Category Archives: Tennis

In Real Life, CNCO, AJ Mitchell & More Rock Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the US Open

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is one of our favorite days of the year as it brings together two of our favorite things: music and tennis!   The event is in celebration of Arthur Ashe, the tennis player and humanitarian who won the first US Open title in 1968.  This year was extra special as it’s also the 50th anniversary of the US Open!

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On Saturday, current tennis players Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Madison Keys, Angelique Kerber, and Serena Williams hit the court along with young players from the NJTL and Net Generation.  The show also featured performances from some of the hottest rising artists.  AAKD has a knack for booking talent before they make it big: past performers include Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, & Demi Lovato just to name a few.

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The show was hosted by Skai Jackson and Alex Aiono, returning to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day for his third time!  Echosmith kicked off the show with their hit singles “Cool Kids” and “Over My Head.”   In Real Life celebrated their one-year anniversary since they came together on ABC’s “Boy Band” by performing in front of one of their biggest crowds to date!   They showed off their moves and harmonies to their new single, “Tonight Belongs To You.”

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Djokovic, Nadal, Kerber, and Keys hit the court for a target challenge alongside young player Nicole, representing the NJTL chapter in Silver Springs, MD.  Each player had to hit forehands and backhands, as a tally was kept of each target that was hit.  Nicole blew the pros off the court and hit more backhands and forehands than any of them!  Each player was hitting for a special charity.

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Serena Williams hopped on court with a group of lucky Net Generation players!  She rallied with some players and even showed off her jump roping skills!  This will be Serena’s first US Open since becoming a mother last year and as always she was thrilled to be a part of AAKD!

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AJ Mitchell was surprised with the news that he’d be performing at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day during an interview with Radio Disney’s Morgan, who also co-hosted the show.  AJ sang his catchy new song “Girls,” from his new EP “Hopeful.”

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Kim Petras’ bubbly pop sound helped keep the party going with her infectious “Heart To Break.”

CNCO performed on the court in perfect boy band formation.  They had the crowd moving to their hits “Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos)” and “Se Vuelve Loca.”  Their performance definitely earned some of the biggest screams of the day! 

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All of the performers joined Shine MSD and drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on stage for the finale for a special performance of “Shine.”   The song has become an anthem for people to spread love and awareness, and that you’re never too young to make a change.  It was a fitting end to a day in honor of a man who also worked to share the same message.

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Be sure to follow the US Open & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

SecretFangirls.com Interview In Real Life

It’s been officially one year now since In Real Life were formed!   Sergio Calderon, Brady Tutton, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, and Michael Conor were the finalists on ABC’s “Boy Band” last Summer.  It’s been a crazy year for the guys who are gearing up for a headlining tour that will take them across the US and even around the globe this Fall!  They’ve released four tracks so far and promise even more new music is on the way. In Real Life celebrated a year together by performing for one of their biggest crowds yet at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day in New York.

We chatted with the boy band before they took the stage and found out who they’d fangirl over.  They even showed off their boyband moves and did a perfect New Kids dance.  Watch our interview below!

Check out In Real Life’s Tour dates HERE!

Be sure to follow In Real Life & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

 

SecretFangirls.com Interview AJ Mitchell

AJ Mitchell is set to take over your heart and your playlist.  He just dropped his debut major label EP, “Hopeful,” on Epic Records in July, after gaining a solid fanbase through his short videos posted on Instagram.  AJ started playing music at a very young age and soon branched out into songwriting and composing.  He’s already gathered over 35 million streams on his tracks and has had sold out shows at the Roxy in Los Angeles and Webster Hall in New York.  AJ played in front of a huge crowd at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day in New York, winning over the crowd with his infectious pop sound.

We chatted with AJ before his performance and got to know more about the up and coming pop star.  Watch our interview and get to know more about AJ!

Be sure to follow AJ Mitchell & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

Arthur Ashe Kids Day Announces 2018 Lineup Featuring In Real Life, Echosmith & more!

