Just a short walk from Arthur Ashe Stadium, the US Open’s field courts provide exciting, high-energy matches in an intimate setting. In all, matches are held on 13 courts across the grounds and give fans the chance to sit just inches away from some of the biggest names in the game, as well as to take in matches that aren’t necessarily shown on TV. In fact, Top 10 players, former Grand Slam champions and the world’s best juniors all do battle on the outer courts during the tournament.
The field courts also give tennis fans a chance to watch players up close before they make it big. Nearly every legend of the modern game, from Pete Sampras to Serena Williams, has played at least a handful of matches on the outer courts before reaching the top of the rankings.
These matches also give fans an opportunity to watch players at the beginning of their breakout runs during the US Open. Last year, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Flavia Pennetta all played matches on the outer courts on their way to reaching the semifinals in men’s and women’s singles, just as other surprises such as Juan Martin del Potro, Melanie Oudin and Samantha Stosur did before them.
And just because the crowds are smaller doesn’t mean the fans are less vocal. Stroll around the outer courts and you’ll find swarms of Israeli fans waving flags and banging drums in support of Dudi Sela, the only player from Israel to compete in the men’s singles draw last year, chants of “Let’s go Bros!” for the world No. 1 doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, or an “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!” chant for one of the many Australian players competing in singles and doubles. You might even see an old-fashioned Mexican wave during the fifth set of a tense match.
It’s an unforgettable atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed.