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Spectator Sports

The US Open is known as the loudest, rudest tennis grand slam. Here are five things you can get away with only at Flushing Meadows—and three you can't.

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Yes
1. Bribing.
Ushers will happily accept hundred-dollar handshakes to seat you in a corporation’s empty courtside box.

2. Talking.
At Wimbledon, speak above a whisper during points and you’ll be shunned immediately. At the US Open, your outside voice is perfectly fine—drowned out as it is by airplanes and beer-swilling Aussies screaming, “Just do it, Hewitt!”

3. Hounding.
At the US Open, celebs like Naomi Campbell and Matthew Perry are there to be seen. Go ahead and get that John Hancock.

4. Phoning.
At the All England Club, taking a call during a match is tantamount to paging through the New York Times during Sunday church service. At Flushing Meadows, if you’re not on your cell, people wonder, What kind of lazy worker are you?

5. Pushing and shoving.
The queue is an all-important part of Wimbledon, and ignoring it risks further undermining the British Empire. At the US Open, there are not queues so much as unruly herds—just join the cattle and move forward.

No
1. Streaking.
When a naked man gamboled about Wimbledon’s Centre Court in 2002, spectators giggled good-naturedly before guards politely ushered him away. In New York, the security detail is less amused by such types, who can expect multiple Taserings.

2. Animals as accessories.
Yes, Ilie Nastase did bring a chimpanzee to a match one year. But he was a highly ranked player, and you’re not, so leave your Yorkie at home.

3. Excessive gloating.
Racing onto the court after your favorite player wins the final and performing a victory dance in her opponent’s face is unacceptable—as Richard Williams learned after he did just that in 2000 when Venus dispatched Lindsay Davenport. No one knows exactly what was said by the USTA, but he’s never done it again.


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