Kelly Clarkson headlines Opening Night in Arthur Ashe Stadium
A pair of Grammy award winners launched Opening Night at the 2018 US Open. Maxwell performed a soulful rendition of the National Anthem. Then Kelly Clarkson stormed the court with a medley of her biggest hits.
So excited to perform here at the U.S. Open. I love opening for Serena Williams!Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson’s 10-minute set – including “Walk Away,” “Since U Been Gone,” “Miss Independent,” “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” “Heat” and “Heartbeat Song” – left fans across the country wondering when she’ll be called-up to rock the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
While Kelly Clarkson heads back to Los Angeles to continue coaching on NBC’s “The Voice,” the 2018 US Open fortnight is officially underway, honoring 50-years of Open Era champions.
The US Open’s inaugural champions
In 1968, amateurs and professionals were finally allowed to compete for the first time. The US National Championships became the US Open.
Great Britain’s Virginia Wade won the first US Open Singles title. She defeated Billie Jean King 6-4 6-2 in the championship match. Both were on court for Monday night’s Opening Ceremony, sharing their memories of that historic season and the significance of equal prize money.
The late Arthur Ashe captured 1968’s US Open Men’s Singles title as an amateur, defeating Tom Okker of the Netherlands in an epic 5-setter: 14–12 5–7 6–3 3–6 6–3. Tiebreaks weren’t part of the game at the start of the Open Era, and that first set lasted 26-games.
We were fortunate enough to also have Tom Okker as part of Monday night’s ceremony. He helped honor the legacy of a selfless champion, in the 23-thousand seat stadium blazoned with Arthur’s name.