We must savour life’s big moments
It's been quite a week after watching Jamie successfully defend his US Open mixed doubles title in New York. You only get mixed doubles in the four Grand Slams, and Jamie’s had a lot of success in it – that was his third US Open mixed final. The most important rule is to keep your partner happy, and he does a really good job of that because he’s always smiling and encouraging. I went out for the first week of the event and, as much as I love New York, a week of the hustle, bustle and humidity was long enough. But when Jamie won the semi-final with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, I made the decision to go back over. After all, these are such big and special moments in your kids’ lives and you just never know whether there’s going to be another one. This was Jamie’s sixth Grand Slam title which is an incredible achievement by anyone’s standards, and he doesn’t really get the attention or the credit perhaps that he ought to for the level he’s competing at. Sadly, doubles has relatively little media exposure. There are lots of ups and downs in tennis. When you win a tournament everything becomes about you. If you’re the runner up – and the boys have been runners up on many occasions – it’s a very, very lonely place to be. You go back to a deserted locker room, pack up, do your media and find your way to the airport. After Jamie’s win, he showered, grabbed some food and went to the obligatory press conference with Bethanie. I went to listen with Jamie’s wife and, at the end they allow the champions to recognise the contribution of their coaches and award them their own trophy. It’s a lovely thing and the US Open is the only Grand Slam to do that. Often in these situations players are going on to another tournament so they ship out quickly and there is no time to celebrate. I wish we had more time to recognise these moments, celebrate as a family and appreciate what’s been achieved, but you don’t always get the chance. The women’s final followed which was marred by the controversy over Serena’s dispute with the umpire. I’ve turned interview requests down about this because it’s such a polarising issue. The sad thing is it overshadowed Naomi Osaka’s fabulous win and that’s a real shame.
Jamie and his partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands