File this under “celebrities are just like us.” Grammy winners, Oscar winners, fellow athletes, royals and politicians – you name it, and they’re a fan of our sport (or a certain player in particular!). We saw the entire spectrum this year, so here’s a look at the top unforgettable moments involving celebrities:
Honorable Mention – (Mirka) Federer Fanboy: Legendary musician (and Tommy Haas’ father-in-law) David Foster was in Halle for Roger Federer’s final against Tommy. The many-time Grammy winner was sitting next to Mirka Federer and was clearly more interested in capturing that moment than what was happening on court.
Honorable Mention – Pau-erful Hug: It’s no secret that Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard, NBA star Pau Gasol, are mejores amigos. But in case you weren’t aware, maybe you realized it after Rafa won a record 7th Roland Garros title, jumped up to his box, hugged his family and then adorably hugged Pau. What a moment. Vamos, España!
Honorable Mention – Fed Cup Crasher: Professional golfer (former world no.1) Martin Kaymer of Germany was in Stuttgart to support the German girls during their Fed Cup tie against Australia. Seems Martin also used his celebrity to get himself closer to the ladies… and one in particular… for an autograph. And maybe her phone number? Hmm…
12. Man of Monaco: In April, Monaco resident Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic met with Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene as Novak was awarded the Vermeil Sport medal of Monaco for Physical Education and Sports. Are we sure there aren’t two royal couples of Monaco?
11. What a Wonderful Charity Event: Octogenarian and singing superstar Tony Bennett hosted a charity event to benefit Exploring the Arts in March at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center in Key Biscayne. Players in attendance included the Bryan Brothers, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison and Caroline Wozniacki. Major star power to support a good cause.
10. FLOTUS in the Box: First lady of the United States Michelle Obama was in London for the Olympics and took in some tennis, one of her favorite sports. Who better to support than eventual gold medalist Serena Williams? Mrs. Obama chatted up sister Venus (and former gymnast Dominique Dawes) during her visit to the All England Club.
9. Prince and a King: The often-called King of Tennis rubbed elbows with British royalty, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during Wimbledon. Prince Charles looked awfully smitten with Roger Federer but, then again, who isn’t?
8. Famous Friends: Chandler Bing? Yup, Matthew Perry is an Andy Murray fanboy! A little known fact is that Matthew was actually once a nationally-ranked Canadian junior, so it’s no wonder he loves our sport! After his US Open win, Andy caught up with Mr. Bing while on his media tour in NYC. He even let him hold his US Open trophy.
7. Masha Lately: Maria Sharapova appeared on Chelsea Lately in February and it seems a new friendship was born! The comedian was spotted in Sharapova’s box during the Olympics in London. And after Masha won the silver medal in women’s singles, Chelsea even joined Masha for dinner at London restaurant Zuma.
6. Gettin’ Roger With It: Will Smith attended the Madrid Masters final and was part of the trophy presentation. Odd, you say? Not if you remember he was there promoting his latest movie at the time, Men in Black III. As part of his winner’s swag, in addition to a spikey trophy, Federer was gifted the suit that Smith wore in Men in Black III. In return, Federer attended the movie’s Madrid premiere.
5. Fanboy Spacey: Kevin Spacey crowned himself Andy Murray’s number one fan this year. First, at the US Open, he managed to work his way onto Team Murray to the point where he even warmed Andy up for one of his matches (which has to be why he won the title, right?). Now they’re such BFFs that Kev was snapping pics of Andy during his matches at the World Tour Finals and hanging out with him near the locker room.
4. Dance With Me On Arthur Ashe, Maybe: The song that was stuck in our heads all year got a little tennis twist as Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish (along with Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin) helped Carly Rae Jepsen out with her hit single at Arthur Ashe Kids Day, even dancing along with her on the court.
3. He Loves Tennis and He Knows It: Love him or hate him, RedFoo was a permanent fixture on the tennis tour during the US Open (and beyond!). While he was coaching a junior player and working on his own line of tennis clothes, he managed to find time to crash Victoria Azarenka’s press conference too.
2. From Scotland With Love: Sir Sean Connery. He’s Scottish. And a tennis fan? Who knew! He crashed one of Andy Murray’s press conferences during the US Open with Andy’s mom, Judy. But his best moment? While cheering on Andy during the US Open final, the camera panned to him, as he’s wearing a US Open hat, and he fist pumps. So very 007.
1. Royal Flush: This year’s Wimbledon and Olympics were all about the royals. We were treated to Duchess Catherine (with her sister Pippa) in the Royal Box for the Wimbledon Men’s final, Prince William and Duchess Catherine (doing the wave!) during the Olympics and later – royal by affiliation – Pippa in attendance a few times at the US Open in New York in Roger Federer’s box (she also schmoozed with Novak Djokovic after his World Tour Finals win. Yes, she gets around). Now that there’s a little royal on the way, can we hope it will grow up playing a spot of tennis? I’ll just give one name suggestion: Andrew.
(Images: Getty Images, AP, Hollywire, Reuters, US Open, Tumblr, Fed Cup)