The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation celebrated the start of the U.S. Open with a full-day tennis and music festival for families on Saturday, August 24th. This year, for the first time courtesy of the USTA Foundation, general admission promenade seats for the concert were free of charge.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day
The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day kicked off the U.S. Open on Saturday with family-friendly fun and celebrity performances at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens. After demonstrations from Net Generation and National Junior Tennis League participants, the Radio Disney-hosted musical acts began, with leading talent like Ava Max, MAX, and Quinn XCII performing to a cheering audience.
Pop stars, tennis stars, and kids all around
The Knockturnal was on the scene for United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) star-studded 2016 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess. 20-year old Laura Marano performed and hosted the event. She is probably best known for starring as “Ally” in the Disney Channel’s international hit television series Austin & Ally. We spoke with her before the concert exclusively.
This weekend, the 21st Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day – official kick off to the US Open – took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, Queens. This year the event featured Laura Marano, Zara Larsson, Jordan Fisher, Flo Rida, Ansel Elgort, Forever in Your Mind and Troye Sivan. Tennis superstars Juan Martin del Potro, Jack Sock, Monica Puig and Venus Williams and others joined in for a day of tennis, music and fun to honor the legacy of legendary pioneer Arthur Ashe. Disney Channel’s Joey Bragg co-hosted this year’s show along with Jordan Fisher and Laura Marano.
We caught up with actress Fátima Ptacek at the event! She is the voice of Dora The Explorer.
Q: So tell me how excited you are to be here at AAKD?
Fatima: It is such an honor. This is actually my second year of being here and I absolutely love it. It’s so great to see all of these great athletes and performers, actors, people from all different industries coming together to support; and to honor someone who’s so incredible.
Q: Who were some of the acts you were excited about today?
Fatima: I’m obsessed with Zara Larsson so I was so happy to see her and her voice is just as perfect as I imagined it would be. I actually really love Venus so it was cool to see her in action even though she came in last place I was kind of disappointed, I was screaming the loudest for her.
Q: So tell me how has your summer been? What have you been up to?
Fatima: My summer has been really crazy. I did a lot of traveling which was good. I did England and I actually visited Oxford University, which is like my dream school. I did France for a bit and really a lot of meetings with people and reading scripts; stuff like that. Also just kind of getting some chill time which was really good… got to read a lot and spend time with my family at the beach.
Q: That’s awesome, and so how did you get your start in acting?
Fatima: I started when I was five and I actually started out in print work and just in photo-shoots and magazine covers, things like that. Eventually I branched out and realized how much I love being in commercials and then like little guest appearances and TV shows and eventually got more and more and now I’m here!
Q: And you also do work with the UN?
Fatima: Yes! I work with a campaign called He For She, which is part of UN women; it’s Emma Watson’s campaign. I’ve been working on their youth segment so I created a curriculum that we’re hopefully going to be bringing to different schools to start creating more awareness about gender inequality and make it a gender equal world.
Q: Absolutely, so what’s coming up in the fall? You have school I’m presuming and some other projects in the works?
Fatima: Yes, I do have school, which I’m really nervous about. We have a new schedule so now I start an hour earlier. I’m a normal teenager in that I really want more sleep. I do have a couple of projects, I’m going to be filming a movie, and it’s an indie film… I can’t give too much away obviously. And that’s going to be in California, which I’m really excited about. I have a couple of other little things that we’re just waiting to hear on.
The Knockturnal was on the scene for United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) star-studded 2016 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess. International pop sensation Zara Larsson performed at the event. We spoke with her before the concert. The 18-year old Swedish singer is best known in the states for “Never Forget You” and “Lush Life.”