The US Open begins on Monday, 28 August, with singles action in the main draws, but this week at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, there is plenty going on as Fan Week at the 2023 US Open kicks off around qualifying.
Running through until Sunday, 27 August, Fan Week welcomes the public and visitors onto the grounds to experience a variety of fun, tennis-centric activities for newbies and die-hard fans alike, ranging from exhibition matches featuring top players and the US Open Qualifying Tournament to a concert headlined by a Grammy-nominated singer.
All fans have to do is to register online for a free Fan Access Pass.
Meanwhile, the draws for qualifying were made on Monday and play starts on Tuesday for the 128 men and 128 women, who are hoping their stay at Flushing Meadows extends beyond Fan Week.
By the end of the day on Friday, 32 players, 16 in each field, will have won 3 matches in the US Open Qualifying Tournament to earn their place in the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.
Japan’s Nao Hibino leads the women’s draw, which has more than a few names familiar to fans, including 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, former Top 10 players Sara Errani, Kristina Mladenovic and Vera Zvonareva, and talented teenagers like Brenda Fruhvirtova, Diana Shnaider.
There are 3 Britons in the draw, Harriet Dart, who takes on Chloe Paquet from France, while Lily Miyazaki meets Ukraine’s Daria Snigur, and Heather Watson plays Dayan Yastremska, another Ukrainian on Tuesday.
Eighteen American women are also competing for a place in the draw at their home major, including serve-and-volleyer Maxime Cressy and 2017 US Open semi-finalist CoCo Vandeweghe.
World No 112 Kimberly Birrell spearheads a 6-strong Australian contingent for the second time in her career, begins her qualifying campaign against Leyre Romero Gormaz, a 21-year-old Spaniard making her US Open debut, while Jaimee Fourlis faces the experienced Zvonareva, the 38-year-old Russian being a former world No 2 and a US Open finalist in 2010.
US Open Tennis returns to Sky Sports in the UK, with live action coverage kicking off at 4pm on Tuesday on Sky Sports Arena, and from 9.30pm on Sky Sports Main Event.
Meanwhile, in New York, among the planned activities for US Open Fan Week is the Legends of the Open presented by Moderna on Tuesday at 7 pm local time, featuring past and present stars in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters and former World No 2 Tommy Haas will take the court along with Caroline Wozniacki and James Blake for a night of amazing tennis as the festivities get underway at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
On Wednesday, its Stars of the Open, starting at 7pm local time, when the biggest names in tennis will play to benefit the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund through GlobalGiving.
Top-ranked American Jessica Pegula, 2022 semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe, Wimbledon’s breakout star Christopher Eubanks, Matteo Berrettini and defending US Open champ Carlos Alcaraz are joining Ukraine’s most prolific player, Elina Svitolina, and other special guests for a special event.
This is a ticketed event, costing $25 or $50 via Ticketmaster, depending on the selected row chosen, with all the proceeds going towards supporting Ukraine relief efforts.
Thursday sees Flavors of the Open, which begins at 6.30pm and offers up cuisine from celebrity chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli and Pat LaFrieda while treating the audience to an on-court showcase featuring Caroline Wozniacki, Monica Puig, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan.
Visitors can sample the tournament’s premium food offerings, enjoy a signature Honey Deuce cocktail, and get excited for main-draw play while playing games and taking photos with the US Open’s Tiffany trophies.
Although chefs, food vendors and players are subject to change, tickets cost $183 and benefit the USTA Foundation.
Sounds of the Open presented by Chase is Friday’s event at 8pm, which is a free concert held in the South Plaza, and this year’s headliner is Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and bilingual composer Sebastián Yatra.
Pre-show entertainment will be led by Z100 radio hosts Maxwell and Crystal, and Miami-based DJ Citizen Jane will show off her unique blend of EDM, Mixed Top 40 and Electropop for an audience of all ages.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation celebrates the life and legacy of Arthur Ashe, and runs from 9.30am until 4.30pm on Saturday, exposing kids and families to the sport of tennis through games, activities and entertainment.
Sports and entertainment group Dude Perfect will put on a free show in Louis Armstrong Stadium, while the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Center Stage will feature live performances by pop duo Crash Adams and K-pop artist AleXa, as well as Disney Channel’s Issac Ryan Brown and Danielle Jalade, TikTok superstars McKenzi Brooke and Reif Harrison, player appearances, interactive programming, DJ MODE and more.
For the younger kiddos, and kids at heart, there will be face painting, airbrush tattoos, hair braiding, juggling workshops and balloon artists.
Elsewhere around the grounds, kids and families can play games on the outer courts or watch the pros prepare for the tournament.
2022 US Open champions Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz will make appearances, as well as Novak Djokovic, Coco Gauff and Ben Shelton.