How to Get Tickets to See Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal at the 2022 US Open? Advice from a Serious Tennis Fan
By P.J. Simmons
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.
Updated August 29, 2022 (9 AM ET)
Want to be sure to see Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, or another favorite player at this year’s US Open? You’re not alone, especially given Serena’s August 9 announcement that she will be “evolving away” from tennis after the US Open.
Here’s what you need to know before buying tickets, whether on the official US Open ticket site or any reseller sites:
NEW (Aug 28): WHEN WILL SERENA AND VENUS WILLIAMS' PLAY THEIR FIRST ROUND DOUBLES MATCH?
WHEN/ WHERE WILL THE WILLIAMS SISTERS PLAY THEIR FIRST DOUBLES MATCH?
- Either Wednesday (Aug 31) OR Thursday (Sep 1) – we still don’t know.
- My hunch is they’ll be scheduled on Ashe, but it’s possible they will be scheduled on Armstrong (or even Grandstand – although I’d be shocked if they put them on Grandstand).
- We will know by tomorrow (Tuesday) at the latest when the Daily Schedule of Play for Wednesday Day 3 comes out – or perhaps they may make an announcement sooner.
- If they aren’t scheduled on Wednesday, they’ll play on Thursday.
- Based on the Women’s Doubles Draw (out Sunday), we know their first match will be against Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova.
- The vast majority of high-profile, early-round doubles matches – even involving big names – are usually put on Grandstand (and even on the numbered field courts). In some cases, very high-profile early round doubles matches are put on Armstrong. In VERY RARE cases, they have added super high-profile doubles matches to the Ashe Day schedule (notably one with Nick Kyrgios in 2019 on Day 1 for his first round doubles match). They may very well do this with the Williams sisters..
Bottom line: I recommend monitoring the US Open Twitter account for any potential early announcements before Tuesday – and if there aren’t any, continuing to check the Daily Schedule of Play maniacally on Tuesday to see if/when/where they’re scheduled on Wednesday. If they aren’t scheduled on Wednesday, they will definitely play Thursday – but the same guessing game about when/where will apply until the Thursday schedule is released on Wednesday (or they make an announcement). AS SOON AS THEY ANNOUNCE: go to the Official US Open Ticketmaster site or a trusted reseller site like Stubhub to grab tickets ASAP.
#1. Serena will play her first match on MONDAY NIGHT August 29 (Ashe Stadium) and Rafa will play his first match on TUESDAY NIGHT August 30 (Ashe Stadium).
- Get tickets for Serena’s opening Round 1 match on Ticketmaster (Monday Night August 29 on Ashe)
- Buy tickets for Rafa’s opening Round 1 match on Ticketmaster (Tuesday Night August 30 on Ashe)
>> Consider checking Stubhub if you don’t find options you like on Ticketmaster
>> See the US Open’s Daily Schedule of Play for Day 1 and 2 for full schedule for both days
CLICK TO SEE MORE ABOUT HOW SCHEDULING ACTUALLY WORKS
- Singles players (128 men and 128 women) are split into two equal “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.
- Here are the 2022 Draws, as announced on August 25:
- >> Women’s TOP Half of Draw– Includes Swiatek, Muguruza, Pegula, Badosa, Bencic, Raducanu, and Sabalenka>> Women’s BOTTOM half of Draw– Includes SERENA WILLIAMS plus Halep, Sakkari, Jabeur, Kasatkina, Leylah Fernandez, Kontaveit, and>> Men’s TOP Half of Draw– Includes Medvedev, Kyrgios, Carreno-Busta, Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime, Berrettini, Ruud>> Men’s BOTTOM Half of Draw– Includes RAFAEL NADAL plus Hurkacz, Dimitrov, Sinner, Cilic, Alcaraz, Norrie, Shapovalov, Rublev
- The US Open announced several hours later on August 25: MONDAY (August 29) will feature the Women’s BOTTOM Half (which includes Serena) and the Men’s TOP Half (which includes Medvedev); TUESDAY (August 30) will feature the Women’s TOP Half (including Swiatek) and the Men’s BOTTOM Half (which includes Nadal)
- Now that Day 1 schedule is published, you CAN predict the DATES your favorite players will be scheduled through quarterfinals. Because Serena’s first match is scheduled for Day 1, she’ll play again on Day 3, 5, 7, and 9 if she advances. With Nadal’s first match scheduled on Day 2, he’ll play again on Day 4, 6, 8, and 10 if he advances.
- We won’t know whether they are scheduled for DAY or NIGHT sessions until the Daily Schedule of Play is released for each day (see #2 below).
- Only the biggest superstars like Serena and Rafa 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.
