| By Steven Kaplan

Facility and grounds
Really like the ultra-modern, spacious look. It's almost hard to recognize the new steel, glass and tension fabric facility from its former "concrete jungle" motif. It's what I always envisioned the U.S. Open of the future would look like.
Grade: A

Covered stadium
No rainouts, no wind, ultra-cool and a little cold. The players hate how loud the place is … I love it!
Grade: A

The experience
Expensive parking, expensive food, expensive tickets, long lines … it's hot and humid too. What's new? I know it's New York … what did you expect? You get what you pay for right? Wrong! The U.S. Open is great tennis, but modest value.
Grade: B-

Men's finals
Stan beats Novak in a slugfest. Great players, wonderful representatives of the sport as well. I would have liked to see it go five sets, but Stan's power and Novak's toe were uncooperative.
Grade: A-

Women's finals
Angelique Kerber beats Karolina Pliskova. Great to see a new matchup and a really good match, but somehow, the drama seemed to be low.
Grade: B

Serena Williams played at a level that was amazing, with power and grace until the semis. She was the most positive I have ever seen her until Pliskova “out-Serena'ed” her with a huge display of what Mary Carillo described as "Big babe tennis." Serena then explained, "I don't want to make excuses but …" Of course it's easy not to make excuses when others make them for you, right Patrick and Chrissie?
Serena Grade: B
Team Serena Grade: F

Television coverage
High definition and great coverage angles for hours and hours each day. My couch is comfy and I have AC.
Grade (with the sound off) : A
Grade (with the sound on and the announcers ranting): D

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.