US Open generates $720M, draws thousands to Queens


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography
Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

Serena Williams won the women’s final of the 2013 US Open

It’s game, set and match for the US Open.

For another year the star-studded tournament attracted thousands of tennis fans to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and created a certain buzz in Queens.

The Open generated an overall economic impact of approximately $720 million for the city, according to the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and more than 713,000 fans attended the two-week event.

“Hotels were so overbooked that they sent customers to different venues,” said Rob McKay, director of tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

The Queens Tourism Council, in conjunction with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, organized an information kiosk at the Tennis Center that gave away about 2,000 Queens guidebooks to tennis fans that wanted to learn more about the borough. Kiosk volunteers also spoke to thousands of fans about hotels, restaurants and cultural spots.

The New York Hall of Science offered free general admission during the tournament and had a big exhibit on tennis legend Arthur Ashe with movies and interactive machines.

The starry atmosphere at the Open featured an abundance of celebrities, including former President Bill Clinton, “Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker, musician Justin Timberlake, actor Ben Stiller and New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire.

Serena Williams, the number one ranked women’s player, won the women’s final 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1, after a windy match in Arthur Ashe Stadium against no. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka. The championship is Serena’s fifth US Open title and 17th Grand Slam win, which puts her at sixth place in women’s tennis history.

“I felt almost disappointed with my year to be honest,” said Williams, who only made the quarter finals in the Australian Open and the 4th round of Wimbledon. “So I definitely feel a lot better with at least a second Grand Slam under my belt this year.”

No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, who suffered a stunning defeat in the first round of Wimbledon in June, defeated the number one ranked male player, Novak Djokovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win his 13th Grand Slam and second US Open.

“It’s true that I am playing more aggressively than before, more inside court, closer to the baseline, going more for the points, but all this is possible because I am playing well,” Nadal said.

Both champions collected $3.6 million in prize money.

 

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