This post builds on more comprehensive advice in my “A Serious Fan’s Top 10 Tips for the US Open” post, based on 15+ years of experience as a New Yorker attending the US Open. At the advice of a fellow tennis fanatic/blog expert (who knows how much I spend on tennis!) I created affiliate links for the trusted ticket sites I’ve been recommending for years, so those who end up getting tix through them won’t pay a penny more but the seller may give me a small commission instead of to Google Ads or another referring site — which, in turn, helps support my tennis obsession and my volunteer work with the nonprofit Net Gains Foundation.
#1. On DAY 1 (Monday Aug 28): the Men’s Bottom 1/2 of Draw (including Novak Djokovic) and Women’s Top 1/2 of Draw (including Iga Swiatek) will play. Players in the opposite halves of the draw will play their first matches on DAY 2.
See the chart “2023 US Open: When Will My Favorites Play?” for details
Consider checking Stubhub if you don’t find options you like on Ticketmaster
#2. Players scheduled for DAY 1 will also play on Day 3, 5, 7, and 9 if they advance (those who start on Day 2 will also play on Day 4, 6, 8, and 10).
Players first scheduled for Day 1 will play again on Day 3, 5, 7, and 9 if they advance; players first scheduled for Day 2 will play again on Day 4, 6, 8, and 10 if they advance. See the chart, “2023 US Open: When Will My Favorites Play?” for details.
#3. However, it’s impossible to predict whether players will be scheduled for Day or Night sessions. Here’s why:
There’s never any sure way to predict whether players will be scheduled for DAY or NIGHT sessions. Officials try to spread the wealth and be fair to players by alternating players between Day and Night sessions. Contrary to popular belief, they do not always schedule the biggest stars at night.
The one exception to this is Quarterfinals, when they have historically scheduled the biggest starts (or most exciting match-ups) for the night sessions (probably a function of ticket sales and crowds, as evening quarterfinal sessions are much better attended and average prices are much higher). Note: 2020 was an exception in light of the “fan-less” Open due to COVID-19.
One thing you can count on is for the US Open schedulers to defy crowd predictions ever year, with decisions that resist generalizations. Many a fan has been heartbroken after spending a lot of money on expensive seats based on erroneous predictions. Case in point from the 2020 and 2019 US Open tournaments:
In 2020, Serena’s 1st Round match (on Day 2) was a DAY session; 2d Round match (Day 4) NIGHT session; 3d Round match (on Day 6) DAY session; 4th Round match (on Day 8) DAY session again; Quarterfinals (Day 10) — a DAY session yet again!
In 2019, Serena’s 1st Round match (on Day 1) was a NIGHT session; 2d Round (Day 3) NIGHT session; 3d Round (Day 5) DAY session; 4th Round (Day 7) DAY session again; Quarterfinals (Day 9) NIGHT session
Also in 2019, Djokovic was scheduled for 3 consecutive Ashe NIGHT sessions and Federer for 3 consecutive Ashe DAY sessions (Days 3, 5, and 7).
CLICK HERE TO LEARN EXACTLY HOW SCHEDULING WORKS
Singles players (128 men and 128 women) are split intotwoequal “Halves” of a Men’s and Women’s “Draw,” each of which plays on alternating days through quarterfinals (Day 1-10). The #1 and #2 seeds (based on ATP and WTA rankings) are placed in opposite halves of the draw (so they will play on different days). The #3 and #4 seeds are also placed in opposite halves of the draw and in different quarters from the #1 and #2 seeds.
When the Day 1 schedule is published, that’s when we’ll know which halves will play on which dates through quarterfinals: A player first scheduled for Day 1 will play again on Day 3, 5, 7, and 9 if they advance; A player first scheduled for Day 2 will play again on Day 4, 6, 8, and 10 if they advance.
Only the biggest superstars like Alcaraz and Djokovic are sure to play on Ashe – others might be scheduled on Armstrong, Grandstand, or field courts. Schedulers have been known to put even the #1-ranked player in the world on Armstrong or Grandstand, as they did in 2021 with then #1 Simona Halep during Round 1 (on Grandstand) and then #2 Aryna Sabalenka (Armstrong). See my chart (click to enlarge) for illustrative examples of who has been scheduled when and on which courts.
#4. Two options for buying the right ticket to see your favorite player after Round 1:
OPTION 1: Wait until the day prior, keep checking for the Daily Schedule of Play to be posted, and buy your tickets immediately after the Daily Schedule of Play is released (the day prior to the match). This strategy takes patience and some extra work – but it enables you to focus your entire budget on tickets for the specific session(s) you need.
On the day prior to the match, keep refreshing frequently theDaily Schedulepage until they post it (start checking mid-afternoon, although it sometimes takes until early evening for them to release it).
In the days prior, I recommend you monitor the ticket situation closely so you know generally what to expect in terms of average prices and are prepared to act immediately when the schedule is announced.
OPTION 2: If you want 100% certainty, you’ll need to buy both Day and Night sessions for the dates they’ll be scheduled to play (in #2 above)
I shot this photo of Rafa on the practice courts in 2017
#5. One other great option for seeing your favorites in person: catch them on the practice courts!
Check the practice schedule here(or on the official US Open App) the night before (and morning of) to see when/ where they have scheduled practices. Be sure to arrive at least an hour before any scheduled practice you want to see to grab a spot – even standing room can be challenging for the biggest names.