Earlier this month 4 tennis legends smashed their way on to the Cayman scene. Anna Kournikova, Jim Courier, Murphy Jensen and Andy Roddick came to take part in the Tennis Legends tournament at Camana Bay as part of the of the Cayman Alternative Investments (CAIS) Conference which takes places every year at the Ritz Carlton. This year they were also joined by Sir Richard Branson who added to the entertainment on the brand new court at the festival green.
As a sponsor I was lucky enough to get tickets to both the Friday and Saturday show matches and I was looking forward to seeing all of the players in the intimate arena setting. Then to put the icing on the cake, I was offered a spot in a 1 hour clinic with Andy Roddick on the Saturday. I’m not sure how I’m ever going to pay Island Air back for that one - a dream come true to even be on the same court as one of our generations biggest tennis talents, let alone (attempting) to hit a ball to him.
Excited to suss out my opponent before our big match up, I joined many friends and Cayman dignitaries to watch the games on Friday night. First up was Andy Roddick himself dishing up his crushing serve against Jim Courier before the other 3 legends joined them on court for a super set of doubles.
It was great to see some high quality tennis in a relaxed and jovial environment. One of the things we take for granted is that a small island community often gives you access to events that you could only ever dream of in a population of a few million.
Saturday afternoon seemed to take forever to come but finally it was time for our clinic with the former world no. 1. What made the experience even better (if that’s even possible) was that I was able to share with my team mates from the Corporate league. Andy had shown his witty side at the show match on Friday night so we decided to break the ice by accessorizing our tennis garb with platinum blonde wigs. Who could refuse this? He loved it.
Sadly though the wig created somewhat of an obstruction to my tennis where being able to see is preferable...
The boys seemed to be having fewer issues with seeing or hitting the ball and quickly warmed up to some big hits against the pro, before being invited to play alongside him in a doubles challenge. Nothing was going to wipe the grins off these faces as we tried to take it all in.
The hour flew by and after a group photo and some selfies the surreal experience was over - we came off the court buzzing, ready to celebrate as spectators at the evenings matches.
Branson had left that morning so the standard of tennis picked up a couple of notches from the previous evening and by the time Roddick and Courier came on for their re-match, they were ready to tear strips off each other. Roddick’s lightening speed serve was out to play and he quickly took the lead, followed by a couple of tight games before he brought the set home and the tournament was over for another year. It was a fabulous weekend and for one am already looking forwards to the Legends Tennis 2016!