February 10, 2014
Let’s Hear It For The Partners
The team at WimbledonDebentureHolders.com have come up with their own Happily Ever After #HEA rating for our favourite tennis couples. Do you agree?
Join in the conversation on twitter
It’s amazing how many stable romances there are at the top of tennis. Especially when the top stars could have practically anyone they want, whenever they want. The partners are sometimes stars in their own right. Even if they’re not, many are extremely glamorous. Others are less so, don’t care about superficial fame, shun the limelight and support more quietly behind the scenes. They all seem to have done a terrific job – so let’s hear it for the partners!
Here’s a look at some of the most high-profile love affairs. And I’m going to have a bit of fun by giving each romance a “Happily Ever After” (HEA) probability rating out of ten.
Don’t get offended, now! We wish them all well and rest assured there’s nothing malicious about any of the predictions. Look back on this article at the end of 2014 and see just how right or wrong we were…so far!
Andy Murray – Kim Sears: HEA rating: 9/10
Possible Marriage Timing: Spring 2015
If they were going to split they would probably have done it by now. Well, they did – in 2009 – but only briefly. Kim has been great for Andy ever since, a major force behind the scenes to help him cope with the intolerable pressure. With Kim at his side, Andy has scaled the dizzy heights to become US, Olympic and Wimbledon champion. They know each other inside out. My crystal ball tells me an announcement will be made in Australia next year with the wedding in Scotland at Andy’s Cromlix Hotel that same Spring.
Novak Djokovic – Jelena Ristic: HEA rating: 9/10
Possible marriage timing: Spring 2014
I think what you see is what you get with Novak, he is a great guy and he really loves her. Does she love him? Of course she does. She runs the Djokovic Foundation for him too. Their lives are already inextricably linked. The clue to the marriage timing came in that Serbian TV interview the other day. ‘In a couple of months you will change your last name to Djokovic,’ he told her. Sounded more like an instruction than a proposal Novak but I think she’ll forgive you!
Carline Wozniacki – Rory McIlroy: HEA rating: 7/10
Possible marriage timing: Late 2014
Caroline and Rory are lovely people who were so in love they didn’t seem to care that their sporting careers were going down the drain. Then they split up , allegedly due to Caroline’s twitter posting of a very uncool photo of her man. Back together before long, they charmed the world over New Year with that “She said yes” – “I said yes” engagement announcement. They had better hurry up and marry before they split up again! Seriously, though, it doesn’t seem the most stable relationship in the world, but Rory’s golf is back on track, even if Caroline’s tennis isn’t. And they make each other laugh. As long as that continues, they have a chance of long-lasting happiness.
Li Na – Jiang Shan: HEA rating: 9/10
They’ve been through it all. Tennis nearly split them up according to Li Na. New coach Carlos Rodriguez arrived just in time to take the pressure of that side of their relationship. But how cool was “Dennis” to accept Carlos and his new dominant role in their lives? He also has to take those very comical but slightly withering post-match speeches by Li Na – when he is always the butt of the joke. ‘You carry the raquets, you fix the drinks, you’re a nice guy and you’re lucky to have found me,’ she said after winning the Aussie Open. Well here’s something else. You’re lucky to have Dennis, Li Na. Very lucky indeed.
Serena Williams – Patrick Mouratoglou: HEA rating: 6/10
Possible marriage timing: Late 2014
He is more than ten years older than she is but Serena’s coach appears to have been a source of great joy and a fine stabilizing influence. Serena has worked incredibly hard on her career and is often misunderstood. She deserves every moment of her happiness and I can even see them getting married. But will it last? No one knows, I sincerely hope it does. But I’m not convinced it is going to last a lifetime. Serena is very headstrong, Patrick is his own man and won’t want to be bossed about. Will this be a match made in Heaven? You have to wonder. Go on, prove us all wrong and why should you care what anyone says?
Roger Federer – Mirka Vavrinec: HEA rating: 9/10
With a new baby on the way and twins Myla and Charlene already the joy of their lives, Mirka and Roger have enjoyed their stability for many years already. The sleepless nights of fatherhood may not have done Roger’s latter career any favours but he won’t regret a minute and he has won it all. Mirka isn’t most the glamorous, publicity-seeking type; but that has been an advantage for a long time. She is the strength behind the history-maker everyone loves. It is hard to imagine them splittng up. Another perfect couple and the only reason no one gets an HEA 10/10 is because you just never know in life what lies just around the corner.
Maria Sharapova – Grigor Dimitrov: HEA rating: 4/10
Possible marriage timing: Questionable
Now, I could be reading this wrong. Let’s start with the positives. Maria seems to be making Grigor happy and his quarter-final appearance in Australia in early 2014 showed the “Sharapova effect” has been doing the Bulgarian no harm. But will he want to be tied down indefinitely by an older woman? I’m not so sure. Dimitri is in his early 20s, Maria is moving towards her late 20s. It may well be that if she had a choice, they would be together forever. But as Dimitrov grows in years and tennis stature, will he prove to be a one-woman man? What about that “black heart” Serena Williams pointed to, in that public spat the women had about their men? How easy is Maria to be with? Does he have the maturity to cope with any mood swings she may exhibit as her tennis powers start to fade? So far it’s all good. Only they know how good. I wish the couple well and don’t want to cause offence. But personally I just can’t see it lasting. Again, I’ll be delighted if they prove me wrong!
Rafa Nadal – Maria Fancisca (Xisca) Perello: HEA rating: 8/10
Possible marriage timing: Spring 2017
She shuns publicity, she stayed away from the Australian Open at the start of 2014 because, in Rafa’s words, it was ‘too far.’ As Rafa observed, the girls in Australia wouldn’t have minded too much. Are there cracks appearing? Or is this just the way it works best for them? As Rafa recently observed, having a family while you are travelling all over the world isn’t necessarily going to work. Following a man to the four corners of the earth while remaining in the strange bubble of the tour isn’t going to excite everyone – least of all “Xisca.” So she stays in the background and personally I think they will stay strong as a couple. I don’t think they’ll marry until Rafa’s battle-scarred body finally gives way and he can no longer stand the rigours of the tour and his own bruising style of play. Then it will be game, set and match to Miss Perello…who will gladly become Mrs Nadal. Still, the very fact that they don’t seem ready to settle down just yet gives other women just a glimmer of hope that the Spanish sex symbol is still there for the taking. Don’t bet on it, though.