The USTA has announced a dramatic opening night ceremony that will include an immersive video and light show for the first time, and a special performance by pop star Jordin Sparks. The ceremony will take place prior to the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium, on Monday, Aug. 27. Sparks will perform “Celebrate,” the hit song from the movie “Sparkle,” in which Sparks stars alongside the late Whitney Houston. Houston opened Arthur Ashe Stadium 15 years ago with a performance of “One Moment in Time” in front of a sold-out crowd and some of the biggest names in tennis history. The video and light show will follow Sparks’ performance, and then Sparks will return to sing the National Anthem. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Sparks is a U.S. Open veteran having first performed at Arthur Ashe Kids Day in 2009, and she is returning to host this year’s Arthur Ashe Kids Day on Aug. 25.
“Our goal is to take our Opening Night Ceremony to the next level and create a memorable moment for all of our fans in the stadium and those watching around the world,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA chairman of the board and president. “It is only fitting that we feature world-class entertainment on the same court upon which we feature world-class tennis. We are thrilled to present our sport in an exciting new way.”
For the 11th consecutive year, New York City Michael R. Bloomberg will “Welcome the World to New York” and to the U.S. Open as part of the ceremony. Following Sparks’ performance, Vegosen will be joined on court by young people from the National Junior tennis and Learning Network who represent the future of tennis—the “Sport of Opportunity.”