Fans claim they waited ‘hours’ on opening day of the beloved tennis tournament, which reopened to attendees this year.
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Die-hard tennis fans made their triumphant return to the courts in Flushing Meadows, Queens this week as the gates reopend to crowds for this year’s U.S. Open. But there was quite a racket happening outside the gates.
All attendees were required show proof of Covid-19 vaccination upon entrance. This, combined with extensive bag checks, metal-detector security and a likely lack of readiness for controlling the masses after a year off the courts made for unruly and unfortunate lines.
Monday’s opening matches saw victories from beloved U.S. women’s single players Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff — along with defending champ Naomi Osaka, back on the Grand Slam scene after withdrawing from the French Open for mental health reasons in May — began at 11:30 a.m. But many claimed they missed the early matches after waiting for “hours” in the check-in line before even making it inside the stadium.
— Lou (@LouisDamiano_) August 30, 2021
— Maggie Tate (@blushandblooms) August 30, 2021
— Sapna Shah (@sapnaashah) August 30, 2021
If you are going to the US Open, expect really long lines to get in. One fan waiting for two hours told me, “it’s an administrative s*#% show.”
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) August 30, 2021
you all need to start issuing refunds or give free drinks to the folks standing out in the lines….crazy #usopen
— H_dot_Q (@mskima22) August 30, 2021
— Libby McLeod (@lib1dog2) August 30, 2021
— Martin P. Daly (@martinpdaly) August 30, 2021
— Tyler Jon Horvath (@TylerJonHorvath) August 30, 2021
— Craig Shapiro (@Shaptennispod) August 30, 2021
@usopen is a disaster. Line management is non existent. People are fainting, angry and directionless. They can and should do better. We’ve been on line for 1 and a half hours. pic.twitter.com/LKWKKz74bL
— Cindy Schreibman (@CindySchreibman) August 30, 2021
— cstrimer (@cstrimer) August 30, 2021
— Jennifer Colao (@JenniferColao) August 30, 2021
“You all need to start issuing refunds or give free drinks to the folks standing out in the lines,” one attendee exclaimed, with others describing the scene as “absolute disorganization” and “compeltely chaotic.” One Twitter user even wrote that they had “never seen anything worse.”
USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told Reuters in a statement that “the process to check proof of vaccination seems to be working smoothly and is not a major contributor hampering entrance to the site.”
The New York Post reported that at one point in the early afternoon, more than 5,000 fans had lined up to enter the tournament’s South Gate, with 3,000 fans lining up to enter the East Gate.
Day 2 of the U.S. Open begins on Tuesday got underway earlier this morning. No word on whether anyone successfully made it to their seats.