Celebrities Get in on the Game at the US Open

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Actor Will Ferrell plays tennis during Arthur Ashe Kid's Day at the 2009 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Actor Will Ferrell plays tennis during Arthur Ashe Kid's Day at the 2009 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

Will Ferrell, Taio Cruz and Carmelo Anthony are among the stars who will participate in this year's U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. The grand slam will also include 9/11 tributes from Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper.

Cruz, a British singer songwriter, will perform with Chance, a 14-year-old pop star, at the tournament's opening night on Aug. 29.

Ferrell plays doubles in an exhibition match with John McEnroe and Jim Courier on Sept. 8. The United States Tennis Association (U.S.T.A.), which runs the U.S. Open, has yet to find a fourth celebrity to play in the match. The actor and comedian has, in the past, gotten on the court at the Arhur Ashe Kids' Day.

This year's lineup for Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on Aug. 27 includes Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks (along with his wife La La), pop star Cody Simpson, actor Bradley Cooper and singer songwriter Jason Derülo. Kim Clijsters, Serena and Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will also participate.

Queen Latifah sings the National Anthem at the opening ceremony of the US Open August 26, 2002 at the USTA National Tennis Center.There will be several 9/11 tributes during the grand slam, which runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11. 

Before the women's singles final on Sept. 10, the Queens rocker and actress Cyndi Lauper will perform. Newark's own Queen Latifah will perform a pre-match 9/11 tribute at the men's final, which falls on Sept. 11. Latifah also did at a 9/11 tribute at the U.S.Open in 2002 (at right).

"The USTA’s goal is to mark this solemn occasion in a dignified and respectful manner," said Jon Vegosen, the board chairman and president of the U.S.T.A, in a statement. "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."

At both singles championship matches, "9-11-01" will be inscribed on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. The finalists in the men's tournament will enter the court through an honor guard comprised of members of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority Police. A military flyover will also take place on Sept. 11 at the end of the pre-match ceremony.

Musical groups who will be playing on the Flushing Meadows grounds during the U.S. Open include Wye Oak, Ava Luna, The Aviation Orange, Humble G and The Afripeans, The Moonlighters, singer songwriter Susan Justice, and violinist Jane Hunt. For a schedule, click here.

Ferrell and McEnroe have sparred before — check out a video of the two on CNBC below.

Jason Derülo


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Comments [2]

Ricco X

Queen Latifah was outstanding! 11 desert deployments and 26 years in the military, and yet, she reduced this warrior to tears. A crisp salute to you for a job well done!

Sep. 11 2011 04:51 PM

Disappointed to listen to Lauper's version of our Star Spangled Banner tonight @the Open.............she messed up the words. It is too important to not practice and memorize!

Sep. 10 2011 10:25 PM

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