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The Racquet Guide to US Open Prep

By Caitlin Thompson

We here at Racquet are thrilled—THRILLED!—that Grand Slam tennis is back later this month with the return of the US Open, and to celebrate, we put together some must-do’s for all of you preppers out there.

Hit Up a Public Court

Public courts around our home city of New York have been packed with longtime stalwarts and folks just discovering their love for the game. It feels just like the 1970s again, when tennis was all about tube socks and drinking water out of an empty tennis ball can (yes, the fuzz sticks to your tongue, but you look cool). If you find yourself in New York City, our cofounder David Shaftel wrote the definitive guide to the Parks Department courts—and the kooks who populate them—a few years ago.

We’re convening some Club Racquet hangouts on the Lower East Side courts from time to time; check out our friends in Paris holding court under the Ace Club banner; and in L.A., Oyster Tennis rallies up on the West Side and PICO holds down the East.

Get Schooled

If you’re feeling too rusty to venture forth without some structure, a group hit, some tennis lessons, or a trip to a (safely operating) tennis camp or academy is definitely recommended. Some of the best ways to find and register for clinics are with apps such as Break the Love, or you can eschew seeing other people altogether and invest in a ball machine. Slinger makes a nice one (no, they didn’t pay us to say that, though they should). In group form or solo, there’s never been a better time to be a tennis player.

Host a Gathering

To the surprise of nobody, we here at Racquet love a party, so we decided to get SERIOUS about this year’s US Open season by tag-teaming with the party mavens at Social Studies, the company that brings you everything you need for a flawless party to your doorstep so you can actually enjoy your own event. The limited-edition Tennis Served collection comes with a Racquet swag bag for you to keep even after you ship back all your party gear.

Get Your Head in the Game

You’re getting this email, so we assume you read our (ahem, award-winning) magazine and listen to our in-house podcast, so we’ll do you one better and suggest a few podcasts and pieces to check out before you actually tune in to the wall-to-wall US Open streaming coverage from this year’s event. We haven’t read a better state-of-the-union piece on the whole of the pro tennis world than Louisa Thomas in The New Yorker, and as always, ESPN has the whole of the US Open broadcast rights, so that’s where the action will be starting later this month. For commentary, we’re partial to the tea-spilling podcast from the North, The Body Serve, the extreme analytical nerdery of No Challenges Remaining, and the shoot-from-the-hip vibes of the Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast.

LFG, everyone!

Caitlin Thompson is cofounder of Racquet and drinks her water out of a tennis ball can.

Plan Your US Open Party Now

We’ve teamed up with Social Studies to bring you the perfect Party Look to celebrate the US Open from home. Turf placemats, terry cloth napkin rings with matching sweatbands and tennis gumballs come along with your kit, and the latest issue of Racquet and the tennis swag is yours to keep post-party. Game. Set. Match.

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