NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The official start of the US Open is just days away.

The world’s best tennis players will go head-to-head in the final Grand Slam of the year.

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But on Saturday, it was all about the kids at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Young fans got to catch a glimpse of their favorite tennis players and hit the courts themselves.

“I think it’s fun because instead of you watching people play, you get to play,” Tiffany Marascot, of Westchester County, told CBS2’s Marc Liverman.

“I’m having a fun time,” said Mateo Millon, of Ridgefield Park.

Tens of thousands of families were on hand for this year’s Kids Day in Flushing, Queens, where they played on the same hallowed ground as the pros.

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“What I like about tennis is that I like hitting the ball with my racket,” Brycen Jaggassar, of Jamaica, said.

“(My favorite part is) getting the free stuff,” said Andre McKenna, also of Jamaica.

This year’s event was even more special because it’s the 50th anniversary of Arthur Ashe’s historic US Open men’s win.

“The first African American man to ever win, and to this day win, the US Open,” Michael Fiur, executive producer of US Open entertainment and special events, told Liverman.

Ashe’s legacy still lives on, passed along to the next generation of great tennis players.

“He’s a good tennis player,” McKenna said. “He inspires other kids, so they can become tennis players.”

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Someday, these kids may also make history both on and off the court.