Special for USA TODAY Sports
Published 7:15 PM EDT Sep 6, 2019
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — Alert the paparazzi. Beef up the security detail. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is coming to the U.S. Open on Saturday.
Markle took a commercial flight from London to New York on Friday to arrive in time for the women’s final Saturday afternoon, hoping to see her good friend, Serena Williams, win her record-tying 24th major tennis title in the championship match against Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu, according to numerous reports.
“We’re thrilled that she’s joining us,” said Chris Widmaier, the USTA’s managing director, corporate communications. “It’s a level of excitement and electricity to an already electric event.”
Markle will be sitting in Williams’ player’s box in the corner of Arthur Ashe Stadium, a person familiar with the plans told USA TODAY Sports. The person was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Markle’s arrangements.
The Duchess also was at the Wimbledon final, which Williams lost to Romania’s Simona Halep.
“I’m sure our security people are in touch with her security people so everything is copacetic,” the person said.
Williams and Markle met at a Super Bowl party in 2010 and their friendship has blossomed since. Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian were guests at Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding in the summer of 2018.
Celebrity sightings are a common occurrence at the Open, one of the world’s richest sporting events, generating more than $350 million annually and paying nearly $4 million to the men’s and women’s singles champion.
Tiger Woods, Queen Latifah and Kobe Bryant have all been in attendance at this year’s tournament, but the Royal Family will make its debut Saturday.
Follow Wayne Coffey on Twitter @wr_coffey