Arthur Ashe Kids Day is one of our favorite days of the year!  Music and tennis in one place celebrating the legendary tennis player and humanitarian Arthur Ashe – SIGN US UP!!  2018 is a big year – it’s the 50th Anniversary of the US Open and they’ve tapped some top talent to help get the party started.  Sibling group Echosmith, and ABC’s “Boy Band” winners In Real Life will headline the main Stadium Show with hosting duties by Alex Aiono and Skai Jackson.  Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL will also be featured in a special performance of “Shine.”

Arthur Ashe Kids Day has a history of booking stars before they become huge!  Past performers include Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and many more!  Tickets are required for entry to the Stadium Show and start at just $10.

Admission to the Grounds Festival is FREE and includes events like tennis skills challenges, face painting, “beat the pro,” and more music.  On the grounds, fans will get to enjoy performances by  4th Ave, JAGMAC, X’s & O’s, AJ Mitchell, and Brynn Elliott  on the Radio Disney Festival Stage.

And let’s not forget the tennis stars!   Featured players participating in the stadium show include Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Angelique Kerber, and Madison Keys.  You can also catch some of your favorite pros practicing around the grounds!

Saturday August 25th, 2018
USTA- Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadows, NY
Buy Tickets 

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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournament:
St. Petersburg Open – St. Petersburg, Russia
Moselle Open – Metz, France

France & Belgium Headed to Davis Cup Final
Team France made it back to the Davis Cup Final for the first time since 2014.  With the insane amount of talented French players, we think they are long overdue to hold the Davis Cup trophy!  Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Lucas Pouille, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut helped the team get the win in their semi-final against Serbia.  They’ll take on Belgium in the finals, who defeated Australia in a close and dramatic 5th rubber.  The 2017 Davis Cup Final will be held in November in Lille.  Allez!

Laver Cup Kicks Off on Friday
The inaugural Laver Cup starts this Friday, September 22nd from Prague.  The 3 day event will see Team World taking on Team Europe in a new team format, led by captains John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.   There will be 3 singles matches and 2 doubles match per day of competition.  All sets will be the best out of 3 sets, with the 3rd set being decided as a 10 point tiebreaker if sets are split.    The matches are weighted by day, with Sunday’s matches counting the most toward the overall team score.   We’ll definitely be tuning in to see how this plays out and to see if Rafa & Federer will team up for doubles!   They also unveiled an all-black tennis court for the occasion because #aesthetic.

Team World: Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro* and Denis Shapovalov.  *Del Potro was replaced by Frances Tiafoe.

Team Europe: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Sascha Zverev, Tomas Berdych, and Marin Cilic.

This new team competition hopes to become an annual event, with the 2018 Laver Cup to be held somewhere in the United States. Laver Cup will air in the US on Tennis Channel.


ATP #NextGen Finals Unveil New Innovations

Another new event on the tennis calendar is the ATP #NextGen Finals.  Like the ATP World Tour Finals, the #NextGen Finals invite the top 8 players under 21, based on their points accumulated throughout the year.   Sascha Zverev is currently holding the top spot in the race to Milan, followed by Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov.   The event will unveil a few new “innovations” to the traditional tennis tournament.  The latest is that there will be no linesmen on the court – all lines will be called electronically using hawkeye.

This adds to the previously announced changes of having short 1st to 4 game sets, shorter warm ups, a shot clock to enforce time between serves, playing let serves, a limit on medical time outs, and player coaching.  While we’re excited to see the future #NextGen of men’s tennis at the event, let’s hope this isn’t a preview of the #NextGen of tennis tournament rules that take away from the game itself.

Richard Gasquet Wins Challenger in Poland
Richard has had a difficult 2017, as he’s been trying to recover and make his way back from a variety of injuries.   Richard played a tournament at the challenger level last week, the Pekao Szczecin Open in Poland, and won the title!  We’re hoping the win will help get Richard back on track.

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Sundays @lecoqsportif #backsoon #tennislife #lecoqsportif

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Jack & Jack, Why Don’t We, & Alex Aiono & More Headline Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the US Open

The 2017 US Open started with a bang on Saturday at the annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Celebration.  AAKD is a celebration of music and tennis, in honor of the late tennis legend Arthur Ashe.  Proceeds from the event benefit the USTA Foundation and the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL).  We love coming to this event every year because they have a knack for booking the hottest up and coming artists in music before they hit it big!  (Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Backstreet Boys, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears are just a few of AAKD’s past performers!)


