Whenever Donald Trump’s around, it’s always the Trump Show. So when the blustery mogul invited his pal, Serena Williams, to help him inaugurate the new tennis center at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., on Tuesday, even the number-one ranked player in the world knew to throw a point.
Williams hit the ceremonial first serve to Trump at an event marking the opening of the tricked-out tennis center. Trump volleyed back, but then hit a shot that went wide — but on his second try (hyper-competitive Trump, of course, wanted a rematch), she seemed to let him score. Mmmkay, so maybe it was a little long, but when your name’s Trump and you’re playing on a Trump court, it’s literally your rules.
And what’s a point or two between friends? Trump, who purchased the former Lowes Island Club in 2009, didn’t seem to mind sharing the spotlight with Williams. The crowd of champagne-sipping club members — many decked out in golf polos and tennis skirts — mobbed the athlete for selfies and a few old-school autographs, while local poobahs pressed the flesh with Trump, who was flanked by son and business partner Eric Trump.
But even while complimenting Williams during the brief ceremony, the maybe-presidential candidate couldn’t refrain from name-dropping other VIPs. Once, while extolling Williams’s recent Vogue cover as a testimony to the athlete’s fashion sense: “I know Anna Wintour, and she doesn’t do something like that just because she likes watching you play tennis.” Another came after he called Williams the “greatest” female player. “And Chris is a friend; I have lots of friends.” That was, presumably, a reference to former No. 1 player Chris Evert.
The center itself smacks of Trump’s over-the-top aesthetic, with unusual blue-surfaced courts and locker rooms that look more like something you’d find in a luxury hotel than a fitness club. Even Williams, who’s seen a few, was impressed. “It’s beautiful,” she enthused . “Those fabulous chandeliers — this doesn’t look like your average tennis facility.”
But Trump wasn’t waiting for anyone else to boast about the new building, or for the golf club itself. That, of course, is a job best left to Trump himself. “It’s considered the best in Washington — the best in the tri-state,” he said, adding that the scenic greens would soon host some “big-big” tournaments. Ah, okay, tell that to the guys at Congressional.
Trump, it seems, already did. “I said to my friends at Congressional … you don’t have the Potomac River, we do.”
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