Natasha’s Pit: At the US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – When this grand dame of a city got serious about tennis, she dreamed up Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world’s largest open air tennis venue seats 22,457 and while thousands of sets of spectators’ eyes are riveted on the canary yellow ball as it alternately flies, floats and flutters through the sky above the blue canvas of a court, sometimes the game within the game and the details behind the strokes are even more engrossing than the flight path of the ball.

The feeling that one has walking onto the court into the photographers’ pit at the US Open is distinctly grand.

I have shot the Australian Open in Melbourne and felt the exhilaration and excitement in making my US Open debut earlier this week.

I stopped at the entrance for a minute, to take in the four walled human tsunami closing in on a wide patch of blue court — the Deco Turf playground that tests the limits of the human spirit, and a place where history is served.

In the coming days, I will share my thoughts and images of the US Open here. Hope you enjoy them.

Natasha Peterson is a photographer, video director and writer. Her work earned a 2009 National Geographic Award. Born in India, she grew up in Australia and has covered several tournaments for Tennis Now. Please check out her blog at