This week, you can head to Queens for a slew of free programming, from a photo show to happy hours accompanied by DJ sets. And, if you want, you can see Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal practice their tennis swings — again, for free.
It’s all part of Fan Week at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a weeklong festival that kicks off the US Open tennis championship, beginning Aug. 26.
The festival’s events include matches at the Open’s Qualifying Tournament, in which up-and-coming players duke it out from Monday to Friday between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. for a chance to compete.
You’ll catch Williams and other top-notch players practicing their serves and backhands in the Grandstand court from Tuesday to Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Visit USOpen.org for a schedule of practices and players vying in the qualifying tournament.
If you never thought you’d get to see John McEnroe play, now’s your chance. He’ll face Jim Courier on Wednesday, followed by Andy Roddick versus James Blake on Thursday, and Friday’s women’s doubles match with Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. All matches are free to the public and start at 4:30 p.m. in the Grandstand.
Fan Week isn’t all games. Beginning Monday, at the Chase Center near the East Gate, check out a show of more than 75 photos focusing on the life and career of Billie Jean King.
The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day unfolds on Aug. 24, with performers JAGMAC, Stefan Benz and Jenna Raine. For the first time, nearly 10,000 general admission seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be no-cost for folks also looking to catch a glimpse of singer Blanco Brown, Disney star Meg Donnelly and defending US Open champ Novak Djokovic. (Free tickets must be reserved on Ticketmaster; the remainder will be distributed, first come, first serve, on site.)
Adults can also have their fill. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, Heineken is hosting a happy hour, with a buy-one-get-one deal, plus sets by DJs Niks, MAAD, Coco and Breezy. From Wednesday through Friday, the happy hour will segue into the Chase Sound Check concerts at 8 p.m. Indie-pop band LANY performs on Wednesday, followed by country singer Brett Eldredge on Thursday and soul crooner Leon Bridges on Friday. And it’s all free, no strings attached.
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