Despite plenty of weekend fears to the contrary, US Open tennis kicked off as scheduled Monday morning after only “minimal” damage was reported at the National Tennis Center following New York City’s brush with Hurricane Irene.
Many of the game’s best players arrived on flights to New York City just before the storm hit Saturday and feared the tournament could be delayed by at least several days.
But as Irene pulled away Sunday leaving only minor damage in her wake, Open officials decided to declare “Game on!” The first match of the season’s final Grand Slam tournament was officially underway at 11 AM under blue skies in Corona Park, Queens.
The US Open draws thousands of tennis fans to New York City every year just before Labor Day. Since 1978, the two- week-long tournament has been played in New York and has become a part of the city’s unofficial farewell to summer.