The US Open is in full swing, bringing top players (think Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Roger Federer) as well as celebs (Anna Wintour, plus Beyoncé, Jay Z, Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, and Alec and Hilaria Baldwin) to Queens for one of tennis’ great tournaments. And, of course, Well+Good readers have been known to make appearances!
Among this year’s star attendees is Aussie native Samantha Stosur, a US Open champ herself who upset Serena Williams in the 2011 final, and the 2014 mixed doubles winner at Wimbledon. This year marks a whopping 11 tournament US Open appearances for the USANA brand ambassador, which means she definitely knows a thing or two about its secrets. She serves us her hard-earned insider intel here. —Molly Gallagher
So what should a first-time US Open spectator know?
Take some water—it gets very hot! There are always great matches in the first week on the outside courts with players battling away. It is very much a carnival atmosphere out there. Also, try to see one of the great night matches.
What’s it like for you to come back to the Open as a former champion?
It’s incredibly special and, on reflection, a bit surreal. Winning the Open was a result of a lifetime dedicated to tennis, so for it all to come together, on September 11, 2011, was really a dream come true. It’s also nice to see my photo on the wall with all the past champions!
What’s different about playing at the US Open versus Wimbledon?
They are so different, but both so fun to play. To start with, the court surfaces [Wimbledon is played on grass; the US Open on hard courts] are completely different, which suits some players more than others. And Wimbledon is a magical setting to play in, with the crowds so close to all the action.
How do the Open fans compare?
The US Open is more raucous and it’s louder, in the best possible way. The crowds get really fired up, especially for the night matches.
What’s your favorite thing about this tournament?
Obviously, being a past champion, it is incredibly special, so I will always look forward to returning to the Open for the rest of my life. The center court is huge and has such a great atmosphere when it’s busy—the whole center has a great buzz to it.
Fore more information, visit www.samstosur.com