NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - The USTA celebrated the opening of the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, which was rebuilt from the ground up and is ready for tennis at the 2018 U.S. Open.
"This beautiful, new 14,000-seat stadium, complete with its own retractable roof, will provide our world-class, U.S. Open players with another grand stage," USTA president Katrina Adams said Wednesday.
Louis Armstrong Stadium is the final jewel in a five-year, $600 million transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.
Former Mayor David Dinkins, New York's biggest tennis fan, was among the dignitaries present for the ceremony, which included jazz music composed by the stadium's namesake.
Louis Armstrong stadium held its first official match, featuring Queens native and four-time U.S. Open champion John McEnroe and his brother, former Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe, playing against American tennis greats James Blake and Michael Chang.
Elsewhere at the tennis center, 2017 women's singles champion Sloan Stephens held a clinic.
"A lot of them are pretty advanced," she said. "I was watching—I don't think they need many tips. They are pretty good."
When the time comes for Stephens to play, the pressure is on this year as she tries to defend her title.
"It's definitely very stressful, I'm not going to lie," she said. "But I think being an American, being here, this is a very special place."
Stephens will play her first match on opening night, which is Monday, August 27.