This year’s U.S. Open will surely be one to remember. Not just for the high level intensity and shot-making from the best players in the world, but for another more meaningful reason. It was just announced by the U.S. Open that a white “9-11-01” will be painted next to the court for the U.S. Open men’s and women’s singles finals, part of the Grand Slam tennis tournament’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This year, the men’s singles finals is scheduled to be played on Sunday, Sept. 11th with the women’s final being played a day earlier.
“The USTA’s goal is to mark this solemn occasion in a dignified and respectful manner,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA chairman of the board and president. “We are one of this nation’s global stages on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and we have a special responsibility to honor those fallen and those who responded heroically on that fateful day.”
The temporary display will be placed near the net across the court from where the chair umpire sits and players go to rest during changeovers. The painting will take place Friday night, Sept. 9th when there will be no scheduled matches on court. The “9/11/01” will be painted on the green background that surrounds the blue playing surface in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Some of the other USTA plans connected to the Sept. 11 anniversary include:
►All players entered in the tournament will be given a U.S. Open hat with “9-11-01” stitched on the side
►The men’s finalists will walk from the doorway that brings them from the locker room to the court through a path lined by an honor guard of New York police officers, firefighters and Port Authority police
►U.S. Marines will unfurl a court-sized U.S. flag in the stadium
►Moments of silence
►A military flyover
►New York’s 9-11 memorial logo will replace advertising for the tournament’s official website on a wall inside the stadium
►Performances by Queen Latifah and Cindy Lauper
Queen Latifah performed at the U.S. Open’s first-ever Opening Night Ceremony in 2002, which was 9/11 themed.