Everyone that knows me knows that Rafael Nadal is my celebrity crush. So when I was offered tickets to the US Open, I jumped at the chance to meet him (because 300 level seats = meeting Rafael Nadal, obviously). The stars were aligning, and he was all set to play on the night that I had tickets for, he just had to win one more match. Well… he did not win that match. Sad! But even though Rafael wouldn’t have the chance to meet me, I was still excited to go and see what all the hype was about.
I learned a lot of US Open lessons that I wish I had known before I went. The most important: if you have evening match tickets (7pm), you most likely won’t be allowed inside the gates until 6pm. We arrived at 4pm and spent a lot of time waiting in line. But luckily my friend Jess is fun (and so am I, obviously) so the time went by quickly and before we knew it we were headed inside.
Oh and by the way, you are allowed to bring your own bottled water!
If you have an Amex card, make sure to pick up a radio on your way in.
It fits right into your ear, is incredibly stylish (as demonstrated below) and will allow you to listen to commentary about the match as if you were watching it on TV.
There are a lot of fun activities once you enter the grounds, like watching demonstrations at the Polo store and guessing how many tennis balls are in the container (there are 352,502, just you wait!)
You can also watch interviews with former players, grab a bit to eat, play games and enter into more contests.
Or you can just take pictures by the US Open sign!
I loved wandering around the smaller courts and watching some of the lower-ranked players compete.
Now no matter who is the next big tennis star, I will be able to tell people that I saw them play at the US Open (whether or not it’s true!)
We didn’t have as much time to explore as I would have liked, because it wasn’t long before the evening matches were starting at the main arena, Arthur Ashe stadium.
The first match of the night was between #1 Djokovic and #23 Bautista Agut.
If I couldn’t see Nadal, at least I could see the #1 tennis player in the world!
There he is!
Bautista Agut was a formidable opponent, and it turned into a really fast-paced match.
My favorite part? After every set, the players had to make sure that they were wearing fresh shirts.
Not a bad view, right?
After the third set it got really interesting, with the players completely changing their shirt designs (I did get into the game too, I didn’t only care about fashion and shirtless men, I promise!)
After an amazing match, Djokovic was the winner!
Then it was time for the women to play. Mladenovic played #13 Makarova.
And we moved up to closer seats!
#13 Makarova played well.
But Mladenovic won the match (and had the better outfit- sorry, just had to throw that in there!)
It was a really fun night, and I’m glad that I was able to experience this New York tradition.
For more information on the US Open, including how to purchase tickets, click here.
I guess Rafael will just have to wait until next year to meet me! Or, if you’re reading this Rafa, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org!
Worth a shot, right?!