It is the 2018 U.S. Open Women’s Championship Match, and newcomer Naomi Osaka has just defeated favorite Serena Williams. Stunned, the crowd begins to boo. As a leader of the US Open, how do you handle the upset? How do you console Osaka, control the crowd, communicate with the press, and maintain the spirit of sportsmanship central to the event? For Katrina Adams, former President and CEO of the United States Tennis Association, these questions are not hypothetical. In her book Own the Arena, she speaks on her experience as the first Black woman and youngest person ever to hold this position, and reveals everything that has to happen off-court to make the game possible. From managing the logistics of a major tournament to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment, her behind-the-scenes perspective paints a vivid picture of leadership in action. The lessons she imparts in effective decision-making, empathetic communication, and adaptability apply to every match one faces in life. Join her in conversation with Damon Austin to learn what it takes to lead.
Katrina Adams gave a TEDx Talk on how to own the arena. Watch it here.
One of the challenges Katrina faced in her role was managing the legendary Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka match. Learn what made this so dramatic.
The 2023 U.S. Open just concluded. Read a recap of this year’s results.
About the speakers:
With an outstanding track record in leading, innovating and collaborating, Katrina Adams is the first African American to lead the USTA, the first two term Chairman and President (2015-2018) and the first former player to hold that honor. Under her tutelage, the USTA achieved several major milestones, including the opening of the USTA National Campus and the transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, an outreach effort into underserved communities to share the sport of tennis. She is also a broadcaster, author and board member, serving on multiple Advisory Boards such as Athletes Unlimited, Highlight Pro Skydiving, Full Court Tennis and Racquet Magazine.
Damon L. Austin is an American Library in Paris Trustee, career librarian, research information consultant with over two decades of experience, and professional tennis coach.. His diverse background includes work with academic, special, and school libraries in the USA and European outlets. He began visiting Paris some two decades prior to serving as the American Library Association Representative to the Board of Trustees (2018-2022).
Important information: This event is online. Attendees will receive a Zoom link upon registration. Participants will be able to pose questions through the Zoom chat function.
This event requires advance registration.