Every year I try hard to remember when Open matches are played only in the stadium courts. This year I’m documenting it.
It’s Day 7 at the Open and there’s only one match from the men’s and women’s singles draw that isn’t being played on Ashe, Armstrong or the Grandstand. That fairly inauspicious honor went to David Ferrer and Daneil Gimeno-Traver who played on Court 11 earlier today (Ferrer won in straight sets).
Yesterday, there were only a couple matches on Court 11, and after one week, those courts are basically history. It can be a frustrating time for fans, especially ones with ground passes. Take a look at the size of this line of people waiting to get into Sam Querrey’s fairly sleepy match over at Armstrong (Querrey is cruising in the first set). That photo doesn’t even do it justice. The line had to run 300-deep, easily, and extended all the way to the food court.
But before we get all misty-eyed about missing those courts, we’re not denied entry. Doubles matches are moved there. Juniors matches go there as well. As Dan Kois documented in a wonderful Slate piece in 2006, the courts “are filled with a jumble of juniors matches, wheelchair tennis, and made-for-the-fans exhibitions of aging former stars. It’s a small-time day of tennis in the midst of a big-time event.”