What began in 1881 as an exclusive men's singles and doubles tournament, today has grown into a two-week sports and entertainment extravaganza that brings the eyes of the world to Flushing, New York for the U.S. Open.
More than 720,000 fans enter the gates annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, making the U.S. Open the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world.
Passionate fans from all over the world come to witness the toughest tennis on the game's biggest stage. Sport, celebrity and entertainment all come together in one of the world's greatest cities for two weeks of intense competition and electrifying tennis action.
Visiting the Open
New features at the US Open this year include upgraded facilities across the grounds, including new concession areas and the Octagon merchandise marquee, and expanded streaming on USOpen.org of all matches in all television windows. On-court celebrations during the tournament will include a demonstration featuring the QuickStart Tennis play format.
Other fan enhancements include the introduction of the Promenade Experience, which will better integrate the fans located in the Promenade sections of Arthur Ashe Stadium into the US Open experience, the expansion of SmashZone, the premier interactive fan experience in tennis, and a unique doubles exhibition featuring four legends of the game. The USTA also will host its second annual Family Day at the US Open, with reserved family seating in Louis Armstrong Stadium, and the USTA will announce the 2010 winner of the country's Best Tennis Town.
US Open National Playoffs: This year, for the first time, the USTA invited all tennis players over the age of 14 to "Dream Big" and compete for a spot in the US Open via the US Open National Playoffs. More than 1200 players across the country competed in 16 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, and the 16 male and female qualifiers then competed in tournaments held in conjunction with Olympus US Open Series events in Atlanta and Stanford, Calif., respectively. Blake Strode of St. Louis and Alexandra Mueller of Abington, Pa., won the Men's and Women's Championships and earned wild cards into the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament.
QuickStart Tennis Exhibition: The QuickStart Tennis play format will be demonstrated for the first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session on Thursday, September 9. The demonstration will feature top QuickStart Tennis players under the age of 10.
QuickStart Clinic on Court 12: The USTA will hold a QuickStart Tennis clinic on Court 12 on Saturday, September 4, from 1:00–7:00pm that is open to all ticketholders. The USTA will provide age-appropriate racquets and balls, and USTA coaches will be available to provide teaching tips.
Promenade Experience: Fans sitting in the promenade section of Arthur Ashe Stadium will enjoy a new "experience" at the 2010 US Open. During each night session in 2010, NBC Sports' Harry Cicma will serve as an in-stadium announcer and fans will be entertained by the "Prom Patrol," who will provide prize giveaways. Wireless cameras will broadcast the Promenade Experience on the in-stadium vieos screens, and fans will have chances to win behind-the-scenes US Open experiences. The Promenade Experience also will feature celebrities and former tennis professionals who will visit the promenade patrons.
Best Tennis Town: For the second consecutive year, the USTA will announce the winner of America's "Best Tennis Town". Representatives from the finalist cities of Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., and Richmond, Va., will attend the US Open, with the winner receiving $100,000 for tennis programming in its local area. The nationwide call required towns to self-nominate via application form and submit a five-minute video highlighting the community's passion for tennis. Ten cities were chosen as semifinalists and the final three were selected based on on-line voting by the general public.
Green Initiatives: For the third consecutive year, the USTA is expanding its efforts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in order to ensure that the US Open will register as little impact on the environment as possible. The NTC grounds will feature site-wide composting for the first time. Hybrid vehicles will make up 60 percent of the Mercedes-Benz player transportation fleet in the automaker's first year as the US Open's official transportation provider, and Esurance, the car insurance company, will sponsor this year's daily MetroCard giveaway, where 125 fans each day will win a $4.50 MetroCard to encourage the use of mass transit to the US Open. Additionally, PSAs featuring official spokesperson Alec Baldwin will run on video screens throughout the NTC.