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Tennis Pros, Fans Swing Into Queens for U.S. Open

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TWC News: Tennis Pros, Fans Swing Into Queens for U.S. Open
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For the next two weeks, Queens is the center of the tennis world, as the U.S. Open got underway Monday. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.

Aspiring tennis players kicked off the U.S. Open festivities with an early morning match, channeling the players they can't wait to see compete.

"I went to the qualifiers. I saw a lot of new players.So I thought I'd want to be one of that one day," said young tennis player Olivia Fermo.

The United States Tennis Association's youth tennis group helps people around the country learn the game.

"We have smaller courts, shorter rackets. So no matter your age or skill level, it's going to be easier for you to learn, rally and play," said Alanna Broderick of USTA Youth Play and Competition.

It was a day for spectators, tens of thousands of them, as the gates to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center opened for day 1.

"I like Federer and Murray," said one day 1 attendee. "Murray because we're from Britain, and Federer because we like watching him."

One woman came from Connecticut but promised to tell her family in Uganda all about the festivities in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

"This is the best experience for me. The magic, oh my God," she said. "Feels so good to be here."

It's the largest sporting event in the world, and souvenirs are in high demand, including oversized tennis balls, which many people get players to autograph.

One of the best things about coming to the U.S. Open is seeing some of your favorite players up close, like Serena Williams.

"It's amazing," said one day 1 attendee. "You're so close, and these people that you always see just on television, and now you see them up close, live, and it's just amazing."

The top seed for the women is Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic is the top seed for men.

If you couldn't get in on the fun the first day, that's OK. The U.S. Open lasts for the next two weeks.

For more information on the tournament, visit usopen.org.

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