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Fans not bothered by tightened U.S. Open security

At the first U.S. Open since the Sept. 11 attacks, security in and around the National Tennis Center has been noticeably tightened.

But most of the thousands who attended Opening Day Monday did not seem to mind the minor inconvenience of having their bags checked at the several entrances to the grounds.

Patrons were limited to one bag no bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 16 inches. Among the other forbidden items were backpacks, briefcases, fanny packs, video cameras, radios and coolers. There is no place to check bags or other items that fail to pass muster.

But those who heeded the USTA’s warnings and arrived without any bags were able to walk through the gates quickly.

“I got in the express line, I didn’t have any bags and they just let me right in,” said Hilary Winn, 23, from Manhattan.

“All I brought was my wallet and I got in even faster than I ever did before,” said Cardozo boys’ tennis coach Howie Arons.

According to a U.S. Open source familiar with the security detail, the number of security guards are the same as last year and the policy of checking bags remains the same.

The biggest difference this year is the increased presence of police officers as well as the virtual lockdown of roads in Flushing Meadows Corona Park that surround the National Tennis Center.

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