The world's richest tennis tournament, the United States Open, has a new home. After fifty-three?
GV: tennis courts at National Tennis centre at Flushing Meadow.
SCU: spectators watching game
GV: Tennis courts PAN TO jet passing overhead.
GV: fountain in front of La Guardia Airport terminal.
GV: jet liner flying overhead PAN TO crowd at tennis complex.
GV: Baseball stadium PAN TO Tennis centre
GV: match in progress between Jimmy Connors (Far side) and Tom Gullikson. Crowd watching. (3 shots)
For the first time, the U.S. Open was being played on Deco Turf II, the artificial rubberised surfaces used at Flushing Meadow. This means that players in the tournament have graduated from grass, to clay, to synthetic courts in just five years.
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Background: The world's richest tennis tournament, the United States Open, has a new home. After fifty-three years at Forest Hills, just outside New York City, the venue has been moved to the new National Tennis Centre at Flushing Meadow, just a few miles away. When complete, the twenty-seven-court complex will have cost about ten million dollars.
SYNOPSIS: Although no expense was spared in its construction, the first day of the U.S. Open on Tuesday (29 August) revealed a few drawbacks. Many tennis fans, notably the plumper ones, complained that the seats were too cramped to accommodate them. There were also complaints about the noise.
The name, Flushing Meadows, conjures up pastoral images, but there's no tranquillity -- the stadium is directly under the flight path from nearby La Guardia Airport. It wasn't long before tennis organisers discovered that the stadium's bowl shape collected the stench of jet fuel fumes.
Nevertheless, Flushing Meadow is still expected to reap enormous profits and attract the big names in tennis. On Wednesday (30 August) one of the first players onto the main court was Jimmy Connors, seen here, on the far side, playing fellow American Tom Gulliksen.
But from the point of view of New York City, the tennis complex is no potential money-spinner. Although the city had a major role in its financing, it will only receive about two per cent of Flushing Meadow's gross takings.