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US Tennis Open 2019-Fourth and Last Slam
The US Tennis Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar year and is one of the most eagerly awaited, by players and fans alike.
The US Tennis Open is the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar year and is one of the most eagerly awaited, by players and fans alike.
Being one of the oldest tennis championships currently in operation, the tournament is steeped in history and was first contested in 1881. Despite joining the Australian Open in using a hardcourt surface for all matches, each Grand Slam tournament has its unique features and the US Open is no different.
The US Open is the only Grand Slam event that uses tiebreaks in every set of a match. So, whereas the last set is decided by the player to open a two-game lead from 6-6 onwards at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, the US Open goes into a tie break situation.
This can often be more exciting for the crowd, as the pressure is really on the players to deliver. In both 1981 and 1985 the women’s final went to a deciding set tie-break, which is thrilling to watch for spectators.
Although it can seem as though most hardcourt surfaces play the same, this is not always the case. At the US Open, the playing surface is DecoTurf, which is fast and produces a lower bounce than many other hardcourt types.
Common thought is that this is conducive to playing serve and volley but if Stan Wawrinka’s victory over Novak Djokovic in the men’s final in 2016 showed us anything, it’s that powerful ground strokes still have a huge part to play at the US Open.
Being the final Grand Slam of the year, every player is desperate to perform well and give themselves a chance of writing their names in to the history books. Furthermore, there is a chance the calendar year Grand Slam could still be up for grabs.
Who can forget Serena Williams, under huge pressure in 2015, going down to unseeded Roberta Vinci in the 2015 semi-final, while on the verge of completing the calendar year Grand Slam? It’s dramatic moments like these, that the US Open is made for.
The 2018 US Open should see the stars of the sport back at their best. With Roger Federer bowing out of the 2017 event to Juan Martin del Porto in the quarter-final and Serena Williams absent due to the birth of her daughter Alexis, both players will hope to be 100% in 2018 and give the crowd the spectacle they desire.
The defending champion of 2016, Stan Wawrinka was forced to concede his title before a ball had even been served. The Swiss did not take part in the 2017 US Open due to injury.
However, Wawrinka, along with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, will all be assessing their schedules carefully and we should be in for a spectacular men’s singles event at the 2018 US Open.
Rafael Nadal will be defending the title he won in 2017, which was his 16th Grand Slam title. The Spaniard has made an incredible return to fitness and form having been written off by many onlookers. Nadal is in a determined mood and expect to see him put up a huge fight for his title in 2018.
However, if Federer can remain fit, he will still be the man everyone else must beat, if they are to win the 2018 US Open. The Swiss showed what he is capable of in 2017 when feeling 100% and remains the best all-round player in men’s tennis. Rest and recuperation is the key and the same applies to Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka.
The youngest of these players is Murray at 30 years of age and time is running out for them to leave their mark on the US Open. Djokovic needs one more win to move level with Fred Perry and Ivan Lendl whereas Nadal can move level with John McEnroe if he was to succeed in 2018.
However, if Federer is fully fit, he has what it takes to further cement his place as the greatest men’s player the world has ever seen. A victory for Federer at the 2018 US Open would see him move into second place on his own in the all-time list, which would be a tremendous achievement.
The 2018 US Tennis Open women’s singles was a special event in 2017 and two American players made the final for the first time since 2002. Sloane Stephens won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Madison Keys in the final.
While local fans enjoyed seeing American players reach the latter stages of the tournament, the standard of the ladies’ tennis was not what we come to expect from a great event like the US Open.
The 2019 edition of the tournament is sure to be highly competitive, with the top names in the women’s game coming back to prove a point after failing to stamp their authority of the event in 2018.
However, for many local tennis fans it will be difficult to replicate the all-American final in 2018 but there could be one notable addition to the party which will make 2019 a tournament to remember and her name is Serena Williams.
Williams’ coach has said she can make a return to tennis in January following the birth of her daughter. While coming back from child birth is hugely different to returning from injury, one thing we know about Williams is her ability come back into tennis after a long break and quickly work her way back to the top of the sport.
