I’ve been lucky enough to watch some incredible tennis at the US Open in New York over the past week. As a huge tennis fan it is one of the best events in the world to attend, especially while we enjoy this golden age of top-class players. I love the atmosphere there, which makes a nice contrast to the traditions of Wimbledon (nobody asked me to wear a tie at Flushing Meadows!)
While it was a shame that Andy Murray was unable to follow up on his Grand Slam heroics at SW19 and here last year, I am pleased for both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. I’m sure tonight’s final will be an absolute classic, as they are such talented, mentally strong players.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know Novak, his girlfriend Jelena and his camp really well in the past year. They were absolutely delightful at the Necker Cup, helping to raise more than £1 million for good causes. I’ve also seen the amazing work they do helping children back in Serbia through the Novak Djokovic Foundation. They’ve shown wonderful hospitality to us, and having sat with Jelena to cheer on Novak in the last two matches, I’ll be supporting him tonight.
After Novak lost the Wimbledon final, he told me how he was able to recover from the blow so quickly: “I try to always analyse my performance, especially the losses, because that's where you have done something wrong. You try to improve. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I need to have that kind of mentality. We all do.”
Meanwhile, Rafael has been able to overcome huge injury setbacks to get back to the top of the men’s game. Having already achieved so much, it would be easy for him to rest on his laurels and allow the likes of Novak and Andy to dominate – instead he has come back even stronger. He’s sure to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time to come. We’re looking forward to welcoming Rafa to the Necker Cup in November and getting to know him really well. Next year it will be much more difficult to choose who to support!
Who do you think will win tonight? On paper, Novak is somewhat underdog as far as his latest battles with Rafa go. He had a tough semi-final against Stan Wawrinka, which was one of the best tennis matches I’ve ever seen. Novak somehow came through it and showed how he is still number one. He is so unbelievably dedicated to what he does and is in with a chance tonight.
If you would like to join us for our pro-am tennis tournament on Necker Island then take a look at Virgin Active’s competition for two members to compete in the Necker Cup – you might even get a chance to take on yours truly and Rafa on the court!