- Adena Andrews, Editor, espnW.com
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Access to the greatest players in tennis is one of the best qualities about the U.S. Open. By just being in the right place at the right time, you can score an autograph or photo with the biggest stars of the U.S. Open.
One of the main tricks to getting an autograph is to carry around an oversized tennis ball and a felt marker (the tennis ball will run you $48.99). When players see that, they automatically know what time it is. Here’s an insider's guide on where to snag autographs and moments with the players.
Practice courts: Everyone needs to warm up and get a couple of swings in to get the day started. Head to the practice courts to catch an intimate look at the mechanics of a player’s swing and the power of their game.
President’s gate: This is where players and their families enter each day. If you see a silver Mercedes Benz with the words “Official USTA Vehicle” pull up to the entrance, chances are there is someone important in there. If you play the waiting game, you can catch a glimpse of some of the big names.
Media center entrance: Players are required to speak to the media, so before or after a match you can find them trotting out of the media center. If you can stand watching weary media members walk by for hours, you’ll be rewarded with a player sighting.
Players' lounge: Imagine a bus depot waiting room. Now put plush couches, gourmet food and dozens of world class tennis players in there. That is what the players’ lounge is like. It’s a place where players come between matches to focus and relax. If you’re lucky enough to gain entrance with a corporate sponsor or required pass, you’ll have the best access to every player at the Open and tons of stories to tell.
Fan Experience: Player meet-and-greets are set up throughout the day for fans to enjoy at the free fan experience. If the tennis gods are smiling on you, you may even get a photo or a free lesson from a pro.