By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
It’s the greatest value in tennis. Heck, it might even be the greatest value in all sports. It’s called Fan Week at the US Open and runs from August 23-28.
Let’s be candid. It isn’t cheap to attend the US Open, which begins on August 29. Tickets can cost upwards of $100 and parking as much as $30. And hot dogs. Forget about it.
But tennis fans get a treat the week before. They can see players like Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Madison Keys up close and person for the singular cost of transportation to the US Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.
Fans will also get to see some great tennis in the qualifying tournament, taking place on the grounds. 256 top male and female players are trying to gain entry into the coveted main draw and a guaranteed pay check of $80,000, even with a first-round main draw loss.
Total US Open prize money is in excess of 60 million dollars. All the great restaurants and fan booths on the site are also open.
There are a few ticketed events during Fan Week. Namely, Tennis Players for Peace event tonight, with the likes of Nadal and fan favorite John McEnroe competing. Flavors of the Open tomorrow night and an exciting Chase concert Friday night.
Autograph hunters will be in luck as well. All of the players are freer with their time than during the actual tournament when they are concerned about their matches every other day.