Fan Week lets tennis lovers get close to court stars
Aug 21, 2018 | 5923 views | 0 0 comments | 474 474 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The week prior to the start of the main draw of the U.S. Open has traditionally been anchored by the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which offers more than $3 million in prize money.

It is taking place through Sunday, August 26, - also known as Fan Week - and features 128 men and 128 women competing to earn the final 16 spots in the men’s and women’s singles main draws of the U.S. Open.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the USTA has actively expanded programming opportunities around Fan Week, which is free and open to the public.

This year’s highlights include:

• New Louis Armstrong Stadium Dedication Ceremony - On Wednesday, the USTA will officially open the new Louis Armstrong Stadium with a dedication ceremony on “Queens Day” at the US Open. USTA President Katrina Adams will be joined by four-time Open champion and Queens native John McEnroe for a special performance by legendary jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

Following the dedication ceremony, McEnroe will be joined by his brother Patrick, James Blake, and Michael Chang for the honorary first match to be played in the new stadium.

• Legends Matches and Player Exhibitions - A number of Legends matches have been scheduled for Fan Week. Players include former Open Champions Lindsay Davenport and Martina Navratilova, who will be joined by Michael Chang and Jan-Michael Gambill in a doubles match.

On Sunday, August 26, present-day players including Mike and Bob Bryan, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova will provide fans an inside look at the world’s top doubles players, followed by the final Legends match featuring Davenport, Navratilova, Tracy Austin and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

• Player Practices - The USTA will promote US Open player practices throughout Fan Week. The practice schedule will be included in all US Open mobile apps and social media platforms. The practice courts will be hosted by US Open stadium personalities and will utilize video boards and DJs when appropriate.

• U.S. Open Draw Ceremony - For the second year, the USTA will make the U.S. Open Draw Ceremony a free public event. The Draw Ceremony will be conducted at 2 pm on Thursday, August 23. Defending US Open singles champions Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal are expected to make appearances at the conclusion of the ceremony.

• U.S. Open Media Day - For the first time, the USTA will allow the public to view U.S. Open Media Day during Fan Week activities. Media Day will be held in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Friday, August 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Defending women’s singles champion Sloane Stephens is the first player scheduled, and she will be followed by many of the top names in the game as they are interviewed by the international tennis media three days prior to the start of the main draw.
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