Arthur Ashe Stadium was rocking and rolling Saturday at the biggest party of the summer: 2017 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation.
The day-long celebration offered plenty of free activities for the whole family on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and kicked off the 2017 US Open, which runs from Aug. 28-Sept. 11.
Around the grounds, kids could get their faces painted, rock out at the #AAKD Festival Stage hosted by Radio Disney featuring stars, such as Skyler Steckler, Spencer Sutherland and Summer Valentine, and practice their tennis skills with plenty of on-court activities.
The day of festivities culminated in a stadium show held in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The stadium was full of energy, as attendees clapped together their colorful Net Generation bam sticks in anticipation of all the stars. The show, hosted by Disney Channel star Sofia Carson and singer-songwriter Alex Aiono, featured today’s biggest stars in both tennis and music.
Standout National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL) players were joined by tennis greats Roger Federer, Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal and defending US Open champion Angelique Kerber. The stars took to the court and competed in a timed skill-shot challenge, trying to hit as many targets on court as possible. Afterward, they doled out inspiration and wise words for any aspiring tennis players in the audience.
“It’s exciting to be back this year,” said two-time US Open champion Williams, who participated in her first Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day 20 years earlier. “It’s awesome to see you guys. I always love being here.”
Rising Americans CiCi Bellis, Frances Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo and Claire Liu also made a showing on their home court, participating in Net Generation on-court games.
Fans were also treated to plenty of music to dance to, with performances from dance-pop group Why Don't We, British boy-band New Hope Club, Chicago natives Saving Forever and rap-pop duo Jack & Jack.
The stadium show was an ace with the crowd.
“This was the most fun,” said 9-year-old Catherine Mullaney. “I love it all!”
Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation, which helps fund NJTL, a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year. NJTL was founded 48 years ago by Ashe along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder.