Whether you're in it for the tennis, food, fashion or people watching, the US Open is an end-of-summer highlight that has something for everyone—not just the sport-minded. Here's our guide to cracking the Open and ensuring that your day (or night) is a success.
By Michaela Rollings
The traffic to the tournament is endless, and parking is as expensive as it is frustrating. Save yourself the headache and take public transportation—it’s as easy as hopping on the eastbound 7 train at Grand Central or taking a twenty-minute LIRR train from Penn Station, both of which get you to the tournament stop (Mets Stadium/Willets Point) with astounding ease.
There's a one bag per-person limit on the grounds, and they've got a strict size limit (don’t bring anything larger than a tote), as well as a no backpack rule. Food is only permitted in small quantities, and outside alcohol isn’t allowed.
Understand Match Structure
Women's US Open matches are best 2 out of 3, and men's are best 3 out of 5. This means that if Djokovic or Federer cruises through the first two sets, they haven’t won just yet.
Basic Scoring Principles
To fully appreciate matches, you need to have a basic understanding of scoring format. In a nutshell, players need to win four points to win a game and six games to win a set. The first player to win 2 sets (women’s) or 3 sets (men’s) wins the match.
Speak the Lingo
Tennis language doesn’t always seem logical, but understanding it will make your time at the Open easier. Some less-than-intuitive but key scoring terms include “love”, which means zero and refers to the start of a game or a set. “Deuce” means that the game is tied at 4 points all. “Ad” (short for advantage) refers to the player who scored the deuce point (and only needs one more point to win the game).
Day vs. Night
Day sessions and night matches are completely different. If you’re a tennis junkie, day matches might be more your beat, as there’s more to watch. At night, Arthur Ashe (the Open's main stadium) is the main attraction, and is all about chic outfits, celebrity sightings (anyone from Alec Baldwin to Martha Stewart) and sipping on signature summer cocktails.
Research the Food Scene Beforehand
There’s nothing worse than roaming around the Food Court (which has everything from celebrity-chef designed tacos to Ben & Jerry's) in the midst of the crowds, without a clue about the food offerings. Look into the food options beforehand to avoid aimless wandering.
Will you be at the Open this year? Post a picture of your tennis experience and hashtag #frndofafrnd. We’ll be watching…