By Romi Cvitkovic
Tennis players are a peculiar breed. They lose nearly every week, but they get back on their feet just as often – many times with invigorating activities to keep their focus in check. We catch up with Victoria Azarenka, Milos Raonic, Laura Robson, Maria Sharapova and Na Li as we see what they were up to after losing at the US Open, including fashion shows, parties, charity tours and Olympic parades.
Some players party with Redfoo after a tough loss in the women’s championship match…
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has had a familiar face in her player’s box during several of her matches at the US Open, rock star Redfoo of the group LMFAO, and Sunday was no different. The upcoming sponsor of the Party Rock Open in Las Vegas, Redfoo fistpumped and cheered his way into Vika’s heart. The duo – with some extra friends – partied just hours after her heart-breaking loss. And apparently there’s video coming up of the night as well. Guess a good party goes a long way to turn that frown upside down, Vika.
— RedFoo (@RedFoo) September 10, 2012
Some players attend glamorous events …
When Canadian Milos Raonic lost in the fourth round to Andy Murray, he jetted to Toronto for a plethora of events and appearances, including a Hello! Magazine Canada party where he sported the casual look:
… an amfAR Cinema Against AIDS event where he posed with Miss Universe Canada 2012 Sahar Biniaz. Do I smell a crush, Milos?
… and looking equally suave with a hint of pink and that same killer smile, Milos attended the Glitz and Glamour Breast Cancer Benefit alongside fellow countryman Daniel Nestor.
Some players forget their worries by attending New York Fashion Week …
Even before the US Open began, Maria Sharapova blitzed through the New York media scene with her “Sugarpova” candy launch. So after her abrupt semifinal finish at the Slam, Maria needed a good way to wind down. After what better way for the fashionista than taking in the Victoria Beckham show with good friend Anna Wintour? Looking fresh and outfitted in a color block jacket and elastic waistband red trousers, Maria also had an intimate conversation with the fashion icon. Anything that helps you wind down, Maria, we’re all for it.
Some players travel back to the Olympic stadium …
British teenager Laura Robson had her best results at a Slam by making the fourth round, defeating Na Li and ending Kim Clijsters’ career before losing to defending champion Sam Stosur. But Laura wasn’t disappointed. That gave her the opportunity to return to the Olympic village for the Paralympic Closing Ceremonies and participate in the Olympic and Paralympic heroes’ victory parade earlier today – sporting her silver medal in mixed doubles, of course! Compatriot Ross Hutchins joined in as paparazzi.
Some players launch a new book…
Chinese player Na Li is always a good sport even with her surprise loss to Robson last week. But she was back in business in Beijing over the weekend promoting her new book “Play Alone” and rebutting a statement from China’s tennis chief.
Last week at the US Open, China’s tennis chief Sun Jinfang blamed Li’s failure at the US Open due to a lack of education, saying “We have seen for a long time that Li Na can suddenly collapse. Why is this? Because athletes like her have not received a good education.” Her rebuttal came at her book signing press conference: “I don’t think my temper has anything to do with my education. I’m not angry with such talks. There is a Chinese old saying that rumors stop before the wise…. I’m not worried about being misunderstood. I just say what I want to say.” You go, girl.
Earlier, Li played some street badminton, table tennis and even piano(!) with kids during her charity tour to impoverished schools in Beijing, donating money, books and stationery to the charity school. A heart of gold.
In summary, the life of a tennis player is never boring or dull even when you expect it to be after one of the biggest events in the sport. Next up, the ladies have already begun with their tournaments this week in Tashkent and Quebec, and the men are set to begin the Davis Cup semifinals.