Two months before tennis fans flock to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for this year’s U.S. Open, more than 400 people descended on the USTA’s Billie Jean King Tennis Center last week for the annual ball person tryouts.
Mostly teenagers, although there were a handful of retired adults, vied for one of the 80 slots for the 2015 Grand Slam tournament.
Each applicant had their running, throwing and catching skills evaluated by a panel of tennis officials. Tina Taps, U.S. Open director of ballpersons, said she was impressed.
“I see a lot of terrific athletes out there this year,” she said.
The U.S. Open begins on August 31 and runs through September 13. Work on the retractable roof over Arthur Ashe stadium is still underway, and should be fully operational by the 2016 Open.
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(Photos: Michael O’Kane)