From the Biebs to the Obamas, US Open stars are also on the sidelines

During a recent match at the U.S. Open, Coco Gauff took a quick glance at the video screen atop Arthur Ashe Stadium and caught a fleeting glimpse of Justin and Hailey Bieber.

“I immediately saw them on the big screen. “I don’t know if the cameras saw me looking at them,” said Gauff, who reached his first New York tournament final. “I hope they don’t blame me if I lose. . “

There are more than just tennis stars on the court at Flushing Meadows. There were also a lot of celebrities in the main stadium suite. From the Biebers to the Obamas, from New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers to New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, from retired skier Lindsey Vonn to director Spike Lee. Big-name stars continue to grace the U.S. Open.

“Some people are passionate about tennis. Some people want to see a particular player,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmyer said. “Francis Tayfour attracts people who want to meet him. Of course it’s Coco Gauff. So does Novak Djokovic. No disrespect to them, but Serena Williams and Roger Federer are in a different league A level apart. “When it comes to celebrities wanting to watch other celebrities compete, no one compares to these two. “

For celebrities, it’s an opportunity to watch tennis play at the highest level and get free publicity.

It’s an opportunity for the championship to draw more attention and position itself as a coveted event.

Sometimes celebrities ask for tickets. In other cases, the USTA invites them through outside firms that contact publicists, managers and agents.

“If we know there’s someone in town — maybe they’re filming a movie, maybe they’re filming a TV show, maybe they’re here for the (MTV Video Music Awards) — we build relationships with the people who manage them,” Widmaier said. “We can say, ‘By the way, if this person is interested, we’d love to host them if their schedule allows it.'”

Sometimes, players are responsible for inviting someone.

Tiafoe did this so that rapper Pusha T could attend one of his games this year.

“My agent has taken care of it. I gave him a front-row seat. It’s great,” Tiafoe said. Tiafoe lost to fellow American Ben Shelton in the quarterfinals on Tuesday in the presence of actor Emma Watson and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Do not hesitate. Players know celebrities.

“I look who’s watching,” said Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, the defending champion who competed Monday against Colombian singer J Balvin and actor Ben Stiller. “Sometimes I hallucinate and tell myself: ‘Look who’s there'”

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

“Justin Bieber really dazzled me. ‘Never Say Never’ was one of my favorite songs as a kid. And then ‘Baby Oh Baby,’ I could go on and sing all their songs. And Hailey comes, ” said the 19-year-old Goff. “I think it’s a date night for them, which is really nice.”

He had met former first lady Michelle Obama before, but not President Barack Obama, and was excited to talk to them after winning the first game of the tournament.

“I wasn’t sure if they were here. I saw the Secret Service. I didn’t know if it was Mr. Biden or Mrs. Biden. I knew it was someone. And then I heard that Mr. Clinton was coming. I didn’t know who the hell he was. “I didn’t know until after the game,” Goff said. “I’ll never forget that moment in my life. “

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