From Bieber to Obama, US Open stars are out on the court. game

NEW YORK (AP) — Standing atop Arthur Ashe Stadium, Coco Gauff took a quick look at the video screen during her match at the U.S. Open last week and momentarily caught a glimpse of celebrities Justin and Hailey Bieber.

“I saw him on the big screen immediately. “I don’t know if the cameras saw me watching her or not,” said Gauff, who reached the tournament semi-finals for the first time in New York after reaching the semi-finals at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday. “I was hoping they wouldn’t blame him if I lost the game.”

Not only are there stars on the courts at Flushing Meadows, there’s also a list of who to watch in the main stadium suites. From the Biebers to the Obamas, from New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers to New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, and from retired skier Lindsey Vonn to director Spike Lee. Big names continue to dominate the US Open.

“Some people are passionate about tennis. Some people want to see a specific player,” said Chris Widmayer, a spokesman for the United States Tennis Association. “Francis Taifo attracts people who want to see him. Coco Gauff of course. Novak Djokovic too. No disrespect to them, but Serena Williams and Roger Federer were on another level. “When it comes to celebrities who want to watch other celebrities play, no one compares to those two.”

For celebrities it is a chance to see tennis at the highest level and get some free publicity.

For the tournament, it is an opportunity to attract more attention and establish itself as an ambitious event.

Sometimes famous people ask for tickets. Other USTAs invite them through an outside company that contacts publicists, managers and agents.

“If we know there’s someone in town — maybe they’re shooting a movie, maybe a TV show, maybe they’re here for the (MTV Video Music Awards) — and we have a relationship with that person.” manages them,” Widmayer said, “we’ll be able to say, ‘By the way, if this person is interested, we’d love to host them if their schedule allows.'”

There are times when a player is in charge of inviting someone.

Tiafoe did this so that rapper Pusha T could be present at one of his matches this year.

“My agent took care of it. I got him a seat in the front row. Tremendous,” said Tiafoe, who lost to fellow American Ben Shelton in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, when actress Emma Watson and Vogue magazine’s top editor Anna Wintour were in attendance.

do not hesitate. Players are familiar with famous people.

“I look at who’s watching,” said defending champion Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who plays against Colombian singer J Balvin and actor Ben Stiller on Monday. “Sometimes I hallucinate, saying to myself: ‘Look who’s over there'”

Yes, celebrities from entertainment, politics and other sports are popular with players – especially if they can connect after the game.

“I was definitely in awe of Justin Bieber. ‘Never Say Never’ was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. Then ‘Baby, oh, baby’, I could go on with all their songs. Even for Hailey to come,” Gauff, 19, said. “I think it was date night for them, which is really nice.”

He had previously met former First Lady Michelle Obama, but not President Barack Obama, and he was excited to talk to both of them after winning the first match of the tournament.

“I wasn’t sure if they were here or not. I saw the Secret Service. I didn’t know whether it was Mr. Biden or Mrs. Biden. I knew it was someone. Then I heard that Mr. Clinton was coming. I didn’t know who he really was. Gough said, I didn’t know until after the match. “I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.”

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