The highlight of attending a tennis tournament such as the US Open has to be watching the professionals play, seeing them put to the test and watching how they react.
Some are intense, angry with officials for what they consider bad calls (sometimes they are), but also with themselves for hitting bad shots. We’ve all been there before, where mentally it’s hard to play the next point.
But others are more relaxed about the sport. Maybe it’s their personality, or they are better at containing those emotions and using them for the perfect point. Or, it’s because they are at the point in life where they get that tennis isn’t everything. At least not anymore.
There’s something very liberating about that realization. We saw it with Kim Clijsters at her last US Open, both in singles and doubles matches. When she teamed up with Bob Bryan for mixed doubles, the matches were an absolute thrill to watch. It was clearly evident that she was having a blast on the court, laughing and joking with Bob, humiliated when she hit an overhead into the net, but equally thrilled when she put the ball away to score the winning point.
The two of them were having fun and it reminded us all that even when the stakes are high—like the US Open—it’s possible to just go out on the court and play some fun tennis (just check out the series of photos below where Kim missed a shot and got nothing but love from her partner, Bob).
She even threw in a couple chest bumps, something the Bryan brothers are famous for, and left tennis fans with really great memories before she left her career as a professional tennis player for good.