#2. Here are the dates Serena and Rafa will play if they advance beyond Round 1:
- MONDAY Aug 29 (Round 1), WED Aug 31 (Round 2), FRIDAY Sep 2 (Round 3), SUNDAY Sep 4 (Round 4), TUES Sep 6 (Quarterfinals)
- >> Women’s BOTTOM half of Draw– Includes SERENA WILLIAMS plus Halep, Sakkari, Jabeur, Kasatkina, Leylah Fernandez, Kontaveit
- >> Men’s TOP Half of Draw– Includes Medvedev, Kyrgios, Carreno-Busta, Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime, Berrettini, Ruud
- TUESDAY Aug 30 (Round 1), THURSDAY Sep 1 (Round 2), SATURDAY Sep 3 (Round 3), MON Sep 5 (Round 4), WED Sep 7 (Quarterfinals)
- >> Men’s BOTTOM Half of Draw– Includes RAFAEL NADAL plus Hurkacz, Dimitrov, Sinner, Cilic, Alcaraz, Norrie, Shapovalov, Rublev, and Rafael Nadal
- >> Women’s TOP Half of Draw– Includes Swiatek, Muguruza, Pegula, Badosa, Bencic, Raducanu, and Sabalenka
#3. However, it’s impossible to predict whether they’ll be scheduled for Day or Night sessions
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 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).
#4. Two options for buying the right ticket to see Serena and/or Rafa 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 the Daily Schedule page until they post it (start checking mid-afternoon, although it sometimes takes until early evening for them to release it).
- As soon as the schedule is posted, immediately go to the Official Ticketmaster US Open ticket site (or other resale sites like Stubhub) to grab the best ticket you can afford.
- 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)
#5. One other great option for seeing Serena and Nadal 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.
#6. See “A Serious Tennis Fan’s Top 10 Tips for the US Open” for a more comprehensive guide to making the most of your experience at the Open.
Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I’ll do my best to reply as soon as I can!
my husband , a die hard fan of Nadal is going to the day session tomorrow September 5th. Any idea if nadal will be playing during the day or night tomorrow? And is there any chance of meeting him during practice sessions or getting an autograph?
HI Chandari, Nadal plays Tiafoe tomorrow Day session so he’s in luck! Virtually no chance of meeting or getting an autograph during practice – they tend to protect the players from hordes of fans during most practices. Always exceptions, but players understandably need to be really focused. After the match, if Nadal wins there’a a chance for autographs for anyone setting courtside Ashe between the chair umpire and the NW corner where players enter/exit – but otherwise no opportunities.
Hi PJ, since Armstrong doesn’t seem to have a night session on Labor Day, does this mean my ticket is good for all Armstrong matches that day, even those late at night?
Correct! That’s one of the great benefits of Armstrong tickets on the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend – you’re in for a treat!
Thanks for the very useful site PJ! I’m hoping to see Nadal in the 3rd round on Saturday assuming he wins today. If you had to guess, do you think that they’ll put Nadal in the day session or night session on Ashe? I already have tickets to see Serena tomorrow night.
Hi Chris, you’re welcome! I hesitate to make any predictions on that front as there’s never any sure way to predict whether players will be scheduled for day or night sessions. Many a fan has been heartbroken after spending a lot of money on expensive seats based on erroneous predictions. Case in point: in 2019, Djokovic was scheduled for 3 consecutive Ashe Night sessions and Federer for 3 consecutive Ashe Day sessions (Days 3, 5, and 7). If Nadal wins tonight, definitely keep refreshing the schedule page as often as you can beginning noon tomorrow – then be ready to… Read more »
Hey PJ thanks as always! What does Serena/Venus’ doubles schedule look like? I don’t see them on tomorrow’s (Wednesday) schedule, so will they go on Thursday? Likely an outer court?
Hi Matt, sorry for the delay! They will definitely play tomorrow (not sure which stadium yet, probably Ashe or Armstrong). We will know at some point today when they come out with the schedule (start checking around 11am, probably shortly after noon for Ashe, Armstrong and Grandstand and all courts a bit later). The vast majority of high-profile, early-round doubles matches – even involving big names – are usually put on Grandstand (and even on the numbered field courts). In some cases, very high-profile early round doubles matches are put on Armstrong. In VERY RARE cases, they have added super… Read more »
Hey Matt, so sorry I was off the mark on this one! It’s very rare that I say “definitely” with any scheduling predictions on the US Open… suffice to say I’ll never say it again. While it is unprecedented to put any early-round doubles match on Ashe at night, I should have anticipated that all bets would be off given the historical nature of Serena’s last US Open. Hopefully you were able to track during the day and saw the schedule early. P.J.
Any guesses on when Serena would play Sunday if she wins Friday? I’m inclined to think day (since Friday would probably be night match and tomorrow’s doubles are night), but its a wild year.
