Tennis star makes waves in Cayman

As one of the world’s best tennis players, Caroline Wozniacki has faced almost every challenge the game has to offer. But Tuesday on Seven Mile Beach, the Danish superstar had a new obstacle to overcome – an opponent in jet boots.

Ms. Wozniacki, the reigning Australian Open Champion, rallied with flyboard instructor Taylor West of SWS Cayman.

The stunt was part of an appearance by the tennis star who has a sponsorship agreement with The Residences at Seafire, owned by Dart.

Ms. Wozniacki met with fans on the beach, signed tennis balls and took part in a “beach bullseye challenge,” trying to hit targets in the water with a tennis ball.

Even for someone who has graced the most prestigious arenas in the game, she admits there were a few nerves as she took to the purpose-built stage outside the resort.

“It was a lot of pressure and I didn’t hit it [the target] till the last ball I had left. It was fun though. I was close to the target many times but I finally hit it on the last shot,” she said.

Scores of children, vacationers and locals got a chance to meet the tennis champ and have a go at hitting the target themselves.

“Everyone had a lot of fun,” Ms. Wozniacki said. “There was a kid who hit the target on his second go, which was pretty impressive.”

Caroline Wozniacki hosted a beach bullseye challenge with kids taking turns to try to hit a target. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The main part of the spectacle was the match-up between Ms. Wozniacki and Mr. West, formerly a tennis instructor himself.

Asked if she would consider switching roles and putting on the jet boots next time, she said, “I will definitely have to practice first. I have never been on one so I would need to get my feet stable first, and then maybe that would be the next thing.”

Mr. West said the flyboarders were initially supposed to be ball boys for the bullseye challenge.

“I figured, why not give it a try and hit some balls?” Now he thinks they might have invented a new sport.

“I’ve got a lot of friends back home now challenging me to matches of sky tennis,” he said. “It’s 2018, why not?”

Ms. Wozniacki signed a deal with the Dart group to be a brand ambassador for the Residences at Seafire in 2018.

She is expected to make several visits to the island as part of the partnership and carries the logo of the resort, where she stays when she is in Cayman, on her tennis bag.

This was her second trip to the island. She visited in December and promptly went on to win the Australian Open – her first Grand Slam title – in January.

She hopes this visit could be the impetus for even more success.

“The French Open is the next big tournament so I hope it is my good luck charm for that,” she added.

“I love staying at the Seafire residences. It is my home away from home, it’s beautiful here and I love coming back.”

Next up for the tennis star are tournaments in Istanbul, Rome and Madrid, ahead of the French Open. She hopes to find time to return to Cayman for some rest and relaxation later in the year.

“I just really love it here,” she said. “People are so friendly and so nice, the food is great and the beaches are beautiful; what is not to love?”