Tag Archives: Rafael Nadal

MAX & Quinn XCII, Ava Max, Meg Donnelly, Austin Mahone & Top Tennis Stars Rock Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the US Open

The US Open is officially underway in New York City!  The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday kicked things off with a day full of games, music, and of course tennis.  Kids of all ages enjoyed activities around the grounds like face painting, balloon artists, dance offs, juggling, and of lots of chances to test their tennis skills!

The AAKD show inside Arthur Ashe Stadium featured performances by some of the hottest names in music along with appearances by tennis stars like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Sloane Stephens.  The event is in celebration of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe and promotes the USTA’s flagship program, the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL), which Ashe co-founded.  Players from local NJTL chapters had the chance to show off their skills on court in a series of agility and tennis drills.

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The show was co-hosted by Radio Disney’s Morgan Tompkins, Meg Donnelly, and JD McCrary.  Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing JAGMAC kicked off the show with a high energy performance that set the tone for the whole show.  They definitely brought the party with them!  We’re sure you’ll be seeing much more of them in the future!  Radio Disney is celebrating 10 years of NBT artists this year, and past honorees include Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, and Kelsey Ballerini.

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Austin Mahone returned to Kids’ Day (he was also a featured performer in 2013!) to perform his new single “Dancing With Nobody” live for the first time.  Austin showcased his signature smooth dance moves on the court, complete with a moonwalk across the service line.  He also shared that he will be dropping a new album next year!

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Co-host Meg Donnelly did double duty and performed “With U,” showing off her dance moves and high kicks across the court in style.  We love her fun pop sound and can’t wait for her album to drop!  Meg is also a Radio Disney Next Big Thing alum!

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The always talented and lovely MAX sang his hit single “Love Me Less,” with a special appearance by Quinn XCII.  Watching these two perform together is so much fun and we loved seeing them rock it on center court!

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Ava Max’s infectious sound and unique style have already won over the hearts of many.  Ava got the stadium rocking with her hit “So Am I.”  We are so excited to see and hear what’s next, and are looking forward to her debut album coming soon!

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The show ended with a big finale that had everyone doing #TheGitUpChallenge! Blanco Brown sang “The Git Up” from up in the crowd, as the court was filled with dancers, the Blazer Fresh squad, Net Generation players, and even a drumline!  Current world #1, Novak Djokovic, never turns down an opportunity to dance at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, so of course he was right in the middle of it all!

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Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is always such a blast and the best way to get the last slam of the year underway!

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Make sure you watch our interviews with MAX and Quinn XCII, JAGMAC, Ava Max, Austin Mahone, and JD MCCrary to learn more about the artists and what’s coming next.

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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!

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.