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Queens Greets Tennis Fans With 'Open' Arms – QNS.com

Queens Greets Tennis Fans With ‘Open’ Arms

The U.S. Open personifies Queens at its best — a melting pot not only of New York City, but of the United States and even, in some respects, the world.
From Maine to Florida, North Carolina to California, Miami to Seattle, on the opening day of the greatest tennis spectacle in the land, the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing was flooded with tourists, tennis fans and Queens residents.
Many were there just to catch a glimpse of championship tennis. Some came to see the 18-year-old Russian sensation, Maria Sharapova, fan favorite, Andre Agassi, or the strapping spaniard, Rafael Nadal, the second seed in the men’s draw.
Others came to see the beautiful grounds of the Tennis Center that seems to get bigger and better every year, and some just to be part of the festive energy of the U.S. Open.
“This tournament shows how great Queens is,” said Joseph Martino, 30, of Woodside. “People from all over the country, the world come to our borough for the greatest tennis in the world.”
“It’s cool,” said Bai Kal, 25, of Taiwan, who now resides in Manhattan, of her first Open. She came to see Yung-Jan Chan — her countrywoman — who lost to Serena Williams. “It’s like a big amusement park of tennis.”
Huiye Ruan, 25, also of Taiwan, felt having the tournament in Flushing Meadows every year is a boon for the entire area. “People will come here and spend money and people who live here will try to make the area more presentable.”
Others, in their first time in Flushing, were surprised at how pleasant the atmosphere was.
“I’ve seen 1,000 indications of good manners, especially to international visitors,” said Brad Rudolph, 40, from Raleigh, North Carolina. “It’s an enormous complex; what a great venue to watch tennis,” he added before moving on about the grounds.
So on a first day chock-full of excitement, with Sharapova, Nadal and Agassi rolling, and defending Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova falling, perhaps the lasting image was of the international flavor of Flushing playing host, with a huge assist from the National Tennis Center.
zbraziller@queenscourier.com

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