Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Men to watch at Wimbledon
Roger FedererTim HenmanRafael NadalAndy RoddickGreg RusedskiLleyton HewittMark PhilippoussisMarat Safin

We all know Tim Henman has reached four Wimbledon semi-finals - but did you know the naughty Brit was chucked out of the tournament in 1995?

Forget the ranking and win-loss records, BBC Sport brings you the facts you really need to know about this year's Wimbledon contenders...

Roger Federer
Odds: 4/6

  • Also known as - Fed Express.

  • Wimbledon high - Confirmed his genius by winning his first Grand Slam title at the All England Club in 2003.

  • Wimbledon low - He might want to forget crying like a girl during the subsequent on-court interview with the BBC's Sue Barker.

  • In the players' box - Miroslava 'Mirka' Vavrinec - his agent and girlfriend of five years. Vavrinec was a professional tennis player ranked 76th in the world but her career was ended by a foot injury.

  • Tears or tantrums? - Unless Sue Barker gets to him again, Federer is far too cool.

  • Look out for - ... him losing. Federer has not been beaten on grass since 2002. He has only lost three times this year - spookily, both his Grand Slam conquerors (Safin at the Australian Open and Nadal at the French) were celebrating their birthdays on the day they played the world number one.

Andy Roddick
Odds: 9/2

  • Also known as - A-Rod, Hot Rod.

  • Wimbledon high - Roddick looked set to upset Federer in last year's final after a barrage of power-hitting bagged him the first set but a rain delay halted his momentum and he faded.

  • Wimbledon low - In a "Weakest Link" Wimbledon special, Roddick was asked 'what name for a female sheep is also a letter of the alphabet?' Roddick thought long and hard before replying "Baaah".

  • In the players' box - Roddick split with pop star/actress Mandy Moore last year so there's unlikely to be much glamour in the players' box - unless you count his coach Dean Goldfine.

  • Tears or tantrums? - He's a bundle of pent-up energy on court, but he doesn't usually blow his stack. He seems to have learnt his lesson after calling an umpire an "absolute moron" at the 2001 US Open.

  • Look out for - ...him at a U2 concert. He's going to see the Irish supergroup while he's over in the UK.

Lleyton Hewitt
Odds: 10/1

  • Also known as - Rusty, Rocky...or Satan Hewitt to the Australian press.

  • Wimbledon high - Hewitt did what fellow Aussie Pat Rafter was unable to with victory in 2002 and celebrated with "a few beers and a few mates".

  • Wimbledon low - The following year, he was the victim of one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history when he lost in the first round to man mountain Ivo Karlovic.

  • In the players' box - No Kim Clijsters this year after tennis' dream team split in November. In her place steps Hewitt's pregnant fiancee Bec Cartwright - star of Home and Away and recently named "Sexiest woman in Australia and New Zealand" by FHM magazine.

  • Tears or tantrums? - Jimmy Connors was an angel compared to Hewitt. From calling the umpire a "spastic" at the 2001 French Open to getting involved in a race dispute at the US Open five months later, from winding up the Australian press to his long-running argument with the ATP..... this man loves a scrap.

  • Look out for - ...his cry of 'Come aaaaaawn, Rock' - a reference to fictional boxer Rocky, Hewitt's hero.

Rafael Nadal
Odds: 12/1

  • Also known as - Rafa, El Nino, El Prodigio.

  • Wimbledon high - He's only played once, but he reached the third round in 2003, knocking out Mario Ancic along the way.

  • Wimbledon low - Give him time.

  • In the players' box - Coach is his uncle Toni. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia turned out to watch Nadal win the French Open this year - and young Rafa gave them a hug after sealing victory.

  • Tears or tantrums? - None - life is too sweet for the Mallorcan teen dream.

  • Look out for -...his three-quarter length trousers and sleeveless shirt. How will the All England Club cope?

Marat Safin
Odds: 16/1

  • Also known as - "Headless Horseman" - so called by veteran American journalist/commentator Bud Collins because of the Russian's unpredictability.

  • Wimbledon high - Er...

  • Wimbledon low - Hard to pick one, but how about last year's first-round defeat to obscure Russian Dmitry Tursunov?

  • In the players' box - Former Russian president Boris Yeltsin is a big fan and even mixed it with the ordinary folk on Court Two last year to see him in action. On his run to the 2002 Aussie Open final, Safin was supported by a bevy of blonde admirers, nicknamed the Safinettes.

  • Tears or tantrums? - Safin is justifiably proud of his record for breaking racquets. He estimates he has destroyed over 300 in his career.

  • Look out for - ...him turning up. After last year's horror show, a sulking Safin said: "I hate this. I give up on Wimbledon."

Tim Henman
Odds: 14/1

  • Also known as - Tiger Tim (when he wins), Timid Tim (when he loses).

  • Wimbledon high - In the 1998 semi-final, the rampant Brit had Sampras on the ropes when he levelled at one set all. We know the rest - but Sampras was moved to predict Tim would "win this thing one day". We're still waiting, Pete.

  • Wimbledon low - In 1995, naughty Henman became the first player in history to be thrown out when a ball he hit in anger accidentally smacked a ball girl in the face.

  • In the players' box - Don't expect too many stars, just the familiar sight of stoney-faced Mr and Mrs Henman and a nervous-looking Lucy. But will two-year-old daughter Rosie make her Centre Court bow?

  • Tears or tantrums? - Seems unlikely. The best Henman usually offers is a muttered profanity.

  • Look out for - ...him having a crafty fag at the change of ends. Last year, friends shattered Tim's squeaky-clean image when they revealed that Oxford's finest used to enjoy the occasional cigarette.

Greg Rusedski
Odds: 125/1

  • Also known as - Grinning Greg.

  • Wimbledon high - In his first Wimbledon as a Brit, Rusedski reached the fourth round before falling to Sampras. (We'll turn a blind eye to the attempt to endear himself to the fans with a Sun-sponsored Union Jack bandana.)

  • Wimbledon low - Vince Spadea had put together a record 21-match losing streak before coming up against Rusedski in 2000. Even the American admitted he was surprised by his five-set win. Rusedski was understandably devastated.

  • In the players' box - Wife Lucy will certainly be there but given that the Rusedskis are friends with the Beckhams, perhaps Posh might join her?

  • Tears or tantrums? - No one will ever forget Rusedski's remarkable Centre Court outburst in 2003 - largely because he used a very British swear word during an astonishing tirade.

  • Look out for -...his hair. Rusedski is a man in the middle of a barnet crisis. He even experimented with a Beckham-style hairband recently - which did nothing to hide the fast receding hairline.

Mark Philippoussis
Odds: 80/1

  • Also known as - Scud, The Pou, Flip.

  • Wimbledon high - Philippoussis was the story of 2003 when he reached the final - two years after he was confined to a wheelchair while recovering from knee surgery.

  • Wimbledon low - Seeded seventh and with the Queen's title under his belt, Philippoussis had high hopes in 1997...and then lost to Greg Rusedski in straight sets in round one.

  • In the players' box - The Scud has compiled an impressive relationship CV, including the likes of Anna Kournikova, Delta Goodrem and, according to some reports, Paris Hilton. But he is now engaged to Alexis Barbara, the 18-year-old daughter of a property tycoon.

  • Tears or tantrums? - The BBC had to apologise on Philippoussis' behalf last year when the Aussie let fly at some "home" line calls during his defeat to Henman. At one point, he asked the umpire: "What are you looking at? Open your eyes! I should give you a warning!"

  • Listen out for -...those cheeky Aussie fans with their cry of "Come on the Pou!".

Odds provided by Ladbrokes as at 14 June 2005

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport