The 2016 US Open launched with a special anthem ceremony featuring Phil Collins, Leslie Odom, Jr., Billie Jean King, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the USTA’s Katrina Adams.
Billie Jean King welcomed the world to Arthur’s House – now with a new roof, Mayor de Blasio strolled-out to a cacophony of boos, and Katrina Adams led into Phil Collins’ performance of “In the Air Tonight.”
[lightbox link=”http://youtu.be/k8pWZZ2iGNw” thumb=”http://andytayloronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/USO-050-300×169.png” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”uso-050″ frame=”true” icon=”video” caption=”Novak Djokovic. He can’t dance, either.”]With his son Nick on drums, Phil nailed the 1981 classic while a worldwide audience witnessed Arthur Ashe Stadium’s roof open for the first time. Collins then introduced Leslie Odom, Jr. from Broadway’s “Hamilton,” and the two performed “Easy Lover,” before Leslie delivered a mic-dropping, soulful rendition of the National Anthem.
I’ve been working Opening Night of the US Open since 2002. This ceremony was truly one of the best…among my all-time favorite performances including Aretha Franklin (2007) and Lenny Kravitz (2013). Needless to say, it was a tough act for Novak Djokovic to follow…
The Opening Round night session featured a four-set win for Djokovic over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, and a three-set Madison Keys win over fellow American Alison Riske.