New York City

Even though August usually signals the end of summer, it also means it’s time for one of the most exciting sporting events in NYC – the US Open. With the tournament set to kick off just after the Citi Taste of Tennis event on August 23rd, we took some time to interview two players to watch in this year’s tournament — Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and America’s own Amanda Anisimova.

Amanda Anisimova

Photo credit: WTA

Amanda Anisimova is 16 years old and was last year’s Junior US Open Champion.

What is your favorite thing about tennis? I love tennis because it is an individual sport which makes me face challenges on my own.

When you’re not playing tennis, what other sports do you enjoy playing? I like golf and soccer, but never end up playing!

What is your favorite tennis gear? I live in my Nike leggings.

We know you love sushi. What’s your favorite type? Spicy Tuna

What is your favorite tournament or city you’ve played in so far? NYC! After winning last year’s US Open Juniors Championship, I’m really excited to make my debut here as a pro.

We can’t believe you’re only 16! Any words of advice for young athletes? Believe in yourself. Prove others wrong if they don’t think you can achieve your goals.

What’s one fun fact you want the world to know about you? I played my first tournament at the age of 5.

What is your favorite memory of being on the tennis court? When I won the US Open Juniors last fall. It was a really happy moment, since it had been a long week for me and I wasn’t that confident going into the tournament. But I ended up finally winning my first Grand Slam!

Victoria (Vika) Azarenka

Photo credit: WTA

Victoria (Vika) Azarenka is a former world No. 1 in singles and is the only Belarusian player to win a grand slam singles title.

How did you get into tennis? My mom used to work at the tennis center so I grew up around tennis courts. I would be there while she was working, just hitting hundreds and thousands of balls against the wall.

What’s your favorite thing about playing the US Open? The atmosphere at the US Open is like nowhere else. It’s so noisy inside the courts, but I embrace it. Hard courts are my favorite surface. New York is a great city – what’s not to love?!

Are there any other players, past or present, that you look up to? I wouldn’t necessarily use the phrase “look up to”, but Serena is inspiring. She makes me want to go out and work hard every day and has been great for the women’s game.

What are your favorite things to do while in NYC? I like to go to some good restaurants and maybe do a little shopping if I have the chance. This year I’m going to be exploring the parks with [my son] Leo and finding things to do with him when I am not at the tournament.

What are your favorite types of music? Does music play a role in how you prepare for a match? I always listen to music before my match. It’s part of my routine. The type really depends on what I like at the time.

Any tips for balancing a grueling schedule and being a mom? I’m really lucky because, for the most part, I get to choose my schedule and plan my day around Leo’s schedule. I practice when he naps, do treatment when he has gone to bed at night and so on. I’m still learning how to not feel guilty when I do have to take a little extra time for me, though. It’s a learning process!

We know you love farmer’s markets. What are your must-buys? Fresh fruit & veggies!

A Package for Tennis Lovers

Want to get in on the action? Book our Park Avenue Advantage offer through the month of August package and enjoy:

Summer is such a great time to visit NYC, whether you’re attending the US Open or not. We’ve created a variety of special offers and packages so you can choose the one that suits you best. Click here to learn more about our offers, such as:

Or, if you’re in town on August 22, check out our exclusive event: http://loews.io/TFrQDH

We look forward to seeing you this Summer, here on Park Avenue!

Loews Hotels & Co.