When Andy Murray beat out Novak Djokovic today to claim the top spot at Wimbledon and secure bragging rights for all of the United Kingdom, there was one thing that truly choked us up (besides his heartfelt speech): His girlfriend. Seeing Kim Sears in the stands alongside Murray's mother, cheering her heart out, got us wondering — just who are these amazing (and beautiful!) women who keep our favorite tennis pros going?
We see the cameras pan past them during tense points or gracious speeches, but we'd like to take the time to point out each and every one of these leading ladies. They say that behind every great man there's an even greater woman, and we've learned that our favorite tennis stars are no exception. Click through to find out the women to thank for those breathtaking Grand Slam moments.
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Kim Sears, Girlfriend of Andy Murray
We still choke up at the thought of Murray's sincere, caring speech at the 2012 London Olympics (and his gleeful sprint to kiss Sears after securing the title), so it's natural that this year's Wimbledon championship was no exception. She has been by the tennis player's side for years now, and she knows a thing or two about the sport herself — her father is a tennis coach.
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Maria Perello, Girlfriend of Rafael Nadal
Is there anything more heartwarming than childhood sweethearts? Perello and Nadal grew up together in Mallorca, Spain, and have been together for over seven years. The couple tries to keep a low profile, but the recent college grad is always there to support Rafa.
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Mirka Federer, Wife of Roger Federer
Even though the multi-Grand Slam winner lost in a huge upset in the second round of this year's tournament, he's lucky enough to call three lovely ladies family. His wife, Mirka, is a former professional tennis player (she retired in the early aughts due to injuries) and is now a super mom to the couple's twins.
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Ester Satorova, Girlfriend of Tomáš Berdych
While Berdych is gaining ground in the tennis community (he made it to Wimbledon's quarterfinals), he leans on model Ester Satorova for support — and support she does, showing up to all his major matches to cheer him on. The couple has been together for almost two years, and while we can't say for sure, we think this femme fatale has a whole lot to do with his recent success.
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Jarah Mariano, Girlfriend of Fernando Verdasco
We don't mean to be blunt, but Verdasco's leading lady is a total badass. Not only is she a successful model, but she had a role in Skyfall and counts surfing and swimming with sharks among her hobbies. Yowza.
Photo: Courtesy of Jarah Mariano/Twitter
Madison McKinley, Girlfriend of John Isner
Isner might be most famous for the longest match in tennis history (he won an 8-hour standoff at Wimbledon in 2010), but he seems to be doing quite well off the court as well. His gorgeous girlfriend is a constant on the sidelines — when she's not attending classes at Parsons, that is.
Photo: Courtesy of The Tennis Times
Brooklyn Decker, Wife of Andy Roddick
Okay, so Andy Roddick may be retired, but we had to give this adorable couple an honorable mention. Their rapid-fire romance culminated in a 2009 wedding, and Decker's managed to juggle family life and her red-hot career seamlessly. And, who could forget her calming presence during Roddick's tearjerker retirement speech?
Photo: Erik Pendzich/Rex USA