With the 2018 US Open starting in late August, Williams will be back into the swing of things and she can expect a fantastic welcome from the fans at Flushing Meadows.
Williams has already been installed as the favourite with the bookmakers and it’s difficult to look beyond the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
However, Russian superstar Maria Sharapova shocked many people by reaching the fourth round in 2017, defeating Simon Halep in the first round.
Sharapova should be in a better place in terms of preparation for 2018 and a final between the Russian and Serena Williams would certainly make for a spectacle not to be missed.
Do not be surprised to see the 2019 US Open push the boundaries of common practice once more, to not only maintain but improve the quality of what is already a high class and exciting tournament.
Given the absence of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, there appears only a handful of names in the men’s draw capable of winning this tournament.
The obvious choice is Rodger Federer and the Swiss legend is fit, healthy and playing superb tennis. Rafael Nadal will probably make it to the later stages, but may find it tough when asked to play five set matches.
It’s all there for Federer and if he plays to his best level, he is most likely to win the 2017 US Open men’s singles.
Looking at the ladies’ singles and Garbine Muguruza looks well placed to win the tournament. There is no clear favourite as there would be if Serena Williams was involved but having won the Cincinnati Masters convincingly, Muguruza is in great form.
The key will be getting beyond the early rounds. If she can make it into the second week, Muguruza will be hard to stop and should win the 2017 US Open ladies singles title for the first time.
The 2017 US Open will be played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York. This has been the home of the US Open since 1978 and has 22 tennis courts, four of which are classed as being show courts.
The biggest tennis stadium in the world can be found at the US Open, with the Arthur Ashe Stadium capable of seating over 22,500 people.
This stadium now features a roof, which allows play to continue when it is raining or very hot. In 2016, the new Grandstand made its debut, holding over 8,000 people and this increased the total capacity of fans being allowed to watch the US Open.
In 2016, a new attendance record was set, with a combined total of 65,797 people entering the grounds to watch the middle Sunday’s play.
With the US Open being staged in New York, this opens a high choice of sightseeing activities away from the tennis. Why not visit the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Centre?
There are world class museums, including the American Museum of Natural History and Museum of Modern Art. Also, don’t forget to take a stroll around Central Park and perhaps enjoy a picnic on one of the many seating areas.
If you were in any doubt about what New York City is all about, step one foot inside Times Square and immerse yourself in the hectic world of life in the Big Apple.
Times Square is one of the most distinctive areas of New York, with locals and tourists going about their business under the bright neon billboards. It’s truly an assault on the senses and something you cannot appreciate until you have been there.
Look out for the Naked Cowboy, ABC’s Times Square Studios and famous restaurants. Perhaps the best thing to do here, is a grab a window seat in a café and people watch but beware, you will be there for hours.
Having worked your way through the bustling Times Square, it’s time for a more sedate approach to New York life, in Central Park.
With the US Open being played in September, it’s the perfect time of year to step inside the 840-acre park and stroll along the paths. There’s a reservoir which offers boating, you can rent bikes, play tennis, check out the Central Park Zoo or simply sit down and relax on the 55-acre Great Lawn.
There are great walking tours and horse drawn carriage rides available, which will take you around the park and give you an insight into its history. Wherever you are in Central Park, always look around you because there are some magnificent views of the New York skyline to enjoy.
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Soho and limit it yourself to shopping in that area of the city. However, by doing that, you are missing out on shopping in the real New York.
Check out East 2nd Street and East 4th Street, for small boutique stores, owned by native New Yorkers. A few blocks away is Elizabeth Street, home of vintage textile shops, fashion accessories and fragrance stores.
Having shopped with the locals, why not join them in Butcher’s Daughter at the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare, for a fresh coffee or juice? This is a great region of New York to meet and chat to locals.
One of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and spans the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The bridge has featured in many blockbuster films but to fully appreciate the structure, you must walk over it. Start first thing in the morning and you will avoid the crowds.
