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These Celebrities and Politicians Got here Out to See Serena Williams


A former president, A-list actors and skilled athletes were among the many fans who packed into Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday to look at Serena Williams in the primary round of the U.S. Open.

The guests in Williams’s player’s box included Alexis Ohanian, her husband; Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., her daughter, who turns 5 on Thursday; Oracene Price, her mother; Jill Smoller, her agent; and Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue magazine, in whose pages Williams announced her impending retirement.

Olympia’s hairstyle paid tribute to the white beads that Williams wore in her hair when she won the U.S. Open for the primary time in 1999, and her outfit nearly matched the one her mother was wearing on the court on Monday night.

Others spotted in the group included former President Bill Clinton, who appeared engaged in an extended conversation with the psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who’s 94. Martina Navratilova, the previous tennis star, brought her dog Lulu.

Mike Tyson, Katie Couric, Matt Damon, Anthony Anderson, Hugh Jackman, Spike Lee and Vera Wang were also taking within the match, as were Gayle King, the CBS News anchor, and the ski racer Lindsey Vonn. Queen Latifah, who was within the stands, narrated a highlight video of Williams that was played within the stadium. And on an off day for the Mets ahead of a house series against the Dodgers, the star shortstop Francisco Lindor took within the motion.

Also within the stands was Coco Gauff, who won in straight sets in her first-round match in Ashe on Monday afternoon.

“I really like you,” Gauff said on Twitter, tagging Williams.

After her own match, Gauff told reporters that she hoped Williams wins on Monday.

“I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional night for everybody,” Gauff said. “I hope that tonight is how she desires to end or evolve away from tennis.”

Mayor Eric Adams of Latest York was also in attendance. “She inspired so many young people to see that there’s no limitation,” Adams said of Williams before the match. He added, “She has done a lot to this generation of introducing tennis into their lives.”

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