When it comes to tennis, we are spoiled here in New York. Our view of the sport tends to happen at the end of August, when the best players in the world take their racquets to Flushing Meadows.
If Roger Federer, Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal happen not to be there, it’s a disappointment.
In reality, those type of tournaments happen just four times a year and the rest of the schedule tends to have smaller affairs, which don’t have the big crowds and smaller players take the spotlight.
But this year, the ATP has returned to the New York area with the New York Open. Played in Memphis for years, the tournament that takes place this week, has moved to the Nassau Coliseum. The 250 points and $119,000 are up for grabs has a real American feel with names like Ryan Harrison, Sam Querrey and John Isner headlining the singles, while the Bryan Brothers take top billing on the doubles.
Now, unlike Flushing Meadows, there isn’t much space at the Coliseum, but two courts are set up in a “T” shape with the divider between them. Called Stadium Court and the Grandstand, the are matches going on all day with a day and night session.
Being in the middle of February doesn’t draw the crowds during the first few days, but the night sessions should have a healthy turnout and crowds will gather for the championship rounds.
More importantly, this tournament allows smaller names like Frances Tiafoe and local product Noah Rubin to be highlighted. Generally, these players barely get into the US Open and it’s news when they win a round.
Here, though, their skills are on display.
Now, since this is the ATP, only the men are here this week and even though there are many Americans, some big names like US Open Finalists Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson are on display.
The tournament goes through this weekend.