A match made in Flushing
Tennis greats and pop stars will take to the court for
games and music at the U.S. Open's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day
By BREANNE L. HELDMAN
DAILY NEWS FEATURE WRITER
Andre Agassi will be back to greet fans at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day.
Game. Set. Music!
The U.S. Open kicks off today with Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the U.S. Tennis Association's National Tennis Center in Flushing. Stars on the court and off will gather for this family-centric day featuring tennis instruction and live music.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., youngsters can learn from the pros in clinics throughout the grounds. Champs including John McEnroe and James Blake will be stationed on the outer courts to give kids - first-timers and seasoned players - pointers, a chance to return a serve and, of course, an autograph.
At 2 p.m. in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Quddus (an MTV veejay) and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders will host performances by singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney, dance songstress Rihanna and pop-rock group the Click Five.
Between musical sets, aces Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Anna Kournikova, Martina Navratilova and others will take to the court for skill competitions, vying for money prizes for their respective charities.
Arthur Ashe was the first African-American male to join the tennis world's superstars. He won Wimbledon in 1971 and became the top-ranked player in the world, going on to found numerous charitable organizations. He died of AIDS in 1993.
"Arthur Ashe Kids' Day was developed in 1997 to honor the legacy of Arthur Ashe," says Pierce O'Neil, chief business officer of the USTA and one of the event's creators. "The idea is to bring the top names in tennis together with top names in pop music for a great day of fun to set the stage for two weeks of U.S. Open excitement."