MANHATTAN, N.Y. — A visit to a pop-up Thursday was a tennis enthusiast‘s dream: a little bit of the sport’s history and meeting a legend — Billie Jean King.
Fans got to meet the tennis star at the Wilson pop-up in SoHo, where they learned more about the sport equipment brand’s contributions in a museum-like setting.
“It’s been great,” King said.
This comes ahead of the U.S Open, which starts later this month. Fans are unable to watch the qualifying matches again this year in person due to COVID-19.
“It’s really important that we get our vaccinations,” King said. “If you don’t have them, please get them.”
She says fans are part of the entertainment.
“The audience is everything,” King said. “When I would play, even if there was only one person in the stands, you want to bring them in, you want them to be a part of the action. You want them to love it. You want them to go home and say, ‘God, that was great! I want to play tennis.’”
“I think Simone Biles was very courageous, very brave that she spoke about what she was feeling and experiencing,” King added. “Can you imagine? Just think about yourself as you’re a gymnast and you go up in the air and you have to know where you are. I wouldn’t know where I am. She said she was having trouble. I just want her to take of herself. That’s all I care about. She and noami Osaka and all of them. Just take care of yourself first — the other will work out.”
King recently published an autobiography titled “All In” and many at the pop-up received a copy.
The Wilson pop-up will be open until October.