Monday, Aug. 30, marked the official beginning of the 42nd annual US Open. The tournament kicked off with a special opening night ceremony at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The theme for the opening ceremony was to celebrate those who “dream, succeed, and inspire.” The evening honored four specific players who have struggled in one way or another, and despite many obstacles still managed to become successful in tennis. The honorees included James Blake, who was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, Esther Vergeer, the wheelchair tennis champion, Martina Navratilova, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Dori Samadzai-Bonner, who fled Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion.
“These four paved the way for hundreds of athletes with championship dreams of their own,” announced ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour, who hosted the event. After the tribute to the players, Gloria Estefan performed her theme song from the 1996 Olympics, “Reach.”
Attendees of the ceremony included Alec Baldwin, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
To view more photos from the US Open Opening Ceremony, visit Haute Living’s Events Gallery.