If Wimbledon is dinner on a white tablecloth, the US Open is a well-planned barbeque. Tennis die-hards slathered in sunscreen line up promptly at 10 a.m. to watch Federer and sweat under the midday sun. After 6 p.m., the sun sets, the air cools and men in dress pants and women in stilettos slowly take over the grounds. No matter which crowd is your scene, expect plenty of booze with a side of rowdy.
A Labor Day play-by-play
For this week only, the Twitter world makes perfect sense. Wozniacki and Sharapova bumped Justin Bieber off the trending list. And when you tweet a question to John McEnroe, he announces your name and responds live on stadium-exclusive commentary! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.
11:03 p.m. (Sep 4th) Just saw this Wilson commercial [below] at a bar and think this is the coolest couch ever. Can’t wait for US Open Mon!
9:52 a.m. Fun fact: Nick Bolleteri started teaching tennis for $3 an hour to pay for gas while attending U Miami.
11:03 a.m. Some quick SAT prep: “Nutmeg” is to soccer as “tweener” is to tennis.
11:24 a.m. McEnroe says today, the big, strong, tall players are more successful. Marat Safin was the first, followed by players like Monfils. Agree?
5:48 p.m. FYI: You only get to keep the fly ball in baseball. In tennis, the right thing to do is give it back (to keep wear and tear consistent).
6:38 p.m. Gotta say, the large bucket of waffle fries ($6.50) and the popcorn ($4.50) are the best cheap eats here.
Planning on making a trip yourself?
Take a hint from the Costellos, my long-time family friends — one of whom has been to the US Open 11 times, in addition to other grand slams!
Pack light. You have to check large bags (like backpacks and duffels) at the entrance, so to keep your items with you, it’s best to limit yourself to sunblock, sunglasses or a hat, a sweater for after dark and a lightweight towel to put between your skin and the plastic sweat-inducing seat. As lines are long and food is expensive, you may want to bring water and snacks, too.
Plan ahead. Pick up an AmEx headset at the entrance or the AmEx booth so you can hear commentators while you watch. Get there right at 10 a.m. when the doors open. The practice courts aren’t crowded that early, so you can see your faves up close during their warm ups, and you can get a good seat in the grandstand. If you’re dying to see the Bryan brothers (like we were), get to that court before the last half hour of the prior match. You’ll likely be crashing a women’s doubles match and might snag courtside seats.
Choose a souvenir wisely. Last but not least, you can’t go home empty-handed! The $40 official t-shirt might set your wallet on fire after buying meals all day. Instead, scope out other options. This year, Grey Goose offers a $13 cocktail and serves it in a souvenir cup with all the past singles winners’ names and years. And if you’re drinking anyway, consider it a savings.
If you’re not headed to the US Open at all this year, make the Grey Goose specialty cocktail, the Honey Deuce, on your own while you watch the finals at home. Fill a glass with ice and add (Grey Goose) vodka. Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade and float raspberry liquor. They recommend you serve it with melon balls, which Maureen and I are all for!
–Tara for TKGO