NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thousands of tennis fans are flocking to Queens with the start of the U.S. Open Monday.
Nearly 700,000 fans are expected to fill the stands at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows over the next two weeks, according to the U.S. Open.
EXTRA: NYC Guide To The US Open
“I’ve been coming here for 10 years,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “I come every year.”
“The beginning days, you get to see the better players play on the outside courts which is why we always like to go in the beginning days,” another man said. “In the later rounds, you have to go the main stands, but here you can get really close up to them which is awesome.”
The 15 days of competition showcases more than 250 of the best players in the world. Many fan favorites will take the court, but several different players have won major titles this year, which only adds to the drama.
The 2013 women’s singles champion, Serena Williams, is going for her sixth U.S. Open and 18th overall Grand Slam title.
But in the first three major tournaments of 2014, she didn’t even make the quarterfinals. Her last appearance on the Grand Slam stage took a bizarre turn when an out-of-sorts Williams pulled out of a Wimbledon doubles match, blaming a viral illness.
For the next two weeks, security will be tight and every person will need to pass through a security check point. Fans are limited to one bag each and all bags are subject to searches.
Additional size restrictions for bags also apply. For a full list of what you can and cannot bring with you and other security measures at the U.S. Open, click here.
Fans are also advised to use mass transit instead of driving.
The first matches began at 11 a.m. with the official opening ceremony at 7 p.m.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- North Suburban Customers Left Without Power After Substation Fire
- Some Yonkers Residents Fight Against Proposed Heliport Pad
- 5 Women Over 90 Worry About Being Kicked Out Of Brooklyn Assisted Living Facility
- Father, 2 Children Dead In Suspected Double Murder-Suicide In Wallkill
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)