Six-time open winner Chris Evert was among the past stars of the sport helping kick off the prestigious annual championship
Photo: Getty Images
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German tennis star Boris Becker - who's recently announced his engagement to jewellery designer Alessandra Meyer-Wolden - was also at the bash
Photo: Getty Images

Tennis legends reclaim centre court at US Open gala in New York

26 AUGUST 2008
Grand Slam champs past and present were on hand at the star-studded opening of the US Open in New York this week. Newly-engaged Boris Becker and six-time Open women's singles winner Chris Evert were among the former champs taking to the red carpet at the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre after congregating centre court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to huge rounds of applause.

They shared the spotlight with more current stars, such as World Number Two Roger Federer and Russian player Maria Sharapova. The world's highest-paid female athlete was enjoying a night out during a period of rest following an injury during the Rogers Cup last month in Toronto.

Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker took on hosting duties at the ceremony - which also marked the 40th anniversary of the Open Era of tennis. This began in 1968 when the distinction between amateur and professional players was abandoned, meaning everyone could compete in all tournaments.

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