Hi Katheryn, truly your guess is as good as mine. As I’ve mentioned to a few others and in the post: * 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… Read more »
Just wanna say that this site is amazing! Going to the US Open for the first time after years of TV and I’d be so lost without these guides.
Wendy, THANK YOU so so much for taking the time to write, really appreciate it! PJ
Hi PJ! Any idea why tickets on ticketmaster are more expensive for the day session on Arthur Ashe than the evening session on 9/3? They are not resale tickets and are several hundred dollars more for the same seats. I’m hoping to see Nadal and want to be as close as possible and am trying to plan out what tickets to buy. Do you have any thoughts on why this might be?
Hi Kaitlyn, in general on Labor Day weekend there are more folks from out of town putting demand on day session— gives you opportunity to enter gates at 930 am, catch other matches pre-Ashe and post-Ashe day session. Night session basically limits you to just those two matches. The biggest differential btw day and night is on Monday, because a ton of tourists leave before Mon night – so that tends to be one of the better deals during R16.
Do you think Nadal would be more likely to play during the day session because of this? Or is it too hard to tell?
Hi Kaitlyn, truly impossible to predict. PJ
Hi PJ, you are always so helpful! I’ve used your tips in previous years and they’ve always helped. Any thoughts on schedule of play for the Williams’ sisters doubles match that was just announced? Think they will have them on the first or second day of doubles play? Night round at Ashe as well? Or this could be day or night? Would love your insight!
Hi Meredith, here’s my current thinking: Their first match will be either Wednesday (Aug 31) OR Thursday (Sep 1)- we still don’t know. We probably won’t know until the schedule comes out on Tuesday which of those days it will be — unless the US Open makes an announcement sooner (which is possible given some unprecedented early scheduling announcements this year for Day 1 and 2). As for which court: My hunch is Ashe Stadium. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it were scheduled on Armstrong either. The vast majority of high-profile, early-round doubles matches – even involving big names… Read more »
Thanks so much! I’ll be at the 7pm match tomorrow on Ashe and can’t wait. Hope you have a wonderful US Open time as well this year 🙂
Awesome!! I’ll be watching that match from the big screen on the South Plaza and hope you have an incredible time. The atmosphere in there is going to be electric for Serena, have a blast!
Hi PJ! Love your Open tips…were so helpful to us when we came to our first open in 2018 and again this year as we plan to bring the kids for the first time. We are coming Friday, 9/2 and I’m kicking myself for not getting tickets earlier. I’ve been watching prices fluctuate but they’ve of course been rising now that Serena would be scheduled for Friday play. If Serena does not make it to the third round, do you think prices would fall? Trying to decide if I should go ahead and get our tickets or wait and see… Read more »
Hi Emily, thanks so much for letting me know that! Great you’re bringing the kids this time. I do think average prices will PROBABLY decline for Friday if Serena doesn’t advance (and more folks will post tickets for resale). However, as I’ve noted in the blog, it’s always such a frustrating guessing game to “time/beat the market” given all the variables. Wish I could give more clear advice on this one! P.J.
Unfortunately my friends bailed and I’m making the trip to see Nadal solo, my question is since I’m looking for a single ticket would I be better off buying day of, or immediately when the schedule is released (going on Thursday 9/1)
Also just as a serious Nadal fan boy, and big tennis fan, is there every opportunities to meet the players
Great stuff, thank you
Hey Matthew, sorry about your friends bailing! With the caveat that ticket situations are always highly volatile and it’s really hard to time and always get it right… If it were me I’d probably check the schedule page constantly on Wednesday (beginning around noon) and pull the trigger on tickets ASAP after it’s posted for whichever session Nadal is scheduled for. Average prices will likely go up for any session Nadal is scheduled for after it’s announced. For meeting players, unfortunately not really… The best opportunities to get close to the big names are during Fan Week practices or sitting… Read more »
Hey PJ! This is another great article!
Once the Schedule of play comes out on Friday, can you write a post about the most anticipated match-ups (assuming no upsets or most likely results) and their potential Court schedule? It would help the readers get a jump on the tickets for certain days.
Hey Amrut, thank you! I will try! Most likely will add that kind of stuff in an “update” section I’m about to add at the top of my main Top 10 Tips post, which will include daily updates of anything critical we’re learning along the way. Always get a ton of comments and questions throughout this week and especially the first week, so will do my best 🙂 P.J.
Hi PJ, how do I turn on notifications on the Top 10 Tips post to be notified when you make an update?
Hey EJ, thanks for asking. I don’t think there’s a way to get an automatic notification every time I make an update (which I don’t think you’d want since the updates are fast and furious this time of year!). However, I just added a new option for people to sign up for email updates from me SPECIFICALLY on US Open here. I’ll try to send emails for any major updates throughout the tournament. P.J.
