Hello from New York!
There are four Grand Slam tournaments in one calendar year and each of them wants to be the one and only. In January Australian Open starts the battle showing the improvements since the last tournament edition. Every next major follows with something new. So coming to Flushing Meadows I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I did not play here last year so for sure there have been many changes. The information at the players website was intriguing. New Grandstand, new roof over the Artur Ashe Court, better transportation between the practice courts and the main building… The reality turned out to be impressive. I loved the Grandstand which was built on the place of the former Court #6. Very nice and welcoming, this court is still very big. There is also a new food court around it so it’s not going to be as crowded as always when the lunch time comes.
Practicing at the Grand Slam is always not easy because there are simply too many people. US Open is using the courts at the park across the street as the practice facility during the tournament. It’s a good 10-minute walk from the main locker rooms so with the tennis bag it’s not the nicest journey. That’s why, when players saw the golf carts running there and back every couple of minutes, they were very thankful to the tournament administration. Another big improvement was a new spacious gym next to the practice courts, which made the warm up much more professional. Plus all these courts were resurfaced from the scratch which made them identical to the tournament ones. Looks like practicing just got a little easier at Flushing Meadows.
I didn’t see the roof over the Center court in action. I am sure that it will make the big difference especially with the TV schedule. These are by far not all the new improvements at the Open. There are plenty of little details, new stands, retail stores, even the numbers indicating the courts. I must say, i liked it. Looking forward to see more!