To Serena Williams has advanced her career and played her final game, set and match at the US Open, the US Tennis Association, last week [USTA] The Executive Director and CEO spoke of the “incredible excitement” surrounding the new faces of the sport.
“We are so happy that Serena gave our fans the opportunity to truly celebrate their impact on the sport on the biggest stage we have in our game here at the US Open,” USTA’s Lew Sherr said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo from FOX Business on “Morning with Maria” Tuesday.
“You felt that energy last week but as we transitioned from last week to this week,” Sherr continued, “you’re watching an incredible excitement surrounding Coco Gauff, Frances Tiafoe, who beat Rafa Nadal last night. It was an extraordinary event.”
Williams’ decades-long career has had a lasting impact on the sport, according to the CEO, as the US Open saw record attendance, ratings and merchandise sales this year, as well as soaring USTA attendance.
On the way to the final week at the US Opentalks are moving toward Coco Gauff’s “enormous development,” noted Sherr, and the other two Americans remaining in the tournament, Jessica Pergula and Frances Tiafoe.
“We still have three Americans playing in the Quarterfinals,” Sherr explained, “Jessica Pegula, a great American player who has really developed over the past few years, now has a legitimate chance to win this event alongside Coco. “
“There’s still great, great tennis up for grabs at this year’s tournament,” added the CEO. “And one of the things that we’re seeing is maybe a little more parity or justice than in previous years.”
Much like the public excitement of the early days of Venus and Serena, USTA attendance from 2019-2021 has seen 5 million new players and 2.3 million junior players in the same period.
“And if you want to talk about Serena’s legacy, Venus’ legacy, that growth is disproportionately coming from youth,” Sherr said, “but it’s also people of color: Hispanic, Black, African American are outpacing the growth that we have.” See you in sports.”
Sherr emphasized the USTA’s mission as a relief organization grow tennis game.
“We’re doing this because we believe tennis is an incredible opportunity to improve the quality of life for people to be healthy and active,” Sherr said. “And if enough players play, it’s a big advantage for our country.”