The conquering heroines
How Rolex supports the women striving for Wimbledon glory
To reach the top in tennis and to stay there, a player needs more than just talent. She needs to be able to call on deep reserves of physical and mental strength that allow her to ride the ebb and flow of a single match – or an entire season – and emerge triumphant.
Resilience, self-belief and an unwavering quest for excellence are hallmarks of the best women players.
Take the case of Caroline Wozniacki, ranked second in the world. She won her first WTA Tour title ten years ago, and the following year made it through to her first Grand Slam final at the US Open. She ended 2010 and 2011 as world No. 1.
But over the next six years, the Dane lost her foothold at the top of the game. Despite appearing in another US Open final in 2014, injuries and a loss of form meant that by August 2016 her ranking had dropped as low as 74.
Wozniacki’s return to peak performance in 2018, securing her first Grand Slam and defeating world No. 1 Simona Halep in an epic three-set final at the Australian Open, is proof of her resilience and fortitude. As a Rolex Testimonee, her decade-long quest to reach the pinnacle of tennis embodies her commitment to excellence, a quality she shares with the Rolex family of Testimonees.
Speaking after her Australian triumph, Wozniacki said it was an honour to represent Rolex, a brand known for precision and performance – “things I can easily relate to, and I hope I’m known for the same qualities. We share the same values”.
‘I feel good when I wear it’
These shared goals lie at the heart of Rolex’s relationship with tennis. The Swiss watchmaker has five Testimonees among the top 12 WTA-ranked women, including Jelena Ostapenko, the Latvian winner of last year’s French Open, Caroline Garcia from France, German former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, and Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016 and holds the 2017 Wimbledon title.
For Muguruza, her association with Rolex is a vindication of her sporting endeavours and a reward for her accomplishments. Her father always told her that owning a Rolex was the result of effort and ambition. “When I look at this watch today, I see joy,” she says. “I see me working hard for what I wanted. I see me being an independent woman. I see myself giving everything I have to catch my dreams.”
It is the same for Kerber, who in 2016 won the Australian and US Opens. “I think the watch is also part of me,” she says. “It gives me confidence to wear it because I know the story of the watch and I feel good when I can wear it, when I can show it to the people that maybe don’t know my story.”
For the German, owning a Rolex and being a Testimonee makes her one of a select few who have reached the pinnacle of their chosen discipline. “It means a lot to be part of the Rolex family because everybody has achieved something really big,” she says. “Everybody has ups and downs – they learn from the toughest moments and they never give up.”
‘It’s about class and integrity’
Rolex has been involved with tennis for four decades, and its commitment to the women’s game is reflected in the rollcall of its Testimonees, not just from the present day but also from the sport’s glorious past.
Among them is Justine Henin, remembered as one of the most complete players in women’s tennis and renowned for wearing her Rolex on court. Chris Evert, one of the game’s undisputed greats, is another.
For Evert, her timepiece represents all of her most significant achievements – in tennis but also in business and in her family life. “I’m very proud to wear a Rolex watch, I feel like I’m in an exclusive club of excellence,” she says. “It’s not only the most successful people but it’s the best sportsmen, it’s the best behaved. It’s all about class and integrity.”
Backing great players and tournaments
Rolex has a close association with the WTA, and for a decade has demonstrated its commitment to promoting women’s tennis through sponsorship of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals, one of the principle competitions on the women’s circuit.
The watchmaker’s commitment to tennis also extends across the game. It has partnerships with two of the four Grand Slam tournaments, Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and sponsors the ATP World Tour, the Davis Cup and several other elite tournaments, all of which embody the qualities that are familiar to Rolex-wearers the world over – including those on court. For players, tournament organisers and spectators alike, the 40-year association between Rolex and tennis stands for a shared commitment to excellence, endurance and performance at the highest level.