Trump Organization gives up US Open suite, but wants it back

NEW YORK (AP) Do not look for President Donald Trump to show up at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, for a change.

U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said that the Trump Organization suspended its suite agreement at the U.S. Open, which began Monday, while Trump is in the White House - but wants to renew it when he is out of office.

''Following Donald Trump's election, we were approached by the Trump Organization,'' Widmaier told The Associated Press.

''They asked us to suspend the suite agreement for the suite that they traditionally purchase. But they also asked that at the conclusion of his presidency, would we agree to re-engage with them on their traditional suite. Because they are a long-term subscriber, we were willing to do that and we are doing that.''

Widmaier said that particular suite, which is adjacent to the television broadcasting booth in Arthur Ashe Stadium, would be sold on at most a one-year basis and ''there will be no long-term agreement'' with anyone else.

Usually, he said, Ashe suites are sold on a multi-year basis, although some are sold for a year at a time or even just a portion of the two-week tournament.

For decades as a New York-area real estate mogul and, later, reality TV star, Trump was a fixture at the Grand Slam tournament, often sitting in the suite's balcony during night-session matches. He frequently would be shown on arena's video screens.

''We're not expecting him to attend the U.S. Open this year,'' Widmaier said, ''though that could change.''

It would be unusual for a sitting president to come to the U.S. Open: It hasn't happened since Bill Clinton attended the 2000 tournament.

Clinton sat in a VIP box in Ashe for a men's semifinal won by Pete Sampras that year. He planned to also attend that year's women's final, which was won by Venus Williams, but left after the match was delayed by rain.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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