|Posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:55 PM|
CITI OPEN 2014
Tennis Meets Manchester United In Washington D.C
by ATP Staff | 28.07.2014
Stars of tennis and football came together on Monday afternoon as Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori and Jamie Murray met with Manchester United players, who are in Washington, D.C., ahead of a pre-season friendly with Inter Milan on Tuesday night.
Manchester United were represented by Spanish star Juan Mata, new club signing Ander Herrera and winger Antonio Valencia. The players exchanged shirts, with Berdych also presenting the footballers with one of his racquets, before taking part in a skills challenge.
First up, Murray tried out his keepy-uppy skills under the watchful eye of Mata and Herrera, before tennis fan Mata – who has previously attended the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as a guest of Rafael Nadal – attempted juggling a tennis ball on his racquet. The Spaniard made light work of his own keepy-uppy challenge, casually asking when he should stop after more than a minute bouncing the tennis ball on his foot.
The sports stars spent time chatting, with avid Manchester United fan Murray keen to get the inside track on latest transfer happenings at the club, while also welcoming newcomer Herrera, who talked to the Scot about the challenges of learning English. Murray, whose wife is Colombian, is an improving Spanish speaker.
Players competing at this week’s Citi Open have been invited to Manchester United’s match on Tuesday night at the FedEx Field in Washington, D.C.
Work and play in Washington DC
Eagle-eyed Manchester United fans might have spotted some players and club legends around Washington DC on Monday during a number of special visits.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Paddy Crerand were up early to go to the Capitol Building and Washington Monument. Later in the day, tennis fans Juan Mata, Ander Herrera andAntonio Valencia took time out to meet some other famous sportsmen who were in town. Tennis stars and United fans Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych and Jamie Murray, brother of Andy, are all involved in the Citi Open in DC and were delighted to meet the Reds' trio.
Mata, a keen tennis player as a youngster, was equally excited. "It was very nice to meet the players. I love tennis and when I can I always go to tournaments to see the players in action," he told ManUtd.com. "I used to play when I was a kid but I ended up playing more football!
"Rafa [Nadal] is a big hero, an amazing guy too and very humble. And Roger [Federer] has such class. [Novak] Djokovic has been great in the last few years and he's at the top now because he deserves it. It was great to chat to Jamie - his mum must be very proud of him and Andy. I wish them all the best for the season."
Juan Mata and Antonio Valencia of Manchester United meet tennis player Tomas Berdych who is playing in the Citi Open, at their hotel on July 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.