Tennis fans in the tri-state area are spoiled. Each summer the sport’s biggest and brightest stars come to town as the U.S. Open dominates the happenings in and around New York City for two weeks. But getting to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., isn’t the most convenient and can be time consuming.
The trek from Nassau County, for example, to the complex can be as quick as 30 minutes by car (though we all know there will be traffic) and more than an hour via public transportation. Tennis fans on Long Island didn’t have to wait until August or while stuck in traffic to enjoy top-quality tennis. In fact, they didn’t have to leave their own backyard with the inaugural ATP New York Open from Feb. 11-18 at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Men’s stars including Sam Querrey, Kevin Anderson, John Isner, and Kei Nishikori were among the participants who played in front of a raucous-yet-intimate crowd on unique black courts. Anderson, who finished runner up at the 2017 U.S. Open, defeated Querrey in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 7-6) for the tournament title.
“Obviously, the U.S. Open was a terrific few weeks for me,” said Anderson, who moved to a career-high No. 9 in the ATP World Tour rankings with the New York Open win. “It was tough to lose in the finals, so it feels very special to get [this] win.”
Prior to the start of the tournament, there was a tennis expo where fans could meet and greet their favorite players, learn about the sport, and even partake in friendly matches for children under 10, and test their serving speed.
Opening night featured a series of exhibitions, including a men’s singles match between John McEnroe and James Blake, a women’s singles match between 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard, as well as a mixed doubles match pitting McEnroe and Stephens against Blake and Bouchard.
Not only were fans treated to the exhibition matches and a class performance by Anderson, they welcomed the ATP tour return of Nishikori, who had been sidelined with a wrist injury since the summer.
The New York Open definitely has tennis fans in the area longing for the summer and the U.S. Open to return.