US Open: Alcaraz, Tiafoe among ‘Stars Of The Open’ exhibition event, raise money for Ukraine. Image Source: IANS News
New York, Aug 24 : World tennis stars Carlos Alcaraz, Frances Tiafoe and Matteo Berrettini and others banded together for ‘Stars of the Open’, an exhibition event in support of Ukrainian humanitarian relief.
And a sold-out crowd of 14,000 at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday night enjoyed some tennis hijinks in the headlining singles match as fan favorites Frances Tiafoe and world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz traded strokes and advice.
There were US Open legends on the court, too, as nine-time US Open champion John McEnroe teamed up with No. 3 Jessica Pegula for an all-New Yorker team. They faced Argentinaâ€™s 1990 US Open winner Gabriela Sabatini and Italian Berrettini, a former US Open semifinalist.
The fundraiser brought out celebrities beyond tennis, too. NBA star Jimmy Butler and two-time Latin Grammy winner Sebastian Yatra were also part of the event that raised $320,000 towards the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
Butler served as a ball crew member for part of the night and even played a few points with Alcaraz following the Spaniard’s exhibition tie-break with Tiafoe.
Players were mic’d up throughout the festivities, providing several moments of laughter for those watching. A memorable moment was when Gael Monfils partnered his wife Elina Svitolina in mixed doubles against Americans Christopher Eubanks and Jennifer Brady to close the night.
The US Open main draw will be made on Thursday and action begins on August 28.