2011 US Open
Starting Monday 29, the tennis world will fix its eyes on Queens. Whether you've shelled out dough to attend a match or will be watching from afar, you can get your fill of tennis at these events.
Tue Aug 23 2011
Photograph: Courtesy USTA
The games are still the main focus at the 2011 US Open, but there are plenty of things to keep you entertained between sets. The offerings include an international food court, interactive games in the SmashZone, and live music from Baltimore indie-rock duo Wye Oak, Toronto folk band Great Lake Swimmers and more. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Kennedy Cir at New York Ave, Flushing, Queens (usopen.org). Mon 29--Sept 11; times vary; $20--$330.
The tournament ends on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; in tribute, the women's and men's finals will feature prematch concerts by Cyndi Lauper and Queen Latifah, respectively, along with moments of silence and a color guard to honor the NYPD and FDNY. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Sept 10, 11 at 4pm; $86--$880.
Anyone with a knack for paddling balls can help make history: Mardy Fish, the top-seeded American men's singles player, will lead an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people bouncing tennis balls on rackets in one location. Be sure to bring your own gear—only kids will get freebies, provided by Wilson. (But the first 800 people to show up get a free T-shirt. Ace!) USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Fri 26 at 7:30am; free.
You don't have to catch the 7 train out to Flushing to see matches. During the tournament's final week, you can drop by Madison Square Park to watch games on a big screen. Nosh on dishes from Eataly and Resto as you observe the matches. Madison Square Park, 23rd to 26th Sts between Fifth and Madison Aves (madisonsquarepark.org). Mon 5-- Sept 11 time TBA; free.
Want to get up close and personal with men's star and 2010 champ Rafael Nadal? (Who doesn't?) The hunky Spaniard, who's seeded second in this year's tourney, will sign copies of his new memoir, Rafa, a few days before he hits the courts. Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave, 555 Fifth Ave at 46th St (212-697-3048, bn.com). Sat 27 at 6pm; free.