US Open Launches Tournament-Long ‘Tennis Plays for Peace’ Relief Effort
August 10, 2022
Flushing, NY – August 10, 2022 – The USTA today announced its comprehensive awareness and humanitarian aid plan to benefit the people of Ukraine under tennis’ established Tennis Plays for Peace program. Tennis Plays for Peace, comprised of all seven of tennis’ governing bodies, including the four Grand Slam events, has raised more than $1 million in humanitarian aid to date, and the USTA, in conjunctions with the broader tennis community, expects to raise at least $2 million more over the three weeks of the 2022 US Open.
The signature launch event, “The Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition,” will be held on Ukraine Independence Day, Wednesday, August 24. The event will feature a fun line-up of some of the biggest names in the game, including Rafael Nadal, Coco Gauff, John McEnroe, Carlos Alcarez, Leylah Fernandez, Iga Swiatek, Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jessica Pegula, Victoria Azarenka, Matteo Berrettini, and others playing in a series of singles and mixed doubles matches in Louis Armstrong Stadium from 7 to 9 pm. Outreach to a number of celebrities to join the event is on-going.
Tickets for the event, which go on sale via TicketMaster on Wednesday, August 10, are $25 and $50 with 100% of the proceeds going to GlobalGiving, the international non-profit identified by Tennis Plays for Peace. All donations to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund will support humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled. GlobalGiving’s local partners are bringing relief to devastated but determined communities, and they need resources to continue their life-saving work.
“The US Open is a stage that attracts millions of passionate fans, and it is incumbent upon us to help guide this passion to help those who desperately need it,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Mike McNulty. “This is a vitally-important cause, and I’m proud of the way in which our sport has rallied together to lend a much-needed hand to our friends in Ukraine. I’m likewise proud that we are able to use the global platform of the US Open to enhance the giving effort, and I urge everyone to do all they can to help us show the people of Ukraine that we stand with them in their time of need.”
The event will be hosted by ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe, and ESPN will make The Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition available on ESPN+. The official domestic broadcaster of the US Open also will provide the program to the US Open’s world feed, and the event will stream on USOpen.org.
The broadcast of the program is one part of the US Open’s overall promotional efforts, toward raising awareness of the on-going horrors facing the Ukrainian people. The comprehensive promotional initiative will include all US Open global broadcasts, all tournament digital and social media platforms, and all on-site communication point-of-contact with fans, including the stadium big screens, LED signage, and other opportunities. The US Open has invited the Ukraine Chorus Dumka of NY to be a part of the 2022 Opening Night Ceremonies.
The USTA will work with GlobalGiving to create a unique URL to ensure that anyone interested in supporting Ukraine relief effort will have a direct means to access GlobalGiving’s array of offerings. Also, a text to donate opportunity will be built for U.S. fans, and will be promoted on domestic broadcasts, on digital platforms and throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. TicketMaster has added a direct contribution option to the US Open ticket landing page, and the US Open will make Tennis Plays for Peach merchandise available at retail stores on the grounds of the US Open.
Earlier this year, the global tennis bodies established a fundraising campaign entitled Tennis Plays for Peach with the Global Giving charity. To date the tennis community has raised more than $1M to support this fund, and both Tours and the other entities have provided support to Ukrainian tennis players and their families.
The Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition is one of the nighttime signature events of US Open Fan Week, which is returning in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free (except for two evening events including this exhibition) weeklong tennis and entertainment celebration will take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, from Tuesday, August 23, to Sunday, August 28. During US Open Fan Week attendees can experience the sights and sounds of the US Open at no cost. This includes the opportunity to see world-class tennis as players compete in the US Open Qualifying Tournament to secure a spot in the US Open Main Draw. Last year, Emma Raducanu started her journey to the US Open women’s singles title during the Qualifying Tournament. In addition, tennis enthusiasts will be able to watch the best players in the world, from just steps away, practice in the lead-up to the final Grand Slam event of the year – a fan experience unique to the US Open.
The 2022 US Open Main Draw takes place August 29 to September 11.