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How to Attend the US Open Like You've Been Going for Years

August 28, 2014 at 5:14 PM | by | ()

New York City is hot and hopping, all thanks to the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships from August 25 - September 8. On a good day, some 60,000 ticketed spectators will file through the gates to watch the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and more battle it out in what is the final of four Grand Slam tournaments in the year, following the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

The games go down in Queens, a quick subway train ride east from Manhattan and within spitting distance of LaGuardia Airport. The venue, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, contains 17 courts, all of which are active and open to spectators during the tournament.

The get the most out of the experience, have a look at the tips we're sharing from years of attending:

· Don't buy tickets off Craigslist or scalpers. The only way you're getting sure-thing tickets are if you're purchasing them from the official TicketMaster page, the reselling tent (to the right, just before the security check), or the Box Office at the stadium, which often has last-minute tickets available for face value.

· Go for a Grounds Pass. Grounds Admission, sold for a day's access, gets you into every venue except Arthur Ashe Stadium. While this means you'll miss the biggest ticket matches, it does mean you're likely to watch Federer play up close. Purchase them online or at the Box Office, on site. Grounds Admission for Sunday, for example, is $95 per person.

· Prepare for hot weather and hot lights, since the weather for the week looks warm and none of the courts will protect you from the sun. Additionally, all the lights in the main Ashe stadium as hot. Bring your SPF, a hat, and dress in lightweight cotton for best results.

· Pack one bottle of water. Once you're inside the gates, prices on everything from water to potato chips skyrocket, but you're allowed to bring one bottle inside. Some enterprising guys at the 7 train know this, and will sell you a cold bottle for $1. By the way, 16oz of Heineken is $9, a funnel of roasted nuts will cost $8-$10, and a single hot dog is $5 (or more!).

· Bored? Do the Emirates "Selfie Doubles Photo Challenge". Okay, so there are tons of activities to do when you find yourself sunburned or needing a break from the tennis action, but as a presenting sponsor Emirates is giving attendees a chance to win coveted tickets to the Men's Final. View the rules on their official site, and post a tennis-theme selfie on Instagram with a friend to be entered. You may enter more than once, so long as each time you tag it with the contest hashtag #AtYourService and include an @Emirates mention.

· Don't despair over seats in the nosebleed section. We headed up as high as possible in the stands, and could still catch Serena Williams' moves. The real downside to being so far up are the longer waits for food, with so many other people on your level all hungry and thirsty. Additionally, if you really hate your seats, you can attempt upgrading at the Ticket Upgrade windows near the official box office at the East Gate.

[Photos: Jaunted]

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