Tag Archives: Vanessa Williams

PHOTOS: US Open gets underway in grand style at National Tennis Center


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography

The eyes of the tennis world are again on Queens for the next two weeks as the best players in the world seek the coveted U.S. Open championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Festivities leading up to the tournament’s start on Monday began last week with two fun-filled days of activities. Queens Day on Aug. 26 offered guests a range of events and programs centered around the “World’s Borough,” while Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Aug. 29 featured music, entertainment, tennis exhibitions and other activities geared at the younger generation of tennis fans.

The real business of the tournament got underway on Monday with the start of the two-week U.S. Open tournament, headlined by a grand opening ceremony in the evening on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Billie Jean King herself helped welcome guests, while Josh Groban and Vanessa Williams performed for the crowd.

Though Day One of this year’s open featured a few surprising upsets, including the ouster of Ken Nishikori, last year’s open runner-up, the men’s and women’s top seeds — Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams — were both victorious in their first-round matches.

When eyes weren’t on the action, fans across Arthur Ashe Stadium did their share of people watching, and they weren’t disappointed in finding a number of celebrities in attendance such as Alec Baldwin, Katie Couric and Ben Stiller.

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Brooklyn resident, Mallory Hagan, wins Miss America crown


| hchin@homereporternews.com

Photo courtesy of Miss America Organization

Brooklyn resident and the reigning Miss New York 2012, Mallory Hagan, won the tiara and title of Miss America 2013 on Saturday night, at the annual beauty pageant in Las Vegas.

Hagan, 23, is a Park Slope resident and Alabama native who is studying Advertising & Marketing with a focus on Cosmetic & Fragrance Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In addition to the crown, Hagan won a $50,000 college scholarship.

Besides her professional interest in the cosmetics industry, she has also made it her mission to tackle child sexual abuse awareness and prevention – a cause dear to her heart as it hits close to home. As part of her Miss New York and Miss America campaign, Hagan has made the issue her central platform and shared the personal stories and experiences of women in her family in order to encourage others to take a stand.

Organizations that she supports include Stop It Now!, Darkness to Light and Safe Horizon.

Hagan clinched the competition after tap dancing to James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing” and responding readily to a question about whether grade schools should have armed guards by saying: ““I don’t think the proper way to fight violence is with violence.”

Hagan will now embark on a nationwide tour to promote the Miss America Organization and its scholarship program.

The last Miss New York to be crowned Miss America was actress and model Vanessa Williams, in 1984.

Photo by Claire Buffie