Aug. 21, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
Dozens of free events are taking place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing this week ahead of the start of the 2019 US Open on Monday.
The events are happening as part of the US Open Fan Week ahead of the final major in the tennis calendar.
Fan Week events include free concerts, a kids day, legends matches and tours of Arthur Ashe Stadium, along with a US Open qualifying tournament for the men’s and women’s main draw which is the centerpiece of the week.
US Open Fan Week runs from Monday, Aug. 19 until Sunday, Aug. 25 in the iconic tennis facility in Queens.
Fan Week began on Monday morning with the start of the qualifying tournaments. A total of 128 men and 128 women are currently battling it out for a place in the US Open proper, with 16 spots in both the men’s and women’s US Open afforded to wildcards from the tournament.
Notable names playing in the qualifying tournament include 37-year-old Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat Roger Federer on route to a quarter-final appearance in 2013, and Belgian Kirsten Flipkens who made a Wimbledon women’s semi-final in 2013.
The qualifying tournament runs until Friday and admission is free. Legends matches also take place daily from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Grandstand.
The legends matches feature a variety of household icons including John McEnroe, Andy Roddick and Martina Navratilova among many others. The exhibition matches also feature a live DJ.
Like the qualifying tournament, the legends matches conclude on Friday.
A three-day free concert series kicks off on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the Chase Sound Check platform. American indie-pop band LANY kick off the series on Wednesday night, followed by singer-songwriter Brett Eldredge on Thursday and Leon Bridges on Friday.
US Open Fan Week will also celebrate the borough of Queens on Wednesday, with free entertainment from local performers and exhibitions from cultural institutions in Queens. Queens Day runs from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The tennis center will also celebrate pride on Thursday from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. with fans invited to attend “Love All – An Open Conversation.” The event is a panel discussion featuring former NBA star Jason Collins, former MLB player Billy Bean and tennis legend Billie Jean King among others.
Fan Week concludes this weekend with Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday and a Doubles Showdown on Sunday. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day brings together some of the biggest names in pop music and tennis to celebrate the life of one of the most famous players in the history of the sport.
The kids’ day includes a ticketed stadium event inside Arthur Ashe Stadium and a kid’s festival at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
The week of festivities concludes on Sunday when a host of top doubles players take to the courts with kids from local tennis schools. The US Open begins on Monday, Aug. 26 in Flushing Meadows.