Tennis champ Kim Clijsters hit the courts last week at Louis Armstrong Stadium to celebrate the Citizen Watch Company’s 20th Anniversary as the Official Timekeeper of the US Open Tennis Championships. Clijsters sported the brand’s limited edition US Open timepiece with Eco-Drive technology as the played a few games with sweepstakes winners, who entered the contest last year, with a few giving her a run for her money. After the last ball was served, young fans surrounded the ace, who signed tennis balls, caps, and official programs for the upcoming tournament.
Clijsters took pictures with the winners before heading to locker room to shower and dress for dinner at Mojitos, located near Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she answered all of the burning questions the contest winners had. During the meal, she talked about how each of her championships were special as they coincided with other events in her life. “The first time was of the first one,” she said. “The second [championship] was after my dad died, so each of them have a special connection to it.”
As for the grunting controversy that’s been plaguing the sport lately, she doesn’t really hear it when . “It bothers me a lot when I’m watching it,” Clijsters said. “I don’t hear it when I’m playing because you’re so focused on the game.”
The pre-US Open festivities continued in Manhattan as Heineken hosted a kick off party for US Open players inviting celebrities, tennis fans, and supporters to the roof of the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue. While Kellan Lutz tried on an Olympic gold medal and Lala Anthony glittered by in a sequined All Saints dress, guests opted to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Eschewing the indoors for the rooftop poolside deck, the venue overflowed early in the evening, causing bouncers to close off the area, proving that New Yorkers may not be entirely ready to say goodbye to summer, but it’s definitely time to bring on the tennis!