie-break sets before the big Czech could even react.

What a run it has been for Grigor Dimitrov, a guy that previously has been known as “Baby Fed” and the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova. Dimitrov has mentally improved his game to pair a formidable all-around repertoire that can match the shot making output of anybody on tour. Dimitrov will soon make himself known to the world, very probably entering the top five sooner rather than later, but there is something about New York that has troubled the youngster. Three appearances, zero wins. It’s hard to contend for a title at a place one has never won at before.

The rising Canadian is no up-and-comer anymore, as Milos Raonic has announced to the tennis world that he is in fact here. The giant man with a giant serve has shown that he is nearly unbreakable, hitting the biggest serve on tour, while backing it up with a strong forehand that gives opponents no times to react. Why is he a pretender? His overall defensive skills are not ready to beat the very best in the world. The best returners in the game could neutralize his serve, and is he willing to grind out a four hour win in a groundstroke battle against the likes of Djokovic? Not just yet, not with his backhand.

Sleepers: The Men’s Draw
The man has won a Gold Medal at the Olympics, multiple Grand Slams, yet outside of his hiring of new coach Amelie Mauresmo, Andy Murray has been somewhat out of the discussion. The second best returner in the game, Murray possesses a rare tool: The ability to win by defending. There are very few guys on the ATP Tour who can sit on their heels and still dominate a match. If he is to threaten the likes of Djokovic come the second week of the Open, the Scot, who has recently dropped to his lowest ranking in six years at 10th in the world, will have to be aggressive and attack, to regain the form that won him the Open just a couple of years ago.

Marin Cilic was never a huge name for casual fans. The big-serving Croatian has spent his career in a ring of respectability, reaching the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam four times. After a positive drug test made the quiet Cilic fade further from the spotlight, he has come back quietly once again, this time with a vengeance. Goran Ivanisevic has gotten the slingshot server to somehow get more out of his biggest shot, allowing him to hit more aces than all but three other guys on Tour this season, while trailing only two in first serve points won. A dangerous forehand in his arsenal, an on-his-game Cilic will not be an easy out for anybody.

In 2003, Ivo “Dr. Ivo” Karlovic shocked the tennis community by beating then-world number one Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon in the first round. Ever since then, everybody on Tour has feared one of the most intimidating serves in the game of tennis, shooting down from his six-foot, 11-inch frame. The thing is, the Croat now has more than just that in his game. Known for his weak backhand slice of the past, Karlovic has come a long way in hitting over it with his one-hander, as well as more consistently thumping his previously big forehand. Forget winning a couple of rounds as he did in that Wimbledon, Karlovic can really go far with the fifth set tie-break rule in effect.

Contenders: The Women’s Draw
The story heading into the 2014 U.S. Open for the 17-time Grand Slam champion is quite simple. If she plays well, there is nobody that can hit with Serena Williams off the ground, especially behind her massive serve. Add in the fact that Serena has not advanced past the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam this year, and she will have all of the motivation she needs to push for a good end to the season. An angry Serena is not somebody players want to deal with.

For all intents and purposes, Maria Sharapova has done some things this season that don’t warrant the title of “contender.” Over 200 double faults on the season, the Russian has let her most inconsistent shot get to her, especially on the biggest of stages. Her Grand Slam serving statistics will wow nobody, but she has more than made up for it with her aggressive baseline play. With a second Roland Garros crown under her belt, Maria is hitting the felt off the ball, and with hopes of serving better in Flushing, she should be a favorite.

Quarterfinals, finals and semifinals … not a bad set of results at the Grand Slams for any player, let alone the Romanian, who has quietly risen to star status on the women’s tour. Simona Halep has an imposing baseline game that is eerily similar to that of Kim Clijsters, minus a couple of inches. In an era where controlled aggression is winning a lot of matches in the women’s game, Halep will have a chance come the second week, should the likes of Williams struggle.

