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It's a busy week for the Hollywood set with the Toronto Film Festival, New York Fashion Week, and the Venice Film Festival all underway. Somehow celebs are still making their way out to Queens to take in a few tennis matches during the U.S. Open.
This year's event seems to be especially popular with famous couples, some A-listers and some B and C-listers, all of whom are flocking to the center court and Moet & Chandon Suite for date nights.
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New York City is hot and hopping, all thanks to the US Open Tennis Championships from August 26 - September 9. On a good day, some 60,000 ticketed spectators will file through the gates to watch the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, 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.
We were there last night, and managed to walk all over to figure out exactly how to beat the crowds for the best possible US Open experience:
Serena seems to prefer to spend her downtime soaking up the sun closer to home, though still in Florida. Serena and her sister, Venus, both live in Palm Beach Garden, FL, about an hour and half north of one of their favorite vacation spots: Miami.
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Break out your preppiest threads and practice pronouncing "Novak Djokovic" for the upcoming US Open, happening this year from August 27 - September 9 in Flushing Meadows, Queens. A short 7 train subway ride out from Manhattan, the US Open is neither far nor expensive. To keep especially inexpensive this year, there are a couple legal options for scoring tickets: the normal way, or the Travelzoo way.
The normal way:
While many of the choicest weekend games are now Sold Out, there's still plenty of options for both day and evening sessions via the official website. Purchases are made through Ticketmaster, so annoying extra fees of $9.50 should be taken into account. Ticket prices run from the double to triple digits, though $158 is a common price for good-ish tickets.
The U.S. Open is already underway in Flushing Meadows, but that doesn't mean it's too late to get tickets.
Tickets range in price from $20- $620 for Ashe Stadium and from $110 - $170 for Louis Armstrong Stadium. Most of the General Admission tickets are sold out, but there are still some tickets available in both stadiums depending on the day. The weekend matches are in highest demand but if you have a flexible schedule and can attend on a weekday, you will likely still be able to get tickets in one of the stadiums.
As ominous thunderclouds hovered overhead on Friday afternoon, we perched on a damp square of grass just outside of London's All-England Club, the site of the Wimbledon Championships. The queue stretched hundreds long, antsy tennis fans drinking offensive cups of instant coffee while waiting, wishing and hoping to gain admittance onto the club grounds, where champagne, strawberries and cream lay.
Oh, yeah. Tennis, too.
We had the pleasure of watching rising star Andy Murray take on Ivan Ljubicic on Centre Court, the Scotsman eventually taking home a victory for the U.K. If you are blessed with patience and manage to make it to the grounds at a reasonable hour, seeing a match, even without having purchased tickets beforehand, is completely possible. Actually, it's quite easy if you take heed of some of the knowledge we gathered last week. Read our tips, after the jump.
The Public Ballot for Wimbledon 2011 tickets closed months ago, which is fine with fans who would rather camp out for seats anyway. Once again this year, tennis fans will be be joining The Queue to try to score one of the last minute tickets Wimbledon releases each day.
Around 500 tickets are made available at the turnstiles daily for the No. 1 Court, and for days 1 through 9 for both the Centre Court and No.2 Court. There will also be a few thousand Ground Admission tickets available each day. This year, ticket prices range from £5 for ground seats to £74 for No.1 Court seats.
The 2010 US Open is right around the corner—we’re talking about tennis not golf—which means the summer is coming to an end. It’s kind of like the grand finale of the summer sports season, and just like every other year, the best in tennis are set to hit the courts between August 30 and September 12 in Queens.
Both the men and women will be looking to score a grand slam victory including the best of the best like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Roger Federer, and Andy Roddick. So get your camera and autograph book ready before you head out to the courts.
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Each morning, 500 tickets for the Center and No.1 and No.2 courts are reserved for sale to the public at the turnstiles. The cost for these tickets ranges between £25 to £103 depending on which day you go. There are also 6,000 Grounds tickets available everyday, which include No. 2 court standing and unreserved seating and standing on Courts 3-19. Tickets cost between £8 and £25 for these, depending on the day. By July 4the day of the Men's Singles and Doubles finalsthe passes are down to £8, but they sell out fast!
In case you didn't notice, the annual tennis extravaganza that is Wimbledon started on Monday, but don't fret as the best is still to come. This year's championships culminate on July 5, so there's still almost two full weeks of Wimbledon action to entertain us.
If you're lucky enough to be in London and are keen to head along to eat strawberries and cream (and watch a match or two), the good news is it is never too late. Wimbledon always keeps some tickets to sell on the morning of the matchat least 500 tickets for the three main courts await the firstcomers at the turnstiles each day, apart from the final days.
The game of tit for tat continues in the Middle East. This time United Arab Emirates officials barred Israeli tennis players from competing in Dubai's Tennis Championships. Their rationalization is based on "recent events in the region" that potentially could "put at risk the players and the many tennis fans of different nationalities that we have here in the UAE."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, has fired back with an e-mail asking its 400,000 members and the international Jewish community to nix any vacay plans to Dubai. SWC officials say the travel advisory will lift when the government of Dubai drops its security concerns. This could be sooner than we think. Apparently today, the UAE has given a permit entry to Israeli tennis player, Andy Ram.
Do you love cruises and Wimbledon so much that even as the economy continues to tank, you have no qualms about plunking down $25,000 for an extravagant tennis-themed cruise? If this is you, then a new Crystal Cruises packages was made with your kind in mind. (Also, can you pay for our trip too?)
Their latest cruise package extends your vacation with tickets to Wimbledon at the conclusion of its London-Stockholm trip. If you ever wanted to whisper sweet nothings in Rafael Nadal's ear, you probably won't get any closer than this.
After the 11-day cruise, which includes a trip to the Tennis Hall of Fame in Bastad, Sweden, passengers will be flown business class to London, where they'll be put up at the newly renovated Savoy Hotel. They'll get tickets to the women's and men's singles semifinals and finals at Center Court and admission into Fairway Village, where VIPs take their afternoon tea after the matches.
But before you pack your decorous sun-brimmed hat, you should be aware that this sporting sidebar costs more than the cruise itself -- and no, you can't just buy the post-cruise package and show up in Sweden. Cruise packages start at $4,995, but the Wimbledon package will set you back a cool $25,299. So how badly do you want to party with a Williams sister?
[Photo from Wimbledon '07: michelle_magnumm]