From real-time match updates to performance analytics and the Hawk-Eye, the US Open has been upping its technology quotient over the last few years. This year the two-week grand slam tournament is opening its hard courts to virtual reality with the "You vs. Sharapova" experience. If you have a ticket to watch the live action at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, you can swing by one of the three VR stations and strap on an HTC Vive to be Maria Sharapova's opponent.
It's all part of American Express' consumer slash fan experience at the tournament. Instead of passively watching or standing still, as is the case with most VR experiences, you get to swing a racket in an attempt to return Sharapova's 100MPH simulated serve on the court. The CGI-version of the world no 2 athlete was reportedly created in a California VR studio over nine hours. "I think our sport has grown so much because we as players have been able to get closer to the fans, especially through social media," Sharapova told ESPN.com. "This takes it to another level."