The Necker Cup tennis
- By Richard Branson -
- Dec 31, 2013
Thanks for all your feedback on our tennis handicap system idea, ‘Richard’s Rules’. The first time that Richard’s Rules were used by professional players was on Necker Island. I’m delighted to say that, since I had something to do with inventing the rules, I managed to set them in such a way to beat Novak Djokovic!
But seriously, the whole tournament was run using the rules and was a great success. If you are playing the likes of Djokovic, Tommy Haas or the Bryan brothers, it certainly is not going to be fun for either side unless there is a handicap system in place. As it was, Richard’s Rules made the whole tournament competitive and enjoyable for all concerned.
All of us on Necker felt very privileged to host it. I was fortunate enough to play in it with some of the greatest players in the world. Somehow I got into the doubles finals with Gordon A. Uehling III as my partner, against Leif Thomsen and Mike Bryan. Sadly Richard’s Rules hadn’t been set quite right, because we lost in the final!
But more importantly, everybody who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We raised lots of money was raised for good causes too, over $500,000 in under 20 minutes through an online auction for Virgin Unite and the Novak Djokovic Foundation.
It was also a time for the players to relax and have a great time. The weather was gorgeous, we drank, we danced, the Bryan brothers’ (and father) band played on great set on the beach at the final party. As Bob Bryan said: “Everything about it was pure magic and it will be an experience that we'll never forget.”
We want to get the Necker Cup tournament on the tennis calendar annually. Very much look forward to seeing everybody again next year and some new faces too. We’re looking at organising a female version of the tournament in 2013 too.
Head over to Facebook to see all of the photos – they speak for themselves how much fun everyone had. Some of the happiest days of all of our lives.
All photos (c) 2012 Mark Greenberg, All Rights Reserved
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group