The U.S. Open has a brand new stadium, and it is going to show it off this week. Louis Armstrong won’t be playing second trumpet to Arthur Ashe.
Monday’s inaugural matches at the new Armstrong include world No. 1 Simona Halep against Kaia Kenapi and defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens against Evgeniya Rodina. And Andy Murray will be making his return to the Open with a match against James Duckworth. In the first dedicated night session for Armstrong, Victoria Azarenka faces Viktoria Kuzmova and 2009 champ Juan Martin del Potro faces Donald Young.
The Williams sisters highlight the Ashe Stadium Monday schedule, with Venus playing Svetlana Kuznetsova in the day session and Serena playing Magda Linette in the first night match followed by defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal against David Ferrer.
“We felt with a shiny new stadium we want to show it off with one of our defending champions and between the two, the logical one would be Sloane,” said tournament director David Brewer. “We’re popping in there world No. 1 Halep. We will continue to showcase [Armstrong] the first week, eight days, as long as we have matches there.”
There are 14,000 seats in the new, roofed Armstrong Stadium, and more than 7,000 of them are open to anyone with a grounds pass. That means that you might be able to see Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and the Williams sisters on Armstrong at a fraction of the cost of an Ashe ticket.
“We’ve had lengthy discussions during the off-season about how to ideally, ideally, rotate the top players in the world through Louis as well as Arthur’” said Brewer. “We have not precluded anybody from playing in Louis Armstrong Stadium.”