The décor was elegant and chic, the guests were relaxed and the wine was flowing.
At the official launch party for the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton’s Legends tennis tournament, the visiting professional tennis players mingled with lucky guests who relaxed on sofas on the beach or enjoyed some of the fine cuisine and drinks available.
Defending champion Jim Courier took a break in the evening to introduce each of the players to the guests and talk to them about their upcoming matches, or, in the case of Mark Philippoussis, Wayne Ferreira, Jimmy Arias and Mats Wilander, the matches they had performed previously that day in the first matches of the four-day tennis tournament.
The tournament finished on Sunday with Courier maintaining his title, beating out Arias who put in solid performances throughout the tournament. Philippoussis also impressed, with wins over Ferreira before being knocked out by Courier in the semifinals.
Arias announced to the crowd that he lives in Cayman part of the year and has fallen in love with the island, while Pat Cash and Wilander declared their intentions to get out and take advantage of the island with some scuba diving and relaxing – particularly Wilander, who had been knocked out of the tournament earlier that day and therefore had a few days of vacation ahead of him.
Players were courteous and friendly, making conversation and cracking jokes with all the guests.
Melissa Ladley, director of public relations at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, was delighted with the event, and the tournament that it launched.
‘The Legends Championships Thursday Night Whites party is designed to be elegant and intimate yet relaxed,’ said Mrs. Ladley. ‘We measure success on each guest being able to get to know the players and make that individual connection that wouldn’t be possible on The Courts during match play.
‘We are so fortunate that the owner of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Michael Ryan, has such a passion for tennis that allows us to be part of such an exciting tournament.’