US Open ticket sales ramp up to break record with Serena Williams’ final tournament

As 2022 US Open begins, tennis fans flock out to witness Serena Williams’ farewell performance at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

That US Tennis Association tells FOX Business that if she goes to court alone in Flushing Meadows, the “Serena Effect” creates an increasing demand for tickets, with the average price in the resale market rising 68%. Prices for this year’s women’s finals increased from $768 to $1,289, a 37% premium over the most expensive final in 2019 to date.

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“Ticket sales are incredibly strong,” US Tennis Association chief operating officer Danny Zausner told FOX Business. “This year we are on track to break the 2019 record and that was before Serena announced it would be her last Grand Slam tournament.”

Williams who has Won the US Open six times and 23 Grand Slam titles since the 1998 Australian Open, will also join forces with her sister Venus for her first doubles feat since the 2018 French Open. The two received a wild card from the USTA.

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In the meantime, Novak Djokovic is sitting on the sidelines this year after withdrawing to the US due to travel restrictions for refusing to follow COVID-19 vaccination requirements. After a successful run in 2021 that saw him take home three titles, Djokovic’s refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has now cost him a chance to challenge for his 22nd Grand Slam singles title.

Novak Djokovic

Defending champion Novak Djokovic trains at Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File/AP Newsroom)

However, according to Zausner, the absence of the tennis star did not affect ticket sales.

“The irony was that Novak was out here in the middle of the pandemic last year,” Zausner said. “While we love him here and we know the fans want to see him, it hasn’t impacted our ticket sales for this year.”

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Fan turnout also remains resilient to rising inflation, with the tournament’s most popular Honey Deuce cocktail fetching $22 a pop.

“Obviously some prices have gone up on some of our groceries. Many of them have stayed the same, but our costs have increased,” Zausner said. “Unfortunately, this has meant that the prices we sell for some items have also gone up. Inflation doesn’t stand in their way here.

Last year less than 3% of all fans were international. That number is close to 14-15% this year, despite higher prices for airline tickets and hotels.

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