Thirty-seven U.S. Open singles champions and singer Whitney Houston joined more than 20,000 fans Monday night to dedicate the new Arthur Ashe Stadium at the National Tennis Center.
“This is for you,” Houston told the champions gathered on the court, then sang “One Moment In Time.”
As the final note faded into the night, fireworks exploded over the 22,500-seat stadium, the centerpiece of a $254 million remodeling of the tennis facility.
After brief speeches by Harry Marmion, president of the U.S. Tennis Association; four-time U.S. Open champion John McEnroe; and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the former champions were introduced as they stepped onto the court.
Sister to sister
Sisters Venus and Serena Williams received a wild card into the main draw of women’s doubles.
It has been more than a century since a pair of sisters won the doubles title. Americans Ellen C. Roosevelt and Grace W. Roosevelt won the championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1890.
Only one Grand Slam tournament in 1997 has included the defending women’s singles champion: the French Open, where Steffi Graf lost to Amanda Coetzer in the quarterfinals.
Jim Courier warmed up for the U.S. Open by playing drums with Cowboy Mouth, a group from New Orleans, during the ATP Tour players party Friday. He probably should have spent more time on the court.
Courier, once ranked No. 1 in the world, was a first-round loser to fellow American Todd Martin, who was playing his first match since he was injured in February. Martin won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
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