Flushing Meadows, NY—As we near the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, players competing at the U.S. Open are keenly aware of how the devastating events of that day impacted the world. Sam Stosur, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, and Caroline Wozniacki took the time to share their memories of that day — where they were when it happened, and what the experience was like for them.
“I was playing a 10,000s tournament in Japan. I woke up to the TV. One of the other Aussie girls there was calling the room and saying, ‘Turn on the TV and look what’s going on.’ Obviously it was unbelievable. I was only 17 at the time. There were four or five of us traveling around in a group together and had no idea what was going to happen. We all thought planes aren’t going fly ever again and didn’t know. Obviously watching those images, going out to play your matches at a 10,000 event all of a sudden became pretty irrelevant. And obviously watching the TV recently, you see all the shows and documentaries about it again. It certainly brings it all back. It’s kind of strange to be back here in New York on the 10th anniversary. It’s great to see how people have moved on. Obviously it was a really sad time, but obviously everyone’s getting through it.”
“You know, I think everyone that lives in America has been affected by 9/11. I was in D.C. at the time, and I just remember seeing a lot of Army trucks. You know, it was what it was. It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years later, but, you know, it’s good…good we are kind of coming together and New Yorkers and New York have been so strong.”
“9/11 was a terrible tragedy for everyone around the world. I was playing a junior event here [at the U.S. Open], and flew out the day before. As soon as I landed, it was on TV all over in Russia. We got off the plane and were watching it on TV. I felt like we were still here. We just left and there were a lot of players that were still staying there. It’s terrible what happened. I think everyone remembers it. Everyone is still thinking about those who died there.”
"I was actually practicing [in Denmark], and I was going home from practice and my brother was in his room. His room was on the first floor when you went in. He was watching TV. I asked him, What are you watching? What movie is that? He said, ‘It’s not a movie. It’s happening.’ Me and my Dad said, No, come on. Stop joking. It’s not funny. We were changing the channels and it was just on every channel. We were pretty much shocked what was going on. We have quite a few friends here, so we called them and asked if everyone was okay. And, you know, the people I knew here, they were all safe. But, you know, still, so many people died. 9/11 is coming up Sunday…10 years. It’s gone past very fast.”
U.S. Open Tribute
On Sunday, September 11, the U.S. Open will pay homage to those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks, as well as to those people who risked their lives to save the victims of the attack. In addition to a moment of silence prior to the men’s and women’s singles championships matches, Arthur Ashe Stadium will have “9-11-01″ inscribed on the court. The 9/11 memorial logo, created by the city of New York, will be placed on the upper ring of Arthur Ashe stadium. A military flyover is also planned. A giant American flag will also be displayed over the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium by a United States Marines Corps color guard.