Going Places, Far & Near

Festive Atmosphere as US Open Tennis Championship Opens Gates to All for Qualifying Matches

There’s a festive atmosphere during the days of the Qualifying Matches for the US Open Tennis Championships at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, Flushing Meadow, NY © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The US Open Tennis Championship draws tennis fans from around the world to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow Park to what has become a glitzy and elite affair, but the week before the US Open tournament starts, there is the US Open Qualifying Matches, and for New Yorkers, a fabulous festival of tennis when the gates are flung open for all to enjoy.

From August 22-25, there is free admission to watch the US Open Qualifying matches – thrilling high quality play when all is on the line – as well as opportunities to watch your favorite pros on the practice courts (they now post the practice schedule).

Marie Bouzkova of Czechoslovakia practicing for the US Open Tennis Championships © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Lucas Pouille of France practicing for the US Open Tennis Championships © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Dalma Galfi of Hungary working out at the US Open © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

There is a festive atmosphere and an amazingly intimate quality to being able to watch the matches close up, from prime seats.

This year, you will see an amazing transformation underway – construction is still going on for what will be the completely new Armstrong stadium.

The grounds are impressive, despite the construction underway (and during the Qualifying rounds, you see all the preparations and set-up activity, as well), with gorgeous views of the iconic Unisphere, the centerpiece of the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadow Park, and a Walk of Champions.

Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei, seeded 1 in the Qualifiers defeated Kelly Chen of USA 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Kelly Chen of USA gave #1 seed Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei, a run, going to third set tie-break on Day 1 of US Open Qualifying matches © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Qualifying Matches, when more than 100 players from around the world fight for a coveted spot in the Open, are exciting to watch. If they make it through three rounds of the Qualifying tournament, they will earn their spot to play in the Open; 16 out of 128 will advance. The matches are fabulous, and what is more, you can see the players really up close, you can wander around from match to match. I love the match-ups of nations: China versus a Chinese-American player; Russia versus Italy, as well as seeing how the challengers do against seeded players.

In fact, the quality of the competition rivals for your time and attention from the opportunity to watch Tennis Royalty warming up in the new Grandstand, as well as the practice courts.

Despite powerful shot-making, Xinyun Han of China, seeded 17, is defeated by Vera Zvonareva of Russia 7-6, 6-1 © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Vera Zvonareva of Russia defeats Xinyun Han of China, seeded 17, 7-6, 6-1 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Here, too, you can see the greats from a perch you would never have during the actual tournament.

The four days of matches are free and the festival atmosphere is enhanced with special events including Children’s Day activities, musical presentations, and the excitement of seeing the world’s best players practicing. You never know who you will encounter.

The quality of play at the qualifying matches is superb, and Everyday Joes have front-row seats to the intense action. It’s particular fun to wander from match to match.

Asia Muhammad of the USA, seeded 24, despite powerful shot-making, was defeated by Riko Sawayanagi of Japan, © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Riko Sawayanagi of Japan, who took advantage of Asia Muhammad’s apparent injury in the third set to win, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

This year, the US TA is continuing the tradition of Community Day, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, when the gates are thrown open (for free admission) beginning at noon to watch  some of the game’s biggest names in the professional, collegiate and wheelchair ranks, as well as the world’s top juniors. Tournament play features:

  • Men’s and women’s doubles
  • Men’s and women’s wheelchair competition
  • US Open Juniors
  • American Collegiate Invitational

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, seeded 7, was defeated by Camilla Rosatello of Italy in three sets © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Camilla Rosatello of Italy overcomes the power and fury of 7-seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to win 7-5, 4-6, 3-6 © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visit http://www.usopen.org to get daily schedules, results, videos, live streaming.

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© 2017 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

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