Welcome to Tennis & Travels, a new column that applauds the readers who do decide to combine business with pleasure. Because life is short, and you should travel and play tennis—maybe even do both at once.
It’s the city so nice that the Gods named it twice. Or better yet, they say that a (Big) apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Forget the lame puns, sure, but the point is that right now all eyes of the tennis world are on New York and will remain so for two weeks for the big and rowdy party otherwise known as the US Open.
Alright alright, the tournament is in Queens, at Flushing Meadows but you understand.
Every year, the world of tennis spends 14 days in the large American metropolis for what always serves as a de facto end of the current tennis season and the fourth and final Grand Slam. (There’s more tennis after the US Open, yes, but it’s also the launch of the football, hockey and basketball seasons.)
As a Grand Slam, the US Open is such that if you happen to have bought a ticket (perhaps with Grand Slam Tennis Tours? Surely there’s a package with your name on it) for the event, you’re sure to see a match or three that will interest you. And hey, perhaps you’ll even get to see up close Reilly Opelka, Harry Taylor Fritz, Michael Mmoh or others from the new crop of young American players.
In short? In short, the US Open is fun.
In large part because attending a match in person is fun.
It’s in New York. Right? Did I mention that already? No, I don’t mean in that way. Look there are plenty of reasons to visit New York, especially at this time of the year. But you don’t have to spend all of your time in Flushing Meadows at the UTSA BIllie Jean King National Tennis Center. Look, the place is only a 31-minute drive from Manhattan.
In Manhattan, you’ll find every possible tourist attraction you may have wanted to see. The Empire State Building. Times Square. The new One World Trade Center. Rockerfeller Center. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. And so many others.
My point is this—there are plenty of reasons to visit New York City at this time of the year, but you only need this one. In this city where no one stops at nothing on their ongoing quest for excellence and riches, where everyone only ever moves between deadlines, you don’t.
You get to buck the trend. And to watch tennis while you’re at it.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG