The pre-US Open marketing festivities climaxed on a stormy Wednesday night in NYC with the Nike Primetime Knockout tennis event at Pier 54. The souped up hit-and-giggle followed a pro/am doubles format and featured the talents of (an injured) Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka and John McEnroe. Oh, and some other people, mostly semi-famous. I confess that I didn’t catch the event – I was hitting some balls, myself, for the first time in about a month. But I hear the live stream was a bit of a disaster. Nike even apologized for it on its Facebook page. (And promised a video recap!)
But let’s concentrate on the positives, shall we? Fritters reports a few hilarious moments: MC Serena Williams asking to see Rafa’s abs because, you know, someone had to, and Roger’s non-famous partner – Sami Ahmad of the New York Tennis League – requesting a hug from his hero. I feel you, bro.
The best part about it: Roger seems to be enjoying the moment as much as the Fedophile:
I’m not a fan of the pro/am format because 1. I could give a damn about the “celebs” taking part – they just use up space that would be better occupied by pro tennis players and 2. they can’t play tennis.
But I do like this pairing, if only because their names go together so well: Rafael Nadal and super model Bar Refaeli. And they really do seem to go together well (sorry, Xisca!)
Hmmmm. . .
Double hmmm. . .
I see a co-ed Victoria’s Secret ad in Rafa’s future.
Rafa playing tennis without headband or cap!
The cute guy from The Hangover was paired up with Maria. What, Sasha was busy?
Victoria Azarenka was teamed up with New York Giant Justin Tuck.
Yikes. Starship Enterprise meets Oksana Baiul:
But I do love the victory pose. Practicing?
John McEnroe shows off his old guy face:
Team Azarenka beat Team Rafa:
Team Sharapova took out Team Federer:
In case you didn’t notice – Serena’s injured.
Everyone was feeling great in the post-event presser. Maybe because no one was asking about Paul Annacone or rotator cuff injuries.
Roger and Rafa take their act on the road. “I’m gonna come to Switzerland, Roger!”:
It all gets serious on Thursday, when the US Open draws come out.