HomeSportThe most stylish tennis tournament ever saw Arnie strip off and meet...

The most stylish tennis tournament ever saw Arnie strip off and meet his wife, Muhammad Ali and Hollywood elite pick up rackets

Golf’s Pebble Beach may be by far the biggest sports-celebrity crossover, but in the 1970s it had some serious competition.

And while Soccer Aid might stake its claim with Usain Bolt and Will Ferrell, when it comes to aesthetics, nothing quite compares to The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Tennis Tournament.


The tournament saw Dustin Hoffman line up with Arther AsheCredit: Getty
Greats of music and sport collided


Greats of music and sport collidedCredit: Getty

The New York series took place every year, usually ahead of the prestigious US Open, to remember the former United States attorney general who was assassinated in 1968.

Raising money for a number of different charities, celebrities and fans had to pay for access to the West Side Tennis Club, and certainly got their money’s worth.

Even without the tennis stars on show, fans and photographers were witness to some of the most incredible celebrity crossovers, including boxing GOAT Muhammad Ali and ‘The King of Pop’ Michael Jackson.

Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman, Clint Eastwood and James Caan were regulars, wearing some of the most stylish tennis outfits fit for a runway.

Outshining them all, though, was one world famous actor who even ditched his polo.

A shirtless Arnold Schwarzenegger was a highlight for many fans as the professional bodybuilder, who later became the ultimate Hollywood action star, showed off his extraordinary physique, which even landed him his ex-wife Maria Shriver.

Recalling their first encounter in 1977, The Terminator told Netflix documentary Arnold: “Before the actual tennis tournament, there was a big party. All of the Kennedys were there.

“Eunice [Kennedy Shriver, sister of former president John F. Kennedy] came up to me and said, ‘Oh, hi, it’s so good to have you here. By the way, this is my daughter, Maria Shriver’.”

Eastwood showed his elegance


Eastwood showed his eleganceCredit: Getty
Godfather star Caan also turned up


Godfather star Caan also turned upCredit: Getty
A topless Arnie impressed the crowd


A topless Arnie impressed the crowdCredit: Getty
And was dating a fan a year later


And was dating a fan a year laterCredit: Getty

Schwarzenegger replied to her: “Well, your daughter has a really nice a**. I said, ‘I have to tell you that.'” he explained as he recalled the regret in one of the more unique first impressions he’ll ever make.

“Eunice said, ‘Thank you,’ and then she walked away, kind of like, ‘What the hell.'”

“It was a stupid thing to say. I don’t know why I said it,” Schwarzenegger added.

“After it was over, she and Caroline Kennedy came over to me and started chatting. Then Maria said, ‘I think you should come to Hyannis Port with us tonight.'”

In 1986 the pair got married in Massachusetts and had four children, divorcing in 2011 around the time it was revealed the actor had fathered a child 14 years earlier.

In New York today, there’s still plenty of star appeal in Flushing Meadows, with the US Open charity event raising $320,000 for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

NBA star Jimmy Butler picked up his racket to team up with Frances Tiafoe and take on men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz and Grammy winner Sebastian Yatra.

Butler even did what not many can – take a point off Alcaraz.




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