The main event at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center featured appearances by defending US Open Champion Rafael Nadal, 2018 Wimbledon Champions Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber and 2018 US Open Finalist Madison Keys. The stars took to the court for a series of challenges in front of 25,000 fans from around the globe.
In between challenges were live performances from some up-and-coming artists including pop powerhouse Kim Petras, singer-songwriter AJ Mitchell, Latin boy band CNCO and multilingual pop group In Real Life. There was also a special performance of “Shine” by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Radio Disney host Morgan and entertainers Skai Jackson and Alex Aiono co-hosted the event.
For the second consecutive year, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day promoted Net Generation, the USTA’s approach to inspiring the next generation of tennis players. Kids between the ages of 5 and 18 can get involved with a number of programs that help to celebrate individuality and self-expression.
During Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, kids participated in the Grounds Festival. Visitors had a chance to watch tennis’ biggest stars prepare for the tournament in places like the new Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand. Traditional activities like face painting, hair beading and braiding, storytelling, balloon artists, roving entertainers, cardio tennis and a juggling workshop were also popular with families.
Proceeds from the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation, which helps to fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network. The NJTL is a nationwide group of 500 organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open and Arthur Ashe’s historic win, we are reminded as to why we honor Arthur Ashe and his legacy on this day,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, and the USTA’s Net Generation, help fulfill Arthur’s mission of promoting the sport of tennis to young people and continue Arthur’s vision of instilling the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence.
“We pay tribute to Arthur Ashe as a champion both on and of the court and a leader for civil rights, equal rights and human rights.”