The US Open main draw begins on Monday, but there was plenty of action on and off the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, as kids of all ages and skill levels enjoyed a successful 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids' Day powered by Net Generation.
Around the grounds, games and exhibits served up fun for everyone.
Kids were able to enjoy hair-beading, face painting and storytelling booths, along with many other off-court activities. For those who stepped onto the same courts that the best professionals in the world compete on, there were opportunities to test service speed, hit targets, run through obstacles and more. Throughout the day, some of the tournament's competitors came out to play with the next generation of tennis stars.
2018 US Open Series standout Stefanos Tsitsipas and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko joined kids on the adidas Earn Your Stripes courts, running, jumping and hitting with participants.
WWE superstar Titus O'Neil also joined in on the on-court festivities, swapping the wrestling ring for a tennis racquet.
"Today was fun," said 11-year-old Natasha Mayfield from Montvale, N.J. "I played tennis and hit the ball! I can't wait to come back next year."
There was other entertainment throughout the day, starting with performers on the Radio Disney Festival Stage. Jagmac, Brynn Elliott, 4th Ave, X's & O's, Meg Donnelly, Trevis and GoNoodle's Blazer Fresh kicked off the festivities before the Stadium Show in Arthur Ashe Stadium. There, Latin pop group CNCO, alt-pop sibling trio Echosmith and boy band In Real Life are set to give kids a treat, with families getting to listen to some of the most popular performers in the world.
Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation, which aids in funding the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network, helping support a group of more than 350 tennis and education organizations across the country that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 220,000 children each year.
The US Open runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 9.