This year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day also served as the official launch of Net Generation, the USTA’s new program to help inspire the next generation of tennis players.  Net Generation provides a fun, kid-friendly format to help younger players get into the game.  The next generation of American players including Frances Tiafoe, Claire Liu, Cici Bellis, & Jarden Donaldson, helped show off just how easy it can be!


Saving Forever, made up of 3 brothers from Chicago, got the stadium show started by rocking the house with their new single “Million Ways.”  Their high-energy performance featured dozens of dancers on court on Arthur Ashe Stadium getting down to their blend of perfect pop-rock sounds that just make you wanna dance!  Watch our interview with Saving Forever here!


New Hope Club, fresh off their Summer tour with Sabrina Carpenter, played their new single “Start Over” along with their hit “Fixed.”   The guys were thrilled to be playing their first ever stadium show!


What makes AAKD so fun is that it’s all about music AND tennis!   This year featured tennis icons Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Venus Williams & 2016 US Open Champion Angelique Kerber.  The players competed in a skills competition to see how many targets they could hit on the forehand and backhand side, with each target hit raising money for their individual charity.  One lucky participant from the NJTL also got to join the players on court and he had SKILLS – he hit almost as many targets as Roger Federer!


Sofia Carson, who co-hosted the event with Alex Aiono, took to the stage to perform her brand new single “Ins and Outs” for the first time.  Sofia’s powerful voice carried throughout the stadium and brought down the house!


One fun fact we learned this week is that pop duo Jack & Jack used to play doubles together in high school!  We’re sure they had a major fangirl moment when they realized they would get to perform on court on the legendary Arthur Ashe Stadium!  We love that their performance took place on opposite sides of the net, as if they were playing a match.  We wish we could have seen them put their tennis skills to the test!  Watch our interview with Jack & Jack here!


The screaming and excitement in the stadium for boyband Why Don’t We started the moment the boys hit the red carpet before the show even started.  It hit an all-time high during their performance of “Something Different” and “Taking You.”  Fans throughout the 23,000 capacity stadium were loudly singing along to every word and cheering as loud as possible.   We imagine this was what it was like at AAKD in 1998 when the Backstreet Boys performed!


As we said, AAKD always have a knack for booking future stars.  Judging by the crowd’s reaction, look out for much more from Why Don’t We soon!  We wouldn’t be surprised to see them headlining their own stadium tour one day.  The boys took the time to answer fan questions and assured that they are hard at work on their upcoming album!  Watch our interview with Why Don’t We here!


Co-host Alex Aiono brought down the house to wrap up the show.  He gave everyone a sneak peak at his brand new single, “Falling,” which is coming out on September 15th!   The multi-talented Alex played the guitar during “Falling” before launching  into his hit single “Hot 2 Touch,”  getting everyone in the stadium to dance along.  As his co-host Sofia pointed out, Alex had actually performed on the grounds on the festival stage back in 2012!  We loved seeing Alex graduate to the main stage!   Watch our interview with Alex Aiono here!

This year’s AAKD was a blast from start to finish, with one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever seen.  We’re already counting down to AAKD 2018!   But for now, we’ll enjoy being at the US Open for the next two weeks.


Make sure to check out our interviews from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day with Alex Aiono, Jack & Jack, Why Don’t We, Saving Forever & Spencer Sutherland!  Head over to Secret Fangirls on YouTube to watch them all!


Be sure to follow AAKD & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

SecretFangirls.com Interview Jack & Jack

Jack & Jack first met back in kindergarten, instantly bonding over the fact that they were wearing the same shirt and had the same name!  They eventually started creating music together and have come to be known for their perfect blend of pop and rap.  Jack Gilinsky brings the hooks while Jack Johnson brings the verses.  They just dropped a brand new EP, “Gone,” which brings their music to a new level.

We spoke up with Jack & Jack before their performance at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day in NYC.   Who would they pick as their doubles partner?  What would they pick as their walk-on song?   Watch our interview below and find out.

Pick up a copy of Jack & Jack’s new EP, “Gone,” on iTunes now!

Be sure to follow Jack & Jack & Secret Fangirls for more updates!