Pretenders: The Women’s Draw
After Petra Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011, she lost in the first round of the U.S. Open. Will she do so again? Probably not, but Kvitova’s inconsistent, albeit powerful, groundstroke game could falter at any moment. It would be no shock to see the Czech make a solid run, but if she doesn’t serve well, somebody will have a chance to pick her off.

They say that defense wins championships. Unfortunately, the same does not hold true in tennis. Although having the ability to cover the court and force opponents to play an extra ball can get players through the first week of a Grand Slam, it won’t help come the second week. If somebody is on their game, Agnieszka Radwanska’s defense will only hold on for so long, and they will be able to eventually end points on their own terms. Don’t expect a championship run this year.

Eugenie Bouchard’s second year of Grand Slam play has been a heck of a ride. For arguments sake, the Canadian sensation has outplayed every other female tennis player at the majors, making at least the semifinals of each of the three played so far this season. She has the game to win not a major, but multiple, but it is extremely hard to maintain the consistency she has shown on the big stage. She can hit the ball as well as many, but there has to be a bump in the road somewhere, and her hopes may be flying out of JFK at the end of the first week.

Sleepers: The Women’s Draw
It is extremely hard to call a seven-time Grand Slam champion a sleeper, but Venus Williams will be a very dangerous dark horse at this year’s Open. Serving as strongly as ever, Venus’ always powerful ground game almost eliminated eventual champion Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon. If Venus is firing on all cylinders, look out, she can go a long way.

Every so often, the tennis world sees former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova pop up. Sporting an explosive motor that propels one of the quickest movers in the game, Kuznetsova puts herself into position to hit a massive forehand. When she’s confident, Svetlana can uncork a ball that opens up the court like few other shots in the game. She hasn’t had the best of years, but it is about that time for her seemingly annual deep run at a Slam.

With all of this in mind, there is still one big thing to look out for…

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Australian fans always make for a fun atmosphere at any tournament one of their favorites plays in. This year, the Aussies have had a lot to cheer for, as they are playing better tennis than they have in a while. Lleyton Hewitt always brings tremendous fight, Bernard Tomic seems like he may finally be maturing, Samuel Groth fires one of the fastest serves in the game, Marinko Matosevic has recently broken his Grand Slam bugaboo and young guns Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are the future of the sport. A run by one of those guys will shock nobody.


Total U.S. Open Prize Money Hits Record Mark of $38.3 Million
The USTA has announced that the total purse for the 2014 U.S. Open will increase by $4 million, bringing the total purse for the tournament to a record $38.3 million, an 11.7 percent increase over the 2013 U.S. Open. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $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. Total main draw prize money, which includes both the singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles competitions, has increased by 12.5 percent over last year. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $520,000, the highest total in U.S. Open history. The U.S. Open qualifying tournament will now offer more than $1.5 million in prize money ($1,572,000) for the first time, an 11 percent increase over 2013.

In the last three years, U.S. Open main draw prize money has increased by 64.6 percent.

“Last year, to recognize the importance of the players and the key role they have in building our sport, the USTA shared our vision to reach $50 million in prize money at the U.S. Open by 2017,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA chairman of the board and president. “This year’s prize money increase continues the commitment to make the U.S. Open one of the most lucrative purses in all of sports.”


U.S. Open Timeline

1881 Begins as a singles men's tournament, for entertainment purposes only. The United States Championship is held at The Casino in Newport, R.I. Richard D. Sears is the first champion.
1887  Ellen Hansel is the first female singles winner.
1915-1920 The tournaments are held at West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.
1968 The Open Era begins. Professionals are allowed to compete with amateurs. Name changes to the U.S. Open. Arthur Ashe is the first winner of the newly-named tournament.
1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first Grand Slam tournament to offer equal prize money to male and female winners.
1978  The National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park becomes the site of the U.S. Open.
1997 The stadium used for the tournament inside the USTA National Tennis Center is named Arthur Ashe Stadium.
2006  The USTA National Tennis Center facility, home of the U.S. Open, is renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.


