Excitement builds for U.S. Open

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NEW YORK – The U.S. Open gets underway in Queens next week, but the excitement is already building. 

As CBS2’s Nick Caloway reports, qualifying matches and practice rounds served up the weekend as fans got free looks at some of their favorites.

“I was just watching Nadal play. He’s amazing,” said fan Alyssah Roh. 

“Well I share a birthday with Rafael,” said fan Olivia Dietrich of Morristown, N.J.    

“I’m here to see Emma, Venus, Nadal. Yeah those are my faves,” Roh said. 

Fan Week is a chance for autographs, and close encounters as players and fans roam the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. It’s a relative calm before the storm. 

“I heard that next week’s going to be more crazy. But so far so good,” Roh said. 

This is likely the final tournament for Serena Williams. She’s won in Queens six times. The world’s top players are pausing to reflect on Serena’s enormous impact on and off the court.  

“Her as an athlete, being not just a tennis player but being one of the most important athletes in the history of the sport. So from the tennis perspective, it’s a big loss,” Rafael Nadal said. “But on the other hand, she deserves all the things that she achieved.”

The 2019 U.S. Open attracted a record-setting 737,000 fans. Some officials believe this year could top that. 

The first round of the U.S. Open gets started on Monday.

Nick Caloway contributed to this report. 

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