January 7, 2014
For their own sanity and our pleasure
The tennis circuit is such a goldfish bowl that the players would go crazy if they didn’t get out and focus on something else sometimes. John McEnroe and Pat Cash used to play the guitar to escape the pressure. Justine Henin went sky-diving.
The Fed spends his spare time these days with his beautiful twins, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, and his very grounded wife Mirka. There can be nothing better than children to take your mind off the day job and a caring wife to give you perspective.
Andy Murray is going to open his own luxury hotel on April 1st – Cromlix House near his native Dunblane. That doesn’t make him an April Fool. Murray will feel that much fresher for his French Open and Wimbledon campaigns for having turned his skills to something new next spring.
Novak Djokovic has opened a chain of restaurants back home in Serbia, the “Novak Cafe and Restaurant” – and hopes to make his brand international. And of course, Novak is also famous for looking inward instead of outward for a large part of his relaxation – because he meditates deeply and regularly.
And the Ladies?
Some of the top women in tennis play with such intensity that you wonder how they can turn their minds to anything else, but they do. All the best players do great work for charity, but the female stars are also well known for doing normal “girly” things too.
Serena Williams has been designing her own fashion ranges for some time, while “Sugarpova” is the latest Maria Sharapova business venture. Her candy range is said to bring out her “fun, sweet side,” which hasn’t always been evident since she won Wimbledon all those years ago.
Meanwhile Victoria Azarenka gets over her darker moods by going on a shopping spree.’When I have free time, which I don’t have a lot of, I like to shop and buy presents for people,’ she says unashamedly.Good for her, she can certainly afford it!
But the modern-day circuit is so demanding that the players don’t have much free time at all. So isn’t it amazing that they manage to do such a wide and wonderful variety of things away from tennis? And aren’t we lucky that they do? Without those hobbies and passions beyond tennis, I suspect that they simply wouldn’t be able to survive psychologically.
The players also often like to create something long-lasting, to show they have intelligence and drive off the field as well as on it. Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are among many who have their own foundations for under-privileged children around the world. This shows they have the big picture beyond the courts, it brings them balance.
As it is, these gladiators turn up time after time at tournaments big and small, still mentally fresh enough to give their best and thrill us all.
Want to see these multi-talented people in action at Wimbledon this summer, doing what they do best? You can buy tickets to Wimbledon 2014 today.