The first Saturday is traditionally the day when the great and the good of the sporting world are welcomed to Wimbledon to take their places in the Royal Box. This year is no exception and the list reads like a Who’s Who. Boris Becker, Bobby Charlton, Alastair Cook, Geoff Boycott, Matt Dawson, Mark Foster, Ryan Giggs, Dame Kelly Holmes, Martina Navratilova, Ilie Nastase, Jack Nicklaus, Frank Sedgman, Amy Williams will all take their bows. Oh and Phil Tufnell, too.
I’ve left out lots of other notable names but you get the point. Actually, it’s quite nice to see some of the sporting world’s most famous names show interest in tennis – even if I’d lay good money on very few of them watching all of the David Ferrer v Andy Roddick match. That’s the perfect time for a spot of tea, returning in time to watch Andy Murray take on Marcos Baghdatis. But the place was buzzing on Saturday morning with rumours that David Beckham will be showing up. If there’s no room for him in the Royal Box, then I am sure he will find a place in Murray’s box, not least because they share the same agents.
Many sports stars fancy they could have been a star in another walk of life. Ivan Lendl, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Scott Draper have all tried professional golf; many turn into administrators in the game and others dream of making a living doing other sports.
But the big crossover has always been music. The Bryan Brothers are good musicians and can sing (although allowing Andy Murray to guest on “Autograph” was perhaps not the wisest move), Maria Sharapova admits to singing Cher’s “Do you believe in love” as her karaoke song and Venus Williams has been belting out Whitney Houston and Maria Carey songs when she has a bad day. Yannick Noah is now a music star in France and John McEnroe and Pat Cash fancied themselves as rock stars. McEnroe recently called it a delusion, but Cash is still going strong and on Friday night the 1987 Wimbledon champion was in The Dog and Fox, playing his guitar. Apparently he was very sweaty.