2019 marks Rolex’s second season as the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the U.S. Open. After securing this partnership with the tournament in 2018 and another with the French Open in 2019, Rolex is now the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of all four Grand Slam tournaments. This solidifies the brand’s longstanding relationship with the sport of tennis, which spans over 40 years.
The Official Watch of the U.S. Open
Crown & Caliber was kind enough to loan me the Official Watch of the tournament – the Rolex Datejust – to wear on day seven. Here, I had the honor of watching tennis legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams secure their spots in the quarterfinals. I’ve had the pleasure of watching other tennis icons like Novak Djokovic play in the past. However, there was something particularly magical about this year’s matches. Maybe it was the watch on my wrist.
From the moment I put on the 36mm Datejust, I was amazed at how lightweight and effortless it was. I’m also a huge fan of yellow gold. So, the two-tone accents on the Jubilee bracelet, fluted bezel, hour markers, and hands were an aesthetic plus for me. It’s hard not to feel special any time you’re wearing a Rolex. However, being the Official Watch of the tournament, it somehow made me feel more connected to the experience overall. It was truly the perfect watch for a day of watching tennis.
Round of 16 – Roger Federer
In Round 16, Federer took on Belgian tennis player David Goffin. Despite his relatively impressive world No. 15 ranking, it just wasn’t Goffin’s day. Federer dominated the match with ease. He fired 35 winners and ten aces in addition to converting nine of his ten break-point opportunities. Ultimately, Federer clinched a win in just three sets – 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 – with the match lasting only an hour and eighteen minutes. After his quick victory, Federer remained on the court for a short interview. Sadly, he didn’t take a moment to strap on one of his own Rolex models for the cameras. Still, I was really captivated by the player’s words.
First, he briefly discussed the match and what it meant to advance to the quarterfinals. Then, Federer shared some poignant thoughts about the importance of joy during play – that keeping joy in the game is what has truly propelled him over his twenty-plus years of professional play. I have to admit, I’m the type who often pulls for the underdog. Sometimes powerhouse players who just continually dominate don’t do it for me. However, hearing Federer’s perspective really brought him down to earth. Finding joy in my work is something I’m always seeking. Learning we share in this philosophy gave me a completely new level of respect for the player. Unfortunately for Federer, his hopes of landing a twenty-first Grand Slam title were dashed two days later when he lost to Grigor Dimitrov.
Round of 16 – Serena Williams
Williams went head-to-head with world No. 22 ranked Croatian tennis pro Petra Martic in Round 16. Martic put up an admirable fight, winning five straight points in the first set. However, Williams quickly bounced back, ultimately clinching the first set with a killer drop shot. In the second set, Williams rolled her ankle following an impressive volley. After receiving medical attention, the star player returned to the match a bit shaken. With immense crowd support, Williams regained her rhythm and notched the victory she needed to advance to the quarterfinals. This was my first time watching Williams play in the flesh, and I was truly awestruck.
She wields her racket like a sword with intense power and passion behind each swing. I couldn’t help but imagine her in Game of Thrones taking on the likes of Brienne of Tarth. This incredible strength compliments her undeniable femininity and grace. She popped on the court in an all-purple ensemble.
However, the most exciting part of her look was the watch she wore during play. The Audemars Piguet ambassador opted for one of her favorite models – a Royal Oak Offshore. For this match, she chose a sleek variation featuring a panda dial, diamond-set bezel, and white rubber strap. The win also came on a particularly significant day for Williams – her daughter’s second birthday. Williams remained victorious in the quarterfinals with her eyes set on another Grand Slam title. Here, she defeated Wang Qiang in just 44 minutes. Then, she cruised into the finals, upsetting Elina Svitolina for her 101st U.S. Open win, tying the legendary Chris Evert’s tournament record. Unfortunately for Williams, her winning streak ended. She lost to Canadian player Bianca Andreescu in the final round of the tournament.