Winners of Most Men's Singles Titles (Post-1968): Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras & Roger Federer (tied with 5)

Winner of Most Women's Singles Titles (Post-1968): Chris Evert (6)

Winner of Most Consecutive Men's Titles (Post-1968): Roger Federer (5)

Winner of Most Consecutive Women's Titles (Post-1968): Chris Evert (4)


2014 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, the 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, the U.S. Open’s restaurants can cure any craving.

Aces and Champions Bar & Grill: Vaulted ceilings, vibrant colors and a casual, but elegant wine and sushi bar, combined with superlative seafood offerings, makes Aces the ultimate dining experience. You can also enjoy Aces’ flavorful and sumptuous cuisine in your suite with the Aces Platinum Package Series. Join us for lunch, dinner or after the matches. 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.

U.S. Open Club: The U.S. Open Club is located on the ground floor of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 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. With its contemporary décor, the U.S. Open Club Presented by Emirates Airline is famous for its Chef’s Table and seasonal selections of eclectic American cuisine. Restaurant passes are required.

Patio Café & Bar: Soak up the beautiful surroundings of the U.S. Open grounds at the expanded outdoor café and bar located outside the U.S. Open Club Presented by Emirates Airline. Enjoy fresh selections of seasonal sandwiches and salads, paired with summer specialty cocktails. The Patio Café & Bar is available to all ticket holders.

Mojito Restaurant & Bar: Mojito, the Open’s 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.

Heineken Red Star Café: The Heineken Red Star Café is located next to the South Plaza Fountains. The Heineken Red Star Café sits on the top level of the two-story building, providing guests a spacious, ideal setting to unwind and keep track of the matches while enjoying the Café’s laidback atmosphere and enhanced menus. The U.S. Open Collection Store, located on the ground level, features a complete assortment of 2014 U.S. Open merchandise and mementos alongside a limited selection of Heineken-branded offerings.

Moët & Chandon Terrace: The Moët & Chandon Terrace, located next to the Patio Café & Bar, features Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne, along with full-service bar options. Guests can relax and enjoy a glass of champagne in an outdoor lounge setting.

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

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

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

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


19th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids Day to Kick Off 2014 U.S. Open
The USTA has announced that country superstar Hunter Hayes, breakout duo MKTO, girl group McCLAIN, British pop rock band The Vamps, teen sensation Madison Beer and EDM prodigy DJ Salerno will team up with tennis icons Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the 19th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids Day, Presented by Hess, Saturday, Aug. 23 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Singer and actress China Anne McClain (Sing Your Face Off, A.N.T. Farm) and Jeff Sutphen (Figure It Out, BrainSurge), will co-host the show, with a special guest appearance by popular fitness trainer and choreographer, Shaun T. Arthur Ashe Kids Day, Presented by Hess, will kick off the 2014 U.S. Open, Aug. 25-Sept. 8.

From 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., kids and their families can enjoy an exciting array of free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, as well as musical performances by Hunter Hayes, MKTO, McCLAIN, The Vamps and Madison Beer and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day house DJ Salerno. Additional talent will be announced in the coming weeks. Arthur Ashe Kids Day will be broadcast nationally by CBS on Sunday, Aug. 24 from Noon-1:30 p.m.

“Not only is Arthur Ashe Kids Day, Presented by Hess a fantastic way to kick off the U.S. Open, but it’s also a great time to encourage youth to be active, play tennis and develop healthy habits,” said Gordon Smith, USTA executive director and chief operating officer. “This annual event continues to bring the entire family together for a fun-filled day of sports and entertainment.”

Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation which helps fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL), a nationwide group of more than 600 non-profit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 325,000 children each year, founded 45 years ago by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder.

Over the years, Arthur Ashe Kids Day has been a launching ground for many of music’s biggest acts, including Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, The Wanted, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Carly Rae Jepsen, Cody Simpson, Sean Kingston, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Jessica Simpson, Hanson and Backstreet Boys.

