The end of August means only one thing for tennis fans around the United States: the beginning of the U.S. open, the final major of the professional tennis schedule. Held every year in Flushing Meadows, New York, the U.S. Open has been the scene of some truly tremendous tennis over the past few years. In 2003, American sensation Andy Roddick won his first (and what would be only major) in thrilling fashion against Juan Carlos Ferrero. And just two years ago, Andy Murray sent away the demons and won his first major title. On the women’s side, not much will ever match the 1999 U.S. Open when Serena Williams became the first African-American women to ever win a Grand Slam title, displacing defending champion Lindsey Davenport in the semifinals and World #1 Martina Hingis in the finals.
This year, fans should expect just as much fireworks and excitement as the tournament begins. In the Men’s draw, there is the notable absence of Rafael Nadal who had to withdraw due to a lingering wrist injury. On the top half of the bracket, Novak Djokovic will have a potentially very difficult draw with American fan favorite Jon Isner looming before the quarterfinals and then Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka as potential matches in the quarters and semifinals. That leaves Roger Federer rather uncontested in the bottom half of the bracket. Though no match is ever a given, Federer must be very pleased that he will avoid several of the game’s best.
For the women, the 2014 U.S. Open looks to be an absolute dogfight. Anyone looking to get to the finals in the top half of the bracket will need to defeat Serena Williams, a daunting task, especially since she recently played exceptionally at the Western & Southern Open, taking home the title. Nonetheless, Serena can certainly be beaten and if we had to bet who could do it, Ana Ivanovic and Eugenie Borchard pose the strongest threats to taking her down. On the bottom half, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki figure to be two of the heavy favorites to make a deep run in the tourney. American favorite Sloane Stephens also lurks as a potential winner.
With so much uncertainty on both men’s and women’s sides, demand for U.S. Open tickets has increased this year compared to last. Prices for each of the first five sessions are up year-over-year, with the most noticeable increase for Session 5, currently at $93 in 2014, compared to just $74 last year. Of the first five sessions, the cheapest day session this year is Session 3 at $80. Last year, only Session 1 cracked $80 the first few days, at $83.
A crowded field with many youngsters trying to prove their mettle against the game’s best, along with several stars who have either struggled at times this year or have looked very beatable of late, is a recipe for great tennis and the fans seem to believe as such. Throw in projected sunshine and mid-80’s temperatures for the first three days and it’s easy to see why 2014 U.S. Open tickets for the first few sessions are so in demand!