1. Seat-savers in Armstrong and Grandstand: Do you know the reason that the US Open says “no reserved seating” at these courts? That’s because these seats are supposed to be open to any butt at any time. Some people leave stuff in their front-row seats on these courts and bolt around the grounds for hours at a time. Others closely guard these seats for their peers. Look, don’t tell me that seat is taken when the chair umpire has called time and told everyone to take their seats. If they aren’t here yet, then it’s ours for at least the next two games. The change is over, and if your buddy shows up two games from now, we’ll consider giving it back. Depending on big he is.
2. The US Open’s reserved seats in the ‘unreserved’ Grandstand: Sure, we know the families and coaches need a couple of seats behind the players, but the US Open blocks off hundreds, leaving the rest of us to fight the seat-savers. Yesterday, the only person who occupied one of the reserved seats was Pam Shriver, who was doing live commentary for ESPN. So, when it’s her live shot, the camera cuts to her with no one else around. Making it appear the stadium is empty to give her some elbow room does nothing to demonstrate the decent crowd that is actually at the match.
3. Fashionistas: Ok, you’re at the US Open. Maybe you’ve watched Wimbledon and you think everyone should be dressed up. Maybe you’re going to the boss’ suite after work. Then, we’ll give you a pass. We know it’s New York, but being dressed to kill in the upper promenade on an early night session is just silly.
4. The Food Lines: Unless you want to eat lunch at 10am or 4pm, plan to wait as much as 20-30 minutes from the time you pick your food line to the time you get to salt your fries and scour the grounds for another 20 minutes to find a table from the Food Court Seat-Savers.
5. The Bumpers: We don’t know how to say this. We’ve been going to the Open for well over a decade. We’ve noticed that the crowd has become increasingly (exponentially) international. We like that. It’s an international event and the eyes of the world are on Flushing Meadows. What we don’t like is the increasing number of pushy people (and their kids) who nudge and bump us as they pass without even the slightest notice that they are aware of what they are doing. We’d be surprised if most everyone who attends the US Open doesn’t know how to say “excuse me” or “sorry” in English or in body language. We know that customs vary around the world, but when you’re at the US Open, try to observe ours.
We’re not completely curmudgeony. Look for our list of our five favorite things about the early rounds coming up next.