The Grounds Festival offers a wide range of interactive activities and the opportunity for children of all ages to test their skills, hit with top tennis pros, win prizes and enjoy music:

Hess Express Stage: The Grounds Festival’s free concert featuring up-and-coming musical talent including hip-hop phenoms The Bomb Digz, “Hip Pop” duo Kalin and Myles, New York’s Impact Rep and recent Billboard “Hot Shot Debut” Shawn Mendes. Additional acts to be confirmed.

YouthTennis.com (two courts): Tennis is sized right for kids! With shorter courts, smaller racquets and lower-bouncing balls, the focus is on the fun so kids enjoy the game right from the start.

Hess Express Obstacle Course: Test agility, balance, running and tennis skills on the engaging and challenging obstacle course.

►​Hess Target Time: Intermediate and advanced-level kids can test their skills hitting targets.

►​Xerox Beat the Pro: Challenge the best playing points against some of the top touring and teaching pros in the world.

►​PTR 10 & Under Tennis: Have some fun with PTR professionals and work on improving your beginning serve, rally and scoring skills.

►​USPTA 10 & Under Tennis: USPTA-certified teaching professionals host this court consisting of colorful hitting stations using a variety of teaching aids.

►​Nike Tennis: Tennis and skill activities on two courts featuring Nike-sponsored athletes.

►​Esurance Champions of the Court: Exciting doubles play for all levels. Which team will win Champions of the Court?

►​USTA Foundation Tennis Skills: Innovative, fun, tennis and fitness activities to develop the skills of beginning players of all ages.

►​Coca-Cola Get Fit and Play: Challenging tennis courses for varying skill levels focusing on agility, balance, coordination, speed and strength.

►​IBM Speedzone: Just like the pros, utilize IBM’s speed serve technology to test the power behind your shot.

►​The U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience: Step inside the U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience for even more tennis fun! The Fan Experience is located in the Chase Center near the East Gate.

►​Watch the Pros Practice: See tennis’s biggest stars up close as they prepare for the U.S. Open. Public practices are featured on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17. Watch the video boards for schedules.

►​From Nickelodeon: Live appearances by SpongeBob, Patrick, Dora and Diego!

►​And Much More: Autographs, juggling workshop, face painting, hair beading and braiding, storytelling, balloon artists, roving entertainers and more.


USTA Introduces Phase One of National Tennis Center Renovations
The USTA has announced a series of physical improvements and new fan enhancements for the 2014 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

In the first phase of a five-year transformation of the site, new elevated seating has been constructed around the practice courts and tournament Courts 4, 5 and 6 to create a unique three-court stadium viewing experience for fans. For the first time, fans will be able to watch competitive action on three tournament courts simultaneously, and will have enhanced, unobstructed views of the player practice courts. The elevated viewing area will hold more than 1,300 fans, and fan amenities will be available on the ground level. Additionally, Court 5 now will be the U.S. Open’s seventh television court, and will feature two video screens and electronic line calling.

The completion of this area marks the first phase in a series of on-site improvements that eventually will include two new stadiums replacing the current Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand Stadium, a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and a southern expansion of the existing campus that will ease crowding and provide additional fan amenities. The USTA is targeting completion of this transformation by 2018. To highlight these changes for fans in attendance, the USTA has created a new gallery—U.S. Open of Tomorrow—that showcases the future transformation of the National Tennis Center.

Other new offerings at the 2014 U.S. Open will include the addition of the American Collegiate Invitational during the second week of the tournament. Eight American men and eight American women will be invited to compete in the tournament which will take place on the new tournament courts from Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 4-6. The tournament was spearheaded by USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty who wanted to create a showcase event to highlight some of America’s best college players.

Also, the USTA will schedule the Boy’s and Girl’s Juniors Singles Finals on Court 17 in order to increase the visibility and fan accessibility to these events. Both finals will take place Sunday, Sept. 7. The Finals will include a stadium announcer and other production elements for the first time. Also, the USTA will make additional grounds passes available for that Sunday, and all those attending the Junior Singles Finals will be invited to stay and watch the Women’s Singles Final on the video boards in Court 17.


