Tennis fans who watched Andy Murray and Monica Puig clinch the gold medal in Rio on Saturday are no doubt excited for a chance to see them grunt and slam again at the US Open, which begins on August 29. You’re probably resigned to watch it on TV, as tickets are prohibitively expensive, ranging from $60 to $834—it’s quite a racket!—but if you’re a budget-conscious tennis fan looking for the next best thing, check it out: you can attend the US Open Qualifying Round next week, for free.
From Tuesday, August 23 through Friday, August 26, the qualifying matches, which are free and open to the public, start off at 10am each day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Corona Park, Queens, right across from Citi Field Stadium (and on that Friday, the Mets play the Phillies, so you can make it a doubleheader).
While you won’t get to see the likes of Murray or Puig, Serena or Federer, the qualifying tournament is the chance for the next round of contenders—128 men and 128 women, to be exact— to compete for the final 32 entries of the tournament, in the category of open singles draws. That means you have a decent chance of spotting the next great talent, and, you know, letting everybody know that you did, which is more important. But if you don’t, it’s not your fault.
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