2017-08-23 / Editorials

Queens Loves Tennis

The World’s Borough will be in the world’s spotlight with the one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, the US Open starting on Monday, August 28. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis stadium in the world, and with its new retractable roof, there will be no more rain delays to frustrate fans or spoil anyone’s plans. Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a world-class venue worthy of the sport’s fiercest fans, many of whom will be pouring in from around the world, or watching on international broadcasts. The world’s greatest tennis stars will battle in tennis’ toughest competition from August 28 through September 10 in a tradition that started 100 years ago with the West Side Tennis Stadium in Forest Hills. Prize money totals $50.4 million, up 3.7% since last year, making the US Open the highest-paying tennis grand slam in the world, surpassing even Wimbledon in total prize money to be won.

We can look forward to witnessing the legendary athletic prowess, power, endurance and strategy of players such as Rafael Nadal, Karolína Plíšková, Andy Murray, Simona Halep, Roger Federer, Venus Williams, and many more rulers of the court and rising stars. Unfortunately, we will not get to see Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams, who have withdrawn from the Open, due to an elbow injury (Novak) and pregnancy (congratulations, Serena!).

We are currently in the midst of Fan Week, which began on Monday, featuring all the free, fun options available to get you ready for the 2017 US Open. The grounds are open for fans to watch the best players in the world prepare for this year’s Open; attend Queens Day (today, free); and the Opening Night Ceremony featuring Shania Twain. Other highlights include the US Open Junior Championships, Military Appreciation Day, US Open Champions Invitational US Open Wheelchair Competition, American Collegiate Invitational and the US Open Community Day.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is a star-studded event that features, on Saturday, a ticketed Stadium Show inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, as well as a free Grounds Festival at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The free Grounds Festival offers interactive games, music and tennis activities, a free concert with exciting up-and-coming talent on the Festival Stage hosted by Radio Disney with artists Skylar Stecker, Spencer Sutherland, Aja9, Summer Valentine and Saving Forever performing. In the afternoon, the ticketed stadium show will feature former US Open champions in fun exhibition matches and skills challenges, and performers Sofia Carson, Alex Aiono, Jack & Jack and New Hope Club will be on the stage. Roger Federer will make his 10th appearance at Kids’ Day.

Not only is this grand spectacle a fun, gigantic ego boost, the US Open is a great economy booster for the borough and the rest of the city as well. The travel and hospitality industry, restaurants, transportation, and entertainment all experience the extended ripples of tennis fever. Support the event however you can: go to the matches, Community Day, watch the games and celebrate a big reason Queens is on the map. Visitors will not want to miss other offerings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as well, including the Queens Museum, Queens Theatre, Queens Zoo; and not much further away, Citi Field, Museum of the Moving Image, MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria Park, Flushing Town Hall; all the fantastic local dining, entertainment, and much more, in The World’s Borough of excitement.

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