Speed Interviewing at the U.S. Open
Behind the scenes at the U.S. Open's Arthur Ashe Kids Day event.
“Rain, rain go away…” that is all I could think about as I arrived at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, on Saturday. I was there to cover Arthur Ashe Kids Day. The morning activities had already been already canceled. I did not want the stadium concert to be canceled also. Kids Day is the official kick off of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
As I walked in the drizzling rain to the press gate, I also realized I did not look my best. All my worries disappeared though once I entered the media center. The place was packed, hectic, and buzzing with excitement.
Press officials explained to reporters that once we entered the dining room where the celebrities were waiting, we would only have a few minutes to get our interviews and photos. In other words: HURRY!
As soon as it was my turn, I raced over to American Idol Jordin Sparks. She recognized my red Scholastic Kids Press Corps shirt. “I used to love reading Scholastic Books!” she said. I literally only had a few seconds with her before the handlers told me to finish up. It was like "speed interviewing"!
Despite the rush, I managed to talk to rising musical stars Justin Bieber and the members of Honor Society. But I missed a lot of the others, like Will Ferrell and the tennis pros, because they had to leave to get ready for their big performances.
I went out to the stadium to see the show and discovered that the rain had stopped! Almost the entire stadium was filled with kids and their families. Everyone danced and sang along with the concert and enjoyed seeing the favorite tennis stars goofing around on the court.
As I was walking out of the stadium after the show, I asked some of the kids what they thought of the day. They loved it!
Then I spotted #3 seed Rafael Nadal walking into the stadium. I ran over to see if I could ask him some questions. He just took my notepad and signed it! I realized he was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear me. He didn't realize I was a reporter and he was gone before I could explain.
Next, I saw retired tennis great Jimmy Connors. He was in a hurry and wouldn't talk, but was nice enough to pose for a picture.
Even though the day was gloomy, the stars shined brighter than ever! It was a great day to be a Scholastic Kid Reporter.
PHOTOS: (TOP) Kid Reporter Jacqueline Minogue with members of the singing group Honor Society; (MIDDLE) Jacqueline with rising singing sensation Justin Bieber; (BOTTOM) Rafael Nadal signs an authograph. (Photos courtesy Jacqueline Minogue)