(Legends Dick Savitt, Stan Smith, Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Buch Buchholz, Pam Shriver and Tony Trabert)
Last Friday night, while rain was wreaking havoc on the U.S. Open‘s schedule and a dramatic weekend of tennis had yet to be played out, the legends of the sport descended on the International Tennis Hall of Fame‘s Legends Ball in Midtown Manhattan for a night of celebration.
The event was held at Cipriani, across the street from Grand Central Station, a beautiful space with “towering marble columns and soaring ceilings” as its web site says.
While there were plenty of celebs at such an event, the tennis legends themselves were really the ones who guests had their eyes on. TSF stole the ear of a few of the former tennis greats to ask a few questions and find out just what they were thinking about the current state of the sport of tennis.
TSF: What do you think of Melanie Oudin’s run to the quarterfinals?
TA: What a fairy tale run for Melanie, a sweet girl that’s so spunky. She’s got a lot of speed and heart. If she continues to play like this for the rest of the year she can establish herself. It’s refreshing to see someone like her make such a run.
TSF: Will a player as young as 14 or 15 ever make a big splash in tennis again? We saw it up through the beginning of this decade, but are those days over?
MN: I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. There is too much power in the game right now for someone that young to come up and play with these women. I hope a girl like Hingis will come along again who has creativity variety in her game.
TSF: What is one thing you can NEVER leave home without while traveling?
MS: My dog. Definitely my dog. It was the same when I was playing, I can never the poor thing at home.
We weren’t too surprised Monica answered like that, and the recent Hall of Fame inductee was by far the most popular gal of the evening, having her shoulder tapped at every turn. She palled around with good friend Mary Joe Fernandez, sipped on Diet Coke and greeted everyone with a sincere “It’s so good to see you!”
Check out more of the legends’ attire after the cut.
While Monica got the award for “best dressed” for the evening, we couldn’t quite agree with Pam’s choice of flowers on a black dress with spaghetti strings. Seems very I’m-going-to-a-high-school-graduation inspired, no? Martina charmed in a black zip up pant suit.
The women seemed to be making outfit choices based on the gloomy weather outside, with dark colors dominating the night. Robin Roberts of ABC shined in her button-up with ruffle sleeves, while host Whoopi Goldberg looked classic. Jeannie Moutoussamy-Ashe put a floral rose top over black pants and the late Gene Scott’s wife, Polly, was simple in black, as well.
The only person possibly more famous than Monica on this night was her good friend, former New York mayor, David Dinkins. The two posed with Monica’s book, “Get A Grip”.
(photos by Jenn Pottheiser)