My US Open Experience

The US Open tennis tournament in New York City is one of my favorite sporting events to attend in the world. I have been several times but it had actually been about 5 years since I was last there. The last 5 years I have been traveling or at business school during the time period that the tournament is held. So this year, my US Open experience was even sweeter than usual.

My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Unisphere

Unisphere at the US Open in Queens, New York

My US Open experience started last Tuesday as a part of my association with American Express, Starwood and the SPG American Express card (This event is separate from my association with the American Express Passion Project). American Express and Starwood co-hosted an amazing event at the hospitality area on the US Open grounds.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte
The event was for valued cardholders who had paid a premium fee to attend the event at the US Open. It was a huge success. The event featured a Q&A session with former 9-time Grand Slam Champion, Monica Seles, and former French Open doubles champ, Murphy Jensen.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Murphy Jensen
Both Monica and Murphy couldn’t have been nicer. I had a blast chatting with each of them. I must admit that meeting Monica Seles was a big thrill for me. I am a massive tennis fan, both men’s and women’s. I watched many of Monica’s victories as a kid with reverence for her on court greatness and also a slight crush on her-she is still beautiful as you can see.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Monica Seles
It was really nice to be a part of the American Express and Starwood event before the matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The matches we saw featured a double bagel by Serena Williams over Carla Suarez-Navarro in the women’s quarterfinal. That means she won both sets 6-0-that is a rarity but established Serena’s dominance as she went onto win the women’s tournament.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte
The other match featured Andy Murray, the defending champion and reigning Wimbledon champ against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Although the match was close, Andy Murray won in 4 sets. It was a lot of fun and was cool to be with some other travel writers and American Express people in the stands.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte
Last night, completely separate from any business associations, I attended the men’s final. This truly made my US Open experience and I must say, it was truly incredible.
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Mens Final
Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis stadium on Earth was packed to the rafters with over 25,000 people including a who’s who of A-List celebrities. I was fortunate enough to get some pretty good tickets at a decent price and was thrilled that the final would feature the two best players on the planet, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, #1 vs. #2 in the world.
US Open mens final, US Open, Nadal, Djokovic
The atmosphere was unlike any tennis event I had ever been to. You could cut the tension with a knife and the players really delivered. It was a back and forth match with a lot of memorable points including a 54-stroke rally-trust me that’s a lot for one point!
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Mens Final, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal
In the end, Rafael Nadal of Spain won his second US Open over Novak Djokovic of Serbia. It was my first grand slam final and I will never forget it.

I have actually been to all four tennis grand slams; Australian Open in Melbourne; French Open in Paris, Wimbledon in London and of course the US Open. The US Open is always the best atmosphere and has the best crowds. I must say though that I am really looking forward to going back to Melbourne for the Australian Open in January and likely to the final!
My US Open Experience, US Open, Lee Abbamonte, Mens Final, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal
Regardless, I plan to attend the final every year I am in town. It really enhanced my US Open experience. I also want to really thank American Express and Starwood for inviting me to attend their events and I am looking forward to giving away 30,000 Starwood Starpoints on Thursday via my Twitter page @LeeAbbamonte. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and answer one of three questions I ask on Twitter Thursday with the hashtag #SPGAmexLEE. I will also post details on my Facebook page in the next day or two as well.
US Open view, US Open
Disclaimer: While I have separate business dealings with American Express, I was not compensated financially for attending the Starwood/American Express US Open event. I was given free tickets to the event, to the Quarterfinal matches and two free nights at the Westin Grand Central Hotel in New York.

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  1. Excellent post Lee and very cool experience. I have never been to the US Open but have been to the Miami Masters a few times (I live in FLL) and I love going.

  2. What a match. Djokovic totally blew the 3rd set which cost him the match. Rafa deserved to win but Novak should have won.

  3. Awesome tournament, both mens and womens. I am sad we have to wait to Australia in January for the next big one and I am seriously jealous that you are going!

  4. Great post! While not a tennis fan anymore, I did follow and play growing up. In 1997 I got to work at the US Open for CBS Sports prior to getting into the CBS Page Program. The US Open is a great event which I’d definitely like to attend again in the future.

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