Tennis fans took to the 24th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids Day Saturday, which is part of the U.S. Open fan week that celebrates the sport's youngest fans.

Families across the country, and around the world, make it an annual tradition. In fact, Sonia Hirdarami traveled all the way from Sri Lanka for the event.

"I feel very grateful that the city and the USTA gives kids the opportunity like this to promote and encourage tennis,” Sonia said. “It’s such an important sport and lifelong sport for kids "

The free event aims to engage and encourage lids of all ages and abilities to pick up a racket and discover the sport. Some are already seasoned players, like 8-year-old Elizabeth Mulder, who started playing at the age of 4.

"I think it's amazing because there’s so many other kids who do the same thing as you and it's so cool to see everybody," said Elizabeth.

Young Fans got to watch the pros practice and some even got to rub elbows with their favorite tennis stars. For 6-year-old Aarav Hirdarami, seeing tennis superstar Rafael Nadal was the highlight of his day.

Some families also rocked along to the Arthur Ashe kids day stadium show featuring top kid entertainers, including country rapper Blanco Brown. But he says he's the one who is star struck.

"I know everything starts as a youngster. So to start this early and know what you want and love. It's a beautiful thing. I can’t wait to see them develop and hopefully one day I'll see them go for that title!" Brown said.

Inspiring future tennis stars was the vision for the late tennis great Arthur Ashe, who co-founded the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network. 50 years ago.

The nationwide group brings low cost or free tennis programs to 180,000 children each year, and this is the signature day when families can celebrate their love of the sport ahead of the U.S. Open, which officially kicks off Monday.