Take your time and make sure your camera is fully charged to capture the great views which surround you as you cross the bridge. The walk will take about 45 minutes and is completed along a boardwalk, above the road.
New York is known as the city that never sleeps and you must sample the nightlife, to fully appreciate this iconic city. After a day at the tennis or sightseeing, head to the 18th floor, roof top bar of the Standard Hotel.
The Top of the Standard is a classy cocktail lounge, boasting fantastic views over the city skyline and the Hudson River. Offering a tremendous selection of cocktails, small plates of food and live jazz, Top of the Standard is your quintessential New York cocktail bar.
Head outside and enjoy a drink while the sun sets and after dark, step indoors where the bar becomes a club and dance the night away. It’s a great experience.
For the individual traveller heading to New York to watch the 2017 US Open, you can’t beat staying in an apartment at Oakwood at the Nash.
With many New York hotels only offering double or twin rooms, Oakwood at the Nash, which is just 0.6 miles away from the Empire State Building, offers studio and suite style accommodation. With great customer reviews, this is the perfect choice for single travellers.
For couples who want the very best, the five-start Quin Hotel is the best choice.
The Quin is just 5 minutes’ walk away from Central Park and offers the best value in the city for a hotel of this standard.
If you would like to be at the heart of the action in Times Square, the Intercontinental New York Times Square is the ideal hotel for you.
Having received rave reviews on Booking.com, this hotel is in a stunning location and with large glass windows, provides great views of the New York skyline.
If you are planning on attending the US Open as a group, the four-star Hotel Edison is worth considering.
With rooms capable of sleeping up to 6 people and being in Times Square, Hotel Edison offers stylish accommodation, in the heart of New York city.
If you would prefer something more budget minded, perhaps one of New York’s famous hostels is the place for you? Jazz on Columbus Circle has received brilliant reviews on Booking.com and it’s easy to see why.
Broadway is just 300 metres away and Central Park is only 4 minutes’ walk, making this hostel one of the best in terms of quality and location.
Whatever your taste buds desire, you can be sure to find it in New York City, the question is, where do you start? Well how about the famous New York hotdog?
Perhaps the pick of the hotdogs in New York is Original Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters, in Brooklyn. This establishment has been open for over 100 years and comes with a great tradition. If it’s a hotdog you are looking for, you will not be disappointed.
You can’t come to New York and not try a Pizza, so head to Lombardi’s on Spring Street, which has been open since 1897.
If you would rather eat on the move, there also many street vendors selling Pizza and you can grab a slice while making your way to Flushing Meadows for the tennis. Another easy to find snack is the bagel and again, these can be found on almost every main street in New York city.
If you are looking for something a little more special, New York is home to several Michelin Star restaurants and Eleven Maddison Park has been awarded three stars. The cooking is truly world class and with a wine list to match, Eleven Maddison Park is easily one of the best restaurants in the city.
With two Michelin Stars to its name, Daniel offers a three-course dinner, six-course tasting menu, eight course tasting menu and a vegetarian menu. The Paupiette of sea bass and braised short ribs come highly recommended.
Thinking about dessert and New York cheesecake comes with a reputation of being simple yet extremely delicious. For the cheesecake connoisseur, head to Junior’s Cheesecake in Brooklyn, which has been using the same recipe for three generations.
Also, don’t forget to sample a local café and bar, for a feel of daily life in New York. There are so many to choose from, it’s difficult to pick one in-particular but rest assured, you will be in for a treat.
While watching the tennis at the US Open, you can dine at the Toro Restaurant and Bar and sample and sandwich and cocktail at the Patio Café and Bar. One thing is for sure, you will never go hungry when attending the US Open in New York.
The owner of Little Park, Andrew Carmellini, is also the chef and he has a longstanding tradition of working with local produce. Open from 7am in the morning, it’s a great place for early birds to enjoy a fabulous breakfast.
Choices include fruit, pancakes, yoghurt and homemade bread and pastries. The menu often provides exact details of where the ingredients in your food have been produced, which is a nice touch and promotes the feeling of eating something special. The restaurant is relaxed and you can sip on your freshly brewed coffee, while planning the day ahead.
