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Stars to entertain crowd at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day

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The USTA announced that R&B superstar Monica, rock sensation Smash Mouth and British chart-topper Daniel Bedingfield will join tennis stars Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Anna Kournikova, James Blake and other top players to headline Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Aetna.

Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders and MTV personality Quddus will host the event. The eighth annual daylong festival includes interactive games, musical entertainment, free clinics and the World TeamTennis finals presented by ADT Security Services. The event will take place Saturday at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing. Kids’ Day officially kicks off the US Open that runs Monday through Sept. 7.

“Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is a wonderful day of giving back,” Pierce O’Neil, chief business officer of the USTA, said. “Tennis stars give back to the kids — inspiring them to play our great game.”

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), usopen.org or at the USTA National Tennis Center box office. Loge tickets cost $20 and general admission promenade tickets cost $10. Kids 12-and-under with stadium show tickets will receive a free gift on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission is free for the interactive games and clinics, which will take place on the outer courts from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

“Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is about perpetuating the legacy of Arthur Ashe and his appreciation and concern for young people,” O’Neil said. “It’s a great way to introduce tennis to kids and their families in a fun and entertaining way.”

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day honors tennis legend Arthur Ashe and continues his mission of using tennis as a means to instill in youth the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence.

Kids’ activities include the IBM Speed Zone, American Express Skills Challenge, two Nike tennis courts and more.

The Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day stadium show will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. and will broadcast nationally by CBS on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefits several youth-oriented charities and USA Tennis National Junior Tennis League, a program founded by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder in 1969 to provide tennis opportunities to economically disadvantaged youngsters.

“Welcoming kids of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the game of tennis is what Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is all about,” O’Neil said. “It’s the USTA’s way of paying homage to a great ambassador of tennis and humankind by carrying on Ashe’s appreciation and concern for young people.”

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and owns and operates the US Open. In addition, it funds the 96 Professional Circuit Events throughout the United States and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A not-for-profit organization with more than 670,000 members, the USTA invests 100 percent of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

Updated 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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