love air feature

Love Is In The Air – A Guide To The 2016 US Open – Tennis

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NewsWhistle will be bringing you the best of the US Open tennis tournament starting this Monday, August 29.

Until then, here’s a handy guide to get you into the swing of things.

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US OPEN STAR PLAYERS

Already all eyes are on Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, whose on and off-the-court antics have made him the bad boy of tennis. Whether antagonising an opponent during play or saying he’d rather be playing basketball after a loss,  Kyrgios has brought controversy and energy to the game.

Kyrgios does have a sweet side (he’s head-over-heels with fellow tennis pro Alja Tomljanovic, see above); and players are quick to rush to his defense.

Never predictable, we’ll see if Kyrgios is able to keep his cool and live up to his star billing this time around.

Who to also watch out for at this year’s Open:

  • Monica Puig – One of the standouts of the Olympic Games,  Puig defeated Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber to win a gold medal in Rio.
  • Karolina Pliskova – Surprise, surprise, the Czech champ bested Kerber in Cinicinnati last week to win the Western & Southern Open.
  • Jack Sock – The strong server won Olympic gold in the mixed doubles event.
  • Borna Coric – AKA “Young Djokovic” – The 19-year-old hurt his knee in Cincinnati but not before upsetting Rafael Nadal.
  • Grigor Dimitrov – Tennis heads have been watching the “Young Federer” for the past couple of years, and while his game is improving, his heartthrob status is rising, too. Once linked to Maria Sharapova, Dimitrov is now reportedly going steady with singer-TV personality Nicole Scherzinger.
  • Stephen Johnson – The American’s stock is on the rise, especially after besting Jeremy Chardy and Grigor Dimitrov in the early rounds of Wimbledon.
  • Angelique Kerber – The Australian Open winner and Wimbledon finalist is a tough competitor, tough and electric when she’s at her best.
  • Serena Williams – The Wimbledon winner is one of the all-time best, but she’s been vulnerable, having lost in the finals at the Australian Open (def. by Kerber) and French Opens (def. by Garbine Muguruza). Look for Williams to make her stand here.
  • Novak Djokovic – With early exits at Wimbledon and Rio, the Open one seed has plenty to prove.
  • Rafael Nadal – Also shaky as of late, it’s the Spaniard’s time to turn it around.
  • Andy Murray – Hot off of his wins at Wimbledon and Rio, the Scottish star can easily add another trophy to his collection.

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rafael nadal after practice
Rafael Nadal, signing autographs after practice, August 25, 2016.

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US OPEN INJURY UPDATES 

Roger Federer (knee), Sloane Stephens (right foot) and Tomas Berdych (appendicitis) have withdrawn from the event.

Those needing a dose of Federer may want to pick up William Skidelsky’s new book Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession.

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fed me
Image Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

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US OPEN FOOD 

Yup, the hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries and there, but this isn’t your normal sports event. Think of it more like a festival with all the tastes of the world. The bites are pricy — a cheese steak sandwich costs $17 — but the Open experience is worth it. Whether eating at a Iron Chef restaurant or munching on a falafel sandwich, you’ll never leave the stadium grounds feeling at a loss for your favorite foods.

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iron chef
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

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A US OPEN SIGNATURE DRINK

The US Open’s go-to cocktail – the GREY GOOSE® Honey Deuce – is a sweet refresher that’s been around for several years, and shows no signs of losing favor with fans.

The drink is made with vodka, lemonade, a splash of raspberry liqueur, and garnished with small honeydew “tennis” balls.

At home, we skip the melon balls and also add some club soda for some extra fizz.

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honey deuce
A Honey Deuce, Anyone?

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A US OPEN TOUR OF THE THE STADIUM GROUNDS 

So what’s new around the Flushing Meadows – Corona Park tennis center? A lot.

Arthur Ashe Stadium has a working retractable roof. A new open Grandstand Stadium is already welcoming visitors. And the old Louis Armstrong Stadium will soon make way for a newer version coming in 2018. Fans are invited to say their final goodbyes to the stadium on September 8, which is Community Day at the Open.

What’s Community Day? Anyone wishing to visit the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8th can do so for FREE from 12 pm to 6 pm.

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usta roof protocol
Courtesy of the USTA

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BEFORE THE US OPEN BEGINS  

For those who can’t make it to the US Open on Monday, or any day for that matter, the USTA has partnered with ESPN to bring you live streaming at USOpen.org. Get ready for over 1,300 hours of tennis coverage! Exciting stuff!

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Until Monday…

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Unless noted otherwise, all images courtesy of NewsWhistle.