NEW YORK – The U.S. Open's Arthur Ashe Stadium, as majestic as it may be, has a serious issue.
Until the last few days of the tournament, every other stadium and court is a better option than sitting in Ashe and watching two ants inch back and forth, a half-mile down on the court.
And, there's the eternal women's vs. men's tennis debate, which is an entirely different issue.
But it means there are plenty of good seats available in Arthur Ashe, and gridlock elsewhere on the grounds. The practical application of those two forces was in evidence Monday at the USTA National Tennis Center, when the schedule had world No. 1 Novak Djokovic playing on the second stadium, Louis Armstrong, for an afternoon match against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Serena Williams, the world No. 1 on the women's side and an American, was on Ashe Stadium, which was fairly full. But to those in the nosebleeds, those with grounds passes and those who simply prefer the men's game, there was only one option.
And that option was close to bursting.
The arrows show how long the line to get in was, and how it snaked around until it was on the other side of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
And it wasn't moving.
And this was after Djokovic had won the first set over Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, so it's not as though they were trying to jump into the fifth set of an epic, dramatic, U.S. Open marathon.
At one point, the last group just before the actual entrance to Louis Armstrong moved – about 15 feet. There was loud applause from many of the people in line, who were in a pretty good mood considering how small their chances were of getting in, and how stifling hot it was outside while dealing with that reality.