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Think you have what it takes to hang on the court with the pros at the U.S. Open? Then test your skills at the American Express U.S. Open Fan Experience, where you can have your game critiqued by a tennis pro, play virtual tennis against the best in the game, play a match on a regulation court or just charge your phone while you watch matches on TV. All you need is a grounds pass to the event and a sense of adventure.
Your first stop at the experience has to be the swing analysis bays. There are five rooms equipped with video cameras to record your movement as you practice a forehand, backhand or serve under the tutelage of a tennis professional. Your performance will be displayed side-by-side with an expert player and then emailed to you so you can post on social media outlets and brag to all your friends -- or if you were that bad, just throw it in the trash.
After getting pointers from your recording, take your new knowledge over to the full-size court, where you can fine-tune what you learned with a one-on-one tennis lesson. If you're lucky, one of the American Express players may pass through for a meet-and-greet session.
If you're still having trouble with your game on the real court, you can go virtual with Xbox Kinect. Here you can play as your favorite tennis player or go up against them. The game is a lot more forgiving than reality. If you just swing in the vicinity of the ball, you're bound to hit it. The graphics are true to life and will have you thinking you're in Arthur Ashe Stadium midday with Venus Williams on the other side of the net.
The fan experience is a great way to get you into the game without stepping foot into a stadium.