Tag Archives: Rafael Nadal

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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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!

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournament:
Winston-Salem Open – Winston-Salem, NC
US Open Qualifying – New York, NY

Last Week’s Winner:
Western & Southern Open – Grigor Dimitrov

Tennis Stars View the Eclipse
We just really wanted to post this photo of Rafa, who was in NYC practicing for the US Open when the eclipse came through.  Enjoy.

US Open Qualifying Underway
It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it to the last slam of the year. The US Open is officially underway, with qualifying action underway today.  If you’re in NYC, the qualifying tournament is free and open to the public and you’ll get a chance to see rising stars and veterans alike fighting their way for a spot in the main draw.  The tournament is held on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, through this Friday, August 25th.   Players to watch include Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Reilly Opelka, Casper Ruud, and more.

Grigor Dimitrov Wins 1st Masters 1000 Title
Grigor has long been hailed as the next big thing in tennis, but was never able to breakthrough at a Masters 1000 or Slam (except his lone Wimbledon Semi-Final) until now.  Grigor made it to his first Masters Final and was able to capture the Western & Southern Open after defeating Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 in the final.   We hope both players can keep their momentum through the US Open!

🏆

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Arthur Ashe Kids Day is Saturday 8/26!

One of the greatest days of the year in music and tennis is almost here!   New Hope Club, Why Don’t We, Alex Aiono, Jack & Jack and more will be performing during the stadium show at AAKD this year.  Even better, they’ll be joined by tennis pros Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Venus Williams, Jared Donaldson & more!  Tickets are on sale now and start at $10.  Don’t miss out!

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Gerry Weber Open – Halle, Germany
Aegon Championships – London, England

Last Week’s Winners:
Mercedes Cup – Lucas Pouille
Ricoh Open – Gilles Muller

Félix Auger-Aliassime Wins 1st Challenger Title
16-year-old Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime has been on the rise since he decided to transition from his successful junior career to turn pro in 2017.  Félix won his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour in Lyon, making him among the youngest titlist in challenger history.  He’s in good company – other young titlists include Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang and Novak Djokovic.  The win places Félix in the top 250 of the ATP World Tour Rankings, the youngest player to enter the top 250 since Juan Martin del Potro in 2005.

Lucas Pouille: A Man for All Surfaces
Lucas Pouille won his 2nd title of 2017 on the grass court in Stuttgart over the weekend.  Lucas now has 3 titles: 1 on grass, 1 on clay, and 1 on hardcourt.  Allez!

Rafael Nadal Wins Inagural “Thirsty Tennis Twitter Slam”
Rafa defeated his biggest rival of 2017, Dominic Thiem, in yet another final this season.   Rafa & Domi made it to the finals of the “Thirsty Tennis Twitter Slam,” a fan voted slam that had some tough match ups.  We love how it was run like a real slam, with a qualifying draw, an order of play and everything.  Vamos Rafa!

 

Tennis Tuesday: Roland Garros Week 2

This Week’s Tournament:
Roland Garros – Paris, France

Roland Garros 101
Where to Watch: Tennis Channel and NBC
Tournament Dates:  May 28 – June 11
Time:  Play starts daily at 5am EST
Social Media: #RG17 @RolandGarros

Rafa Celebrates 31st Birthday
Rafa has been celebrating his birthday at Roland Garros for many years now, as it usually falls about halfway through the tournament.  He celebrated his 31st birthday on June 3rd, with lots of support from fans as he goes for a record 10th title.

Quarterfinals Set
We’re down to the final 8!   Quarterfinal action starts today in Paris.  Rafael Nadal is taking on Pablo Carreño Busta while Dominic Thiem will face Novak Djokovic.   Wednesday will see Stan Wawrinka vs Marin Cilic and Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori.

Sportsmanship Highlight of Week 1
One of the biggest stories of the first week of Roland Garros was the sportsmanship and compassion on display.   Juan Martin del Potro comforting Nicolas Almagro when he had to withdraw with a knee injury.  Horacio Zeballos carrying David Goffin’s bag off court when he suffered a nasty fall, tearing muscle in his ankle.  Dominic Thiem offering comforting words to Stevie Johnson at the net after the loss of his father.  It’s wonderful to see and one of the many reasons why we love this sport.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Rome, Italy

Last Week’s Winners:
Mutua Madrid Open – Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal Wins 3rd Consecutive Title in Madrid
Rafa’s outstanding clay season continues, as he won his 3rd consecutive title on clay so far this season.    Rafa has been on a roll winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona and now Madrid.   The King of Clay defeated arguably the best clay court player of the younger generation, Dominic Thiem (the Prince of Clay?), in both the Barcelona and Madrid finals.  The Madrid title was especially sweet as Rafa defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time in 7 matches, in their record 50th career meeting.

Juan Monaco Announces Retirement
“Pico” made a surprise announcement that he would be retiring from professional tennis on Monday on social media.  He had only played 3 matches so far this year.  Monaco turned pro in 2002 and had won 9 ATP World Tour Titles, reaching a career high of #10 in the world.    We wish Pico all the best!  (and maybe more game show appearances?)

Frances Tiafoe Wins Aix en Provence Challenger
The #NextGen American won his second clay court challenger title of the year over the weekend in Aix en Provence.  The win brings Frances up to a career high of #65 in the ATP World Tour rankings and to #3 in the ATP #NextGen Race to Milan.  #BigFoeOnTheComeUp indeed.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Millennium Estoril Open – Estoril, Portugal
BMW Open – Munich, Germany
TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open – Istanbul, Turkey

Last Week’s Winners:
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell – Rafael Nadal
Gazprom Hungarian Open – Lucas Pouille

Rafael Nadal Wins “La Decima” in Barcelona
Welcome to Rafa’s house!   Literally.  Just days after the center court at the Barcelona Open was renamed “Court Rafa Nadal,” Rafa won his 10th title at the tournament.   He defeated Dominic Thiem, one of the best clay court players of the younger generation, in an entertaining final, 6-4, 6-1.   Rafa celebrated by jumping in the pool at the club after his victory.   10 in Monte Carlo…10 in Barcelona…can he make it 10 at Roland Garros?  Vamos!

Celebrando una de las tradiciones del #Godó!! Muy contento con la victoria!

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Grigor Dimitrov Shows Off Dancing Skills
We’re glad Grigor takes his side hustle as a member of the One Handed Backhand Boys seriously.   He showed off his dancing skills at a charity event over the weekend, and he’s got some serious moves.  (Don’t forget about that time he sang a Backstreet Boys song, too!)

Juan Martin del Potro Kicks Off Clay Season in Estoril
Delpo is back in action in his first tournament since the Miami Open.  He is starting his clay season at the Estoril Open in Portugal, with just 3 weeks to go until Roland Garros!

Roger Federer Attends Met Gala
Federer is taking some time off from the tour, with his next tournament likely at Roland Garros at the end of the month.   He’s been keeping busy in the meantime!  He hosted a charity event in Seattle over the weekend with Bill Gates, John Isner, and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, bringing in over 2 million for the Roger Federer Foundation.   Fed then flew to NYC for the Met Gala, rocking a Gucci suit with a crystal cobra on it.  (Don’t forget he is GQ’s reigning Best Dressed Man)

Lucas Pouille Wins 2nd Title in Budapest
Frenchman Lucas Pouille won the 2nd title of his career, and his first on clay at the Gazprom Hungarian Open.  This was the first ATP World Tour Event ever held in Budapest.  Lucas defeated Aljaz Bedene in the final 6-3, 6-1.