While the US Open is fast approaching, we just couldn't wait that long to mingle with some of tennis' elite. On Wednesday, August 26th, we were invited to attend Gotham Magazine’s Tennis Kick Off with CAA Sports, hosted by Czech tennis star Tomáš Berdych. The event was also the US debut of Berdych’s charity, The Tomáš Berdych Foundation, which aims to develop sports activities for children and adults who wish to live a healthier lifestyle. Held in the mecca of New York City at the Sanctuary Hotel's Haven Rooftop, guests were treated to gourmet hors d'oeuvres and drinks courtesy of Casa Noble Tequila, while getting a ticket with their invitation for a surprise later on in the night.
Arriving first to the event were the king and queen of the evening, Tomáš Berdych and his wife Ester Satorova, who were recently married. We were blown away by their style and poise, and couldn't help but smile at how in bliss the couple looked. We managed to snag both Tomáš and Ester away separately to talk about the charity, New York City, and who designed their stunning outfits.
Labeling Men: Tell us a little about the charity; it’s the reason we're all here tonight!
Tomáš Berdych: It’s the start up of my charity, which I’m trying to start with my team. It’s trying to bring the kids into tennis and with the first steps introducing them into the sports and the healthy lifestyle that comes along with it. I think I’m a good example of it and what I’ve been through, and just trying to bring them this opportunity. It’s definitely in the beginning, so let’s see how it’s going to go.
Labeling Men: That’s really inspiring. What is your favorite thing about coming to New York?
Tomáš Berdych: It’s a city of a million reasons. For me it was the first time that I ever qualified and played so it always stays in my memory. I really like the city, the energy which comes from the city, it’s very special and unique and I enjoy my time here.
Labeling Men: Last but not least, who are you wearing today?
Tomáš Berdych: I wanted to keep it simple and casual; the suit is H&M.
Labeling Men: Well it looks great! Enjoy the event tonight!
Tomáš Berdych: Thank you so much!
Labeling Men: First, I’d like to say congratulations on getting married!
Ester Satorova: Thank you very much!
Labeling Men: So tell us, how is married life going?
Ester Satorova: It’s what I expected, it’s not going to change in one day, it’s not going to change our lives in one day, but it’s a huge step in our lives. It is a huge step for us because our parents, they are married for many years and this is our kind of culture where we like to get married and have children, but we still have a lot of time to build our career. I feel great to be married and to say, “This is my husband!” This was actually the hardest step for me, not saying “my boyfriend” but “my husband.” So I’m looking forward to our future. It was so fast that day, but we enjoyed so much of our wedding!
Labeling Men: What is your favorite thing about visiting New York?
Ester Satorova: It’s a completely different world for us. We are from Europe, this is the city that never sleeps and for us, it’s amazing because we can visit many places and there are a lot of things to do. You can just think, I want go to a movie or go out at night or this or that and it’s so easy to do in the city. The biggest thing I’ve experienced here is that I’ve met many people and you get to know a lot of them and I’ve met some great friends and I always love coming back to New York.
Labeling Men: You look stunning; tell us who you’re wearing today?
Ester Satorova: I’m wearing a Tom Ford dress and Sophia Webster shoes. It’s one of my favorite designers and it’s summer, so I combined the white dress with the gold shoes and handbag, so it’s my favorite outfit for tonight.
Labeling Men: Do you have any additional favorite designers?
Ester Santorova: There is plenty! I love Calvin Klein and Givenchy, and for a woman thing, Victoria’s Secret’s style is just amazing and it’s just incredible!
Labeling Men: Thank you very much!
As we continued the red carpet, guests who came out for the charity included Chantelle Fraser of Bravo’s Blood, Sweat & Heels and PhunkeeDuck creators, Matt Waxman and Maxx Yellin, who made an entrance on their personalized PhunkeeDucks. We also saw legendary fitness guru Shaun T. We spoke to him about tennis and managed to snag his predictions for men’s and women's US Open champions.
Labeling Men: Are you from New York?
Shaun T: No, I’m from New Jersey but I consider myself basically from New York.
Labeling Men: I’ve been asking everybody else so I’ll ask the native, what is your favorite thing from New York?
Shaun T: I think it’s just the people, it’s the amount of people, it always has a lot of energy. If you know me, you know I have a crazy amount of energy, I can walk outside and I’m like, “YES”!
Labeling Men: Do you watch tennis?
Shaun T: Not only do I watch tennis, but I play tennis every single day of my life.
Labeling Men: Do you have a favorite player on tour?
Shaun T: I have a couple of favorite players for different reasons. I love Serena Williams, she is my ultimate favorite because I love her fight and her power.
Labeling Men: Absolutely!
Shaun T: I love [Roger] Federer for his finesse. I love [Rafael] Nadal for his athleticism and I love [Tomas] Berdych because he has the most amazing quads you will ever see! Power, power!
Labeling Men: Who do you think is going to win the US Open this year?
Shaun T: Oh man! I definitely think Serena is going to win on the women’s side and I’m really thinking Federer is going to take it this year.
Labeling Men: You heard it here first!
Towards the end of the night, Berdych made a speech in regards to his charity, urging people to donate. The surprise at the end of the night was that each person received a ticket for a live raffle drawing being held by Tomáš, Ester, Gotham Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Catherine Sabino, and 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic. Prizes included US Open tickets, a trio of LA Kings/Clippers/Lakers tickets, a bag from "Vineyard & Vines,” just to name a few. All the guests we spoke to were moved by the generosity of the gifts donated and marveled at how passionate both Tomas and Ester were about the cause.
To make a donation to the Tomas Berdych foundation visit the website here .
By Nisim Frank
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images for Gotham Magazine, provided by Niche Media