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

►​Matthew Bahar (Bethpage Park Tennis Center): “I would feel excited, yet very nervous, to play in the U.S. Open. I would want to play against Vanessa Scott.”

Zach Bernstein (Hofstra Summer Camps): "I would be really excited to play in the U.S. Open. The experience of playing against new people and professionals would be really cool, especially since it is the Open. I would love to play against Rafael Nadal, he is my favorite player."

Athell Bennett (Sportime Bethpage): “I would feel very happy and excited if I got a chance to play in the U.S. Open. I would want to play Roger Federer because I would have a chance to win and because I would be able to show off my talent on Center Court.”

Alex Carmenaty (Sportime Massapequa): “I would feel nervous because I would probably lose in each set. I would want to face Rafael Nadal.”

Avery Dodd (CATS Summer Camp, Rockville Centre): "It would be cool and fun."

Eli (Shelter Rock Country Club): “I would be excited and happy. I would want to play on the Stadium Court because everyone could watch and clap. I would want to play Rafael Nadal … he would probably win.”

Allan Fridburg (Carefree Racquet Club): “It would feel amazing to play in the U.S. Open. I would want to face Roger Federer because I watched him before and he looks like a good opponent to play against.”

Hailey (Sportime Kings Park): "I would be amazed and would try hard to get to first place and win. I would feel great, like I'm learning to be a really good tennis player. Serena Williams is who I would like to play against."

Ian (Sportime Kings Park): “I would be happy because I'm good enough to be in the U.S. Open. I would want to play either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal because they are two of my favorite players.”

James Iannotta (Sportime Syosset): “It wouldn't be that big of a deal if I got to play in the U.S. Open. I would rather be playing in the MLB All-Star game. I would want to play against Derek Jeter because he is no longer in his prime.”

Matthew Koeppel (CATS Summer Camp, Rockville Centre): "I would be excited if I got to play in the U.S. Open. It would be cool to play against a professional."

Dillion Moehringer (Carefree Racquet Club): “It would be an awesome feeling if I got a chance to play in the U.S. Open. I would want to face Novak Djokovic because he inspired me to get serious in tennis.”

Natalie (Port Washington Tennis Academy): “I would be nervous because there’s a big crowd. I want to play Li Na because it is my nickname and she sounds nice. I like Serena Williams because she’s good and wins tournaments. I want to be just like her. I am doing this camp for the first time so that I could be a professional when I grow up.”

Justin Omen (Huntington Indoor Tennis): “I would be honored and really excited to play the best players from around the world. I would want to play Rafael Nadal, just to see how crazy his spin is.”

David Reinharz (Sportime Bethpage): “I would feel nervous, but excited because everyone would be watching me in the U.S. Open. I would want to play Rafael Nadal because I am a lefty and it would be great to play the best lefty in the world.”

Riya (Glen Head Racquet Club): “I would feel excited. If I won it I would be thankful that I took tennis lessons! I don’t really know any tennis players. Anyone who is good I would like to play.”

Nicole Sandler (Sportime Syosset): “I would feel like a tennis star if I got to play in the U.S. Open. I would want to play Coach Cory [Parr] so I could kick his butt!”

Vanessa Scott (Bethpage Park Tennis Center): “I would feel very proud of myself if I had an opportunity to play at the Open. I would want to play against Matt Bahar.”

Fiona Blaze Wheeler (Sportime Massapequa): “I would feel scared because I wouldn't want to get booed. I would want to play against Alex Carmenaty.”


2014 U.S. Open Match Schedule

Andrew Eichenholz

<p>Andrew Eichenholz is a journalism student at Stony Brook University, where he currently is a staff writer for The Statesman, covering tennis amongst many sports. He grew up playing tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where he learned to love the game, eventually becoming a part time tennis instructor, working for the most part with the QuickStart 10 &amp; Under Program. Andrew has also served as a ballperson at the U.S. Open. He may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:andrew.eichenholz@stonybrook.edu">andrew.eichenholz@stonybrook.edu</a>.</p>