The US Open, for the ninth consecutive year, recognised the United States military members on the 2021 Labour Day. The Grand Slam tournament also honoured the families of those lost in the accident of September 11, 2001. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In more than one way, the US Open is close to the events that happened on September 11, 2001. Every year, the Grand Slam tennis tournament happens at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
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Located in Queens, New York City, the USTA Tennis Center is around 10 miles away from the iconic World Trade Centre twin towers that were razed to the ground after hijacked planes rammed into the buildings.
Adding to the location, the tournament happens every year close to September 11. The Grand Slam usually commences on the last Monday of August and is played through two weeks into September. It is done so that the tournament either includes or precedes 9/11.
This year, the tournament final will be on the 20-year anniversary of September 11.
In remembrance of 9/11
Last week, before the start of play on Monday, the United States Tennis Association, conducted a tennis clinic for military vets who participated in the Military Mondays program for veterans at the USTA National Campus in the Lake Nona area of Orlando, Florida.
The US Open honoured the families of 9/11 victims as a part of their annual Lt. Joe Hunt Military Appreciation Day.
This year military members helped with the initial coin tosses for a couple of matches: A match between Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner and a match between Emma Raducanu and Shelby Rogers.
For the first time, the US Open lit the exterior of Arthur Ashe Stadium in red, white, and blue to commemorate both Labor Day and Lt. Joe Hunt Military Appreciation Day.
During Labour Day’s night session, three families of 9/11 victims received flags flown at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as part of an on-court ceremony.
"9/11 Day thanks the USTA and the entire tennis-playing community for their commitment and support to help us achieve our ambitious goal," said David Paine, president and co-founder of 9/11 Day. "More than anything else, we want something positive and good to come from the tragedy in honor of those lost, injured or sickened as a result of the attacks and in tribute to those who rose in service," he added.