I got the notification 🙂 Thanks. Could you please help me understand because I’m new to tennis scheduling…based on this roster in the link below if Serena wins Monday’s match, and if she wins Wednesday’s match, will she play on Friday NIGHT?
Hey EJ, you’re most welcome. YES that’s correct. If she keeps winning, she would play on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, and Tues QF. I actually updated that graphic later in the day on Thursday but looks like your browser may be still pulling the old one (sometimes it takes a while for change to show up due to the whole “cache” thing, aargh!).
Here’s the link to the most recently updated graphic, which also includes qualifiers’ names:
Awesome, thanks. So she’ll definitely play at night time for upcoming matches?
Hey EJ, unfortunately that is NOT a safe assumption. See my FAQ #1 in this post and also this separate article (point #3) for why it’s dangerous to make assumptions about Night v Day scheduling. (I was confident predicting Serena would be put on evening for Round 1, but that’s the only strong bet I’ve made in years on scheduling given the historic nature of the circumstances). P.J.
Hello. I was wondering how did you determine August 26 date and how do you know if they will post the time and venue for Day 1 and 2? USOpen website and app are really bad and hard to navigate. Especially for the schedule
Hi Dave, they’ve been releasing most of the Day 1 schedule and partial Day 2 schedule (at least for ASHE) since 2018 on the Friday before the tournament (late afternoon) – so I’m counting on them doing that this year too. There’s a slim chance they may wait until Saturday like they used to (and perhaps only release Day 1, as they used to). But I’m hopeful they’ll stick with they approach they’ve been taking for the past 4 years. (Note: they have announced that, as per tradition, they’ll release the Draw tomorrow at Noon ET – but as I… Read more »
Thank you for the clarification!
You’re most welcome!
Hey PJ, Im back again and thanks for doing this write up specific to these players considering some of the circumstances! Because I was watching the prices rise I decided to purchase a Monday DAY tix ahead, this insured I would be able to get seats that wouldn’t leave me baking in the sun and if by some off chance Serena was scheduled for day I would’ve gotten a sweet deal! Additionally, I would already be on the grounds if in fact Monday NIGHT is her night. I read earlier today from a US Open rep that tix for Monday… Read more »
Hey Meg, you’re most welcome! First, a quick clarification: standard tickets are not completely sold out for Monday day – there are still quite a few standards left (they recently released more, which is entirely unpredictable but happens quite often)… Since Serena is a top priority, I’d recommend pulling the trigger on the Friday before as soon as the schedule is announced. My experience is that for history-making sessions like that first round match for Serena, demand and prices on remaining resale tickets will only go up in the minutes and hours after it’s announced – but so (so!) many… Read more »
Sounds good. I’m all geared up for tomorrow and hoping I can squeeze a loge seat without breaking the bank when the schedule comes out! Thx PJ!
I totally guessed correctly that monday would be the day and now Im wishing I wouldve just went all in on Night tix since I already had day secured!! OH WELL>
I wanted to ask, do you think its safe to say that Ticketmaster has pushed out all the available tix at this point and there wont be another “release” once the schedule comes out later today?? Im wondering if I should bite the bullet and get some Promenade tix now before they skyrocket. I cant imagine paying $500+ to sit at the tippy top of the arena!! Thx PJ
Hey Meg, yeah a lot of folks can commiserate! Just a reminder of how wildly unpredictable it all is, looking at the last 2 times Serena played the Open: >> In 2020: Serena’s 1st Round match was on Day TWO and 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 was on Day ONE and was a NIGHT session; 2d Round (Day 3) NIGHT session; 3d Round… Read more »
Thx for getting back so quick PJ. Im going to go ahead a secure a spot now, this way I dont have to be glued to my Mac and I can go on about my day getting ready to travel there. Monday will be a full US Open day and then I can take Tuesday to explore the rest of the city. Cant express enough how helpful you and this blog have been. Thank you so MUCH!
You’re most welcome, Meg! Sounds like a good plan. Monday at the Open is going to be so special, have a wonderful time. I’ll be there myself and if you happen to see me (I’ll be wearing a black t-shirt with the words “United in Tennis” on the front) please say hello! P.J.
I’ll see you there!!
Last question, do you think they’ll be a stickler on drawstring bag size?? I cannot seem to find one that fits their requirements! I have one already that’s slightly larger by 2 inches, but also has 1 outside zipper compartment. That’s how I plan to carry my water bottle, charger and toiletries so I don’t want to have to go back and forth to the locker. Should I keep looking for a smaller bag and not risk it?
Hey Meg, I THINK that’ll probably be fine! I’ve never seen any of the security folks take out a measuring stick… 2″ is probably something they wouldn’t notice. I just can’t guarantee – there is always the chance you get that one hyper-vigilant person, but I think that risk is pretty small. PJ