USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre
Situated in the famed Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre is the largest public tennis facility in the world. It boasts 3 stadium courts, 22 outdoor courts and a further nine indoor courts.
All are built to the latest specifications and have the same hard court Deco Turf cushioned acrylic surface. The stadium courts have been furnished with state-of-the-art broadcast facilities and over the years some of the most advanced technology in the world of sports has first been introduced at the US Open.
Up until 1978 the US Open was held at Forest Hills, but the event soon outgrew the venue. A stadium, originally built in 1964 for the World’s Fair, and later dubbed “The Singer Bowel’ or the Louis Armstrong Stadium, was earmarked as a possible location for the burgeoning Grand Slam event.
Thus the Louis Armstrong Stadium became the early Centre Court of the tournament. In 1997 the demand for seating at this celebrated event escalated yet again, prompting the organisers to construct the 23 000 capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium. At the same time the Louis Armstrong arena was effectively downgraded to court number 2, and the seating was halved to about 10 000.
The Arthur Ashe Stadium, named in honour of the first African American champion of the competition (1968), was designed and built at a cost of $254 million. It features 22 547 individual seats, 90 luxury suites, 5 restaurants and a two-tier players lounge.
The second largest stadium, and reputed to be the most popular venue for watching the maestros at work because of its closeness and intimacy, is named after the celebrated jazz musician, Louis Armstrong.
As with all the other Grand Slam events, the US Open has a court surface which is particular to Flushing Meadows. The Deco Turf is actually layers of acrylic, rubber and silica, and is a relatively fast surface. The balls slow down slightly less on the bounce and bounce slightly lower than other surfaces, thus favouring serve-and-volley players.
John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova are all celebrated serve-and-volley specialists, and all have been victorious at the US Open. Roger Federer employs the serve-an-volley strategy depending on the court surface, but he is an accomplished all-court player – hence his total domination of the sport at present.
Grand Slam surfaces:
- Australian Open – Plexicushion – hard court acrylic
- French Open – Red Clay
- Wimbledon – Rye Grass
- US Open – Deco Turf
Why not join the throngs of people at the US Open venue, USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Centre, Flushing Meadows? Or, if you can’t make it there personally, show your support by placing a wager or two on prospective 2010 champions.