Music and tennis can be good hitting partners, and for over 20 years now, they’ve been converging just days before the U.S. Open with the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. To nobody’s surprise, this year’s event boasted some major up-and-coming artists as performers — aside from long-running Hot 100 champion Flo Rida, the show featured Troye Sivan, Zara Larsson, Laura Marano and Jordan Fisher, along with tennis talents Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal.
Reflecting on what went down Saturday (Aug. 27), long-time executive producer Michael Fiur stated, “It’s an incredibly rewarding event because you watch the kids enjoy themselves with tennis and great music and also know you’re keeping the memory of Arthur Ashe alive.” Here are three things you need to know about this unique event:
1) It is a celebration of the memory of Arthur Ashe, a three time Grand Slam champion and the first African American to be selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team. Ashe dedicated much of his time to children and youth tennis.
2) Ever since its initiation, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has been a breeding ground for artists that sooner or later become world famous in the music industry. Former performers include the likes of Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Britney Spears. One of this year’s performers, Zara Larsson, told Billboard what she thinks: “It’s so exciting to know I’ll be performing on the same stage that helped propel careers of such famous musicians — hopefully one day I’ll get there, too!”
3) As the largest single-day grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day combines sports and music in a production that has grown immensely over the years. “Anything that ignites and encourages passion within young people is something I’m into — whether tennis, or music,” said Troye Sivan. “It’s so rewarding to see the kids enjoy themselves and also know that we’re keeping the memory of Arthur Ashe alive.”