Qualifying Week @USOpen Gets Better Every Year
Time was when a tennis fan could go to the qualies down at the National Tennis Center and feel like they were getting away with something. The crowds were lighter and the concession lines were shorter. The secret slowly sneaked out over the years and the USTA embraced the growing interest in what is now Fan Week. Though any old timer is wistful about some changes, Week Zero of the Open is going to feel more like the main draw party it’s become.
This year the USTA is opening up Ashe during Fan Week and featuring nightly concerts and legends matches. Couple that with more autograph opportunities and seeing big players practicing on big courts and you’ve got an event that dwarves many other tournaments main draw excitement. If the New Haven Open WTA premier tournament was still around, this would have surely killed it off, with free admission to Fan Week.
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y., July 24, 2019 – The USTA today announced that US Open Fan Week, a week-long tennis and entertainment festival, will kick-off the 2019 US Open and run from Monday, August 19 through Sunday, August 25, on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Anchored by the US Open Qualifying Tournament, the week’s activities also include free evening concerts, open practices featuring the world’s top players, a new Kids’ Zone and a host of other family activities and special events created to give fans more access to the world-class US Open experience. All activities scheduled during the week are free and open to the public.
The new Fan Week Center Stage located in the South Plaza will serve as home for many activities, including a nightly Heineken Happy Hour, free Chase Sound Check evening concerts, the US Open Draw Ceremony, Tennis Talks and Legends Interviews, and other entertainment events. The stage will be programmed daily from Tuesday through Friday. Other major US Open Fan Week events include the 24th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, taking place on the grounds and inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, August 24, a US Open Pride Event to be held on Thursday, August 22, public access to US Open Media Day on Friday, August 23, and a new Net Generation Kids’ Zone presented by Emirates that will be located in Backyard Court 17.
A full list of events, which can be accessed at usopen.org/fanweek, include:
US Open Qualifying Tournament: 128 men and 128 women compete to qualify for the final 16 positions in the main draws of the US Open. The qualifying tournament, which offers the fifth- largest purse for a tennis event in the U.S., takes place from Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23.
Featured Practices: From Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, top ATP and WTA players will be showcased in featured practices in the Grandstand. Players will sign autographs for fans at the conclusion of each practice.
Legends Matches presented by Mercedes-Benz: A series of late-afternoon Legends matches with a targeted 4:30 pm start time will take place in Grandstand from Wednesday through Friday. Wednesday’s match will feature John McEnroe and Jim Courier, with Thursday’s pitting Andy Roddick against James Blake. Friday’s featured match will be a women’s doubles match featuring Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Aranxta Sanchez Vicario. Other former players and tennis celebrities will be added to the schedule closer to the start of Fan Week.
Fan Week Center Stage: This stage will serve as the focal point for all Fan Week activities and the site of all major Fan Week Events. The hosted stage will include player interview and autograph opportunities, as well as ticket and merchandise giveaways, and will be the site of free pop-up entertainment and special guest appearances.
Access to Arthur Ashe Stadium: For the first time during Fan Week, fans will be able to register to gain access to Arthur Ashe Stadium which is typically closed to the public prior to the main draw of the US Open. The stadium will feature top player practices and other activities over the course of the week.
US Open Fan Access Pass: Similar to past years, fans can register for US Open Fan Access Pass for and have a chance to win tickets and prizes. Fans who sign up for Fan Access Pass can make the most of their Fan Week experience and gain access to reserved seating in Grandstand for featured practices and Legends matches as well as access to Arthur Ashe Stadium. Those who register for Fan Access Pass are also entered into drawings for the chance to win US Open tickets and other prizes.
US Open Experience: Fans will be able to take in the total US Open Experience which includes a vast array of food offerings, unique merchandise and shopping opportunities and a wide range of activations hosted by US Open sponsor in booths located across the site.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation: The 24th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will take place on Saturday, August 24 throughout the grounds of the National Tennis Center, with a concert and television program taking place in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Again this year, access to the grounds and all grounds activities are free. For the first time, courtesy of the USTA Foundation, general admission promenade seats in Ashe Stadium for the concert are free. Reserved Courtside and Loge tickets are available for purchase via Ticketmaster.com.
Net Generation Kids’ Zone presented by Emirates: At the Net Generation Kids’ Zone presented by Emirates, located at Backyard Court 17, fans of all ages can play in a range of fun sports activities, including tennis target practice, soccer dribbling, a basketball shootout, golf putting challenge, an agility course and a hockey shooting accuracy area. The Kids’ Zone introduces fans to the USTA’s American Development Model: a multi-sport approach to building tomorrow’s future athletes and tennis greats.
Holiday Inn Kids Eat Free: Kids eat free at Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts – and will be able to do the same during Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day and US Open Fan Week, as well. In partnership with Honest Juice, the Holiday Inn brand will provide free meal vouchers to kids 12 and under (limit two per family).
Festival Elements: The USTA will bring some of the most popular elements from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation to the Fan Week Grounds, including face painting, roving performers and pop-up performances.
Heineken Happy Hour: Taking place on the Fan Week Center Stage, the Heineken Happy Hour will be held Tuesday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm. Each night, the Happy Hour will feature top DJs, including DJ Niks, DJs Coco and Breezy, and DJ MAAD. Drink specials will be available from 6pm to 7pm all four nights.
Chase Sound Check: For three evenings, from Wednesday, August 21, through Friday, August 23, US Open sponsor Chase, will bring an exciting line-up of live music to the Fan Week Center Stage through the Chase Sound Check platform. The concerts will follow Happy Hour and begin at 8 pm. Check usopen.org/fanweek for the full schedule.
US Open Draw Ceremony: The US Open Draw Ceremony, which determines the match-ups and order of play for the main draw of the US Open, will take place on Thursday at noon, at the Fan Week Center Stage. The ceremony will feature top ESPN talent and analysts discussing all of the tournament’s potential highlights, and potential pitfalls. The ceremony concludes with a special appearance by US Open defending singles champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.
US Open Pride Event: On Thursday, August 22, the US Open will host a special Pride event in Louis Armstrong Stadium from 6:30-7:30 pm, entitled “LOVE ALL – An Open Conversation.” The event will feature former athletes and other notables who will comment on the role of sports, and especially tennis, in, and on the LGBTQ+ community.
US Open Media Day: Scheduled for Friday, August 23 at 11 am, in Louis Armstrong Stadium, fans will have free access to US Open Media Day at which the international tennis media interview top male and female players. Players participating in the 2018 US Open Media Day included Roger Federer, Sloane Stephens, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Andy Murray, and Caroline Wozniacki. In addition, other tennis players and Hall of Famers are scheduled to be part of the interview rotation that fans are welcome to observe.