What do tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams have in common with Jack Nicklaus? Well, ahead of Wimbledon, the sisters have been practicing at the 18-time major winner’s courts at his home in Jupiter, Florida.
Jack Nicklaus is a massive tennis fan, saying in recent years that if equivalent to golf, he’d be a single-digit handicapper at the sport, and at his Florida home he has three grass courts which the Williams sisters have been getting to grips with in recent weeks.
"He’s so nice to let us use his courts, it was fun" - Serena Williams
Speaking ahead of her first round match against Margarita Gasparyan, Serena Williams said: “Me and Venus were at Jack Nicklaus’ place, that’s where we’ve been training. He’s so nice to let us use his courts, it was fun.”
And Nicklaus must be building a significant reputation in the USA about having some of the finest grass courts in the country as they were also used by South African Kevin Anderson in preparation for Queen’s, where he was beaten by Andy Murray in the final.
At the time, he said: “I was very lucky, because Jack has got three courts up in Jupiter, and it’s only 30 minutes away from me. He was out there watching the practices in the beginning, so that was pretty special as well.”
Asked how the arrangement with Jack Nicklaus came about, Anderson replied: “My coach back home, Jay Bosworth, has been living there for ages, and he made some calls. The tennis community is always so small, so when somebody has three grass courts, most people know about it.
“I know Ivan Lendl played there way back with Jay, as well. I thought Jack was going to get out on the court but each time when we chatted a little bit, he didn’t bring out the racket.”