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US Open tennis 2019 ticket sales are going through the roof

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

If there is a recession lurking in the weeds, it hasn’t yet crept into the minds — or wallets — of tennis fans who traveled to New York City to watch this year’s U.S. Open.

Yahoo Finance took to Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, Queens on Tuesday - the second day of fan week at the U.S. Open — and it was business as usual at the latest Grand Slam tournament.

Fans crowded the stands in the morning to catch a glimpse of their favorite players, get in a practice session. Attendance levels continued to build throughout the morning, with folks filling up food and merchandise concession stands.

No tariff talk at this place. Just purchases of $5.50 bottles of Evian water and $20 U.S. Open-themed keychains.

United States Tennis Association Chief Revenue Officer Lewis Sherr told Yahoo Finance that ticket sales are blowing out. Sherr said attendance for the two weeks of the U.S. Open are likely to easily surpass the records hit in 2018.

Sherr —who has been with the USTA since 2010 and is responsible for driving sales from big corporate sponsors such as JPMorgan Chase (U.S. stadium sponsor, most notably), IBM and Rolex — said he hasn’t seen signs of these vital constituents pulling back on their spending due to recession fears.

For sponsors, Sherr said, the U.S. Open is so high profile that it wouldn’t make sense to cut back on visibility.

Serena Williams, of the United States, reaches for a shot from Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Sherr is right on that one. And it’s especially so given the compelling storylines at this year’s U.S. Open.

Tennis great Serena Williams is vying for her 24th Grand Slam tournament win, which would tie her with Margaret Court for the all-time record. Veteran and 16-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win the men’s title, fresh off an impressive win at Wimbledon. And legend Roger Federer is also still at the top of his game. Meanwhile, 15-year-old phenom Coco Gauff received a wildcard entry into this year’s U.S. Open.

Recession? Not here... not right now.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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