The City Bakery has been open for over 25 years and has built a fantastic reputation during that time. Located on 3 West 18th Street, Union Square, City Bakery is the ideal place to stop to refuel and enjoy a great snack.
As soon as you step inside, you are greeted with the smell of baking bread and immediately taken in by the display of pastries and cookies.
However, you are not restricted to sweet treats, with handmade sandwiches and salads also on the menu, featuring bread baked on the premises. Whether you want to sit in or take away, the City Bakery is the perfect snack stop.
You will struggle to find a more spectacular setting for lunch in the New York, than the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant.
Situated in Grand Central Terminal, the Oyster Bar is over 100 years old, having opened in 1913 and offers top quality seafood. Pull up a stool at the counter and immerse yourself in the history of the place, while enjoying one of the 25 varieties of oysters, crab, shrimp, lobster and herring.
Order a sandwich or stew and marvel at the stunning Guastavino vault ceiling, as you join the local business people and socialites of New York for a memorable lunch.
Despite the name, this is not a nightclub but does have a history stretching back to the mid 1920’s and the prohibition era. The 21 Club is the last of the original speakeasies and you will need to dress smartly to be welcomed in by the uniformed doorman.
The world-famous bar room is located downstairs and the main restaurant ‘Upstairs at 21’ is on the first floor. Starters include Octopus Carpaccio and Foie Gras Terrine, with “Speakeasy” Steak Tartare or Black Sea Bass to follow and New York Cheesecake for dessert. Take you pick of accompanying drink, with a cocktail highly recommended.
Be prepared to take a step back in time when you walk through the doors at Chez Josephine. A throwback to Paris in the 1930’s and a tribute to famous entertainer, Josephine Baker, Chez Josephine offers the perfect combination of great food and entertainment.
Ideal after a day watching the US Open, dining options include Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Black Tiger Shrimp and the not to be missed, Elvira’s Down-Home Fried Chicken. With a wine list covering the world but specialising in French wine, both white and red, sit back and enjoy live piano music and jazz, long into the night.
There are three airports serving New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
If arriving at JFK Airport, you can use the AirTrain JFK, which takes passengers to the MTA New York City Transit subways and buses, which has public transport links to every area of the city.
To reach the central areas of the city from LaGuardia Airport, there is a bus which goes to both Manhattan and Queens and they both connect to New York subways for other destinations.
When flying into Newark, the AirTrain Newark provides quick access to New Jersey Transit trains, into Newark and New York City. Taxi is also an option from all three airports but will prove to be much more expensive.
If you are planning on heading straight to the US Open from the airport, try to fly into LaGuardia, as it is just a five-minute drive to USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and a taxi will be inexpensive for such a short journey.
To reach the US Open from New York city, take the 7 train on the subway, from Grand Central Terminal to Mets-Willets Point Station. The Long Island Rail Road is also an option and can be picked up at Penn Station and Woodside, alighting at Mets-Willets Point Station.
If you are planning on driving to the US Open, there are several options, depending on which direction you are coming from. However, you will need to reach College Point Boulevard and from there, the US Open is sign posted, so you can follow them to the grounds.
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Interestingly, the US Open was first played on grass in Rhode Island and then moved to clay before finally settling on the hardcourt style surface we see today.
The only Grand Slam tournament to be played every year since it began, Jimmy Connors holds the record as being the only play to win the US Open title on grass, clay and hardcourt surfaces. This is an honour which will never be matched.
The US Open is also known for several firsts, including the first Grand Slam to introduce the tie-break, which it did in 1970 and to award equal prize money for men and women, which was put in place in 1973. Therefore, the US Open is quite an innovative tournament and one which is not afraid to bring in new ideas.
Indeed, this continued following the delay of the men’s final for five consecutive years, which saw the US Open schedule the men’s final for a Monday in 2013 and 2014, rather than the traditional Sunday used at the other Grand Slam events. This was scrapped in 2015, with the final moving back to a Sunday.