Andy Murray makes BBC pundit debut

Andy Murray skipped Wimbledon, not ready to return after hip surgery.

But on Tuesday, he joined Sue Barker in the BBC studios for an extended chin wag, accompanied by comedic foil Tim Henman.

They joked they should put up a poll on the BBC website for fans to vote on who’s “more boring”. (They did; Henman “won” by a 2-1 margin)

Murray expounded on various topics, and clearly had done his homework with a lot of stats at the ready.

He is scheduled to be in the commentary booth Wednesday for the Nadal – del Potro match.

BBC takes crowd shot to new (beer) level

If you’ve watched any BBC Wimbledon broadcasts – current or historic– you recognize the classic crowd shot.

From the side, or from below, it features two or more fans looking a) awed, b) nervous, c) nodding to each other, or d) unimpressed. 

The only way you can tell if the shot is from 2017 or 1977 is by the style of the eyewear (usually).

On Tuesday, the BBC ticked all boxes with a reaction shot of a woman quaffing a beer. 

Not just any beer – Wimbledon’s official beer sponsor.

Synergy.

Let’s hope the lady hadn’t called in sick at work.

Who loses 14 trophies? Boris does

MELBOURNE, Australia – A lot of wacky things have happened to former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker in his rather eventful life.

Losing … 14 championship trophies has to be at the top of the list.

But according to a BBC story Thursday, that’s exactly what has happened.

These aren’t the actual trophies; they’re the replicas given to the champions, with the originals remaining with the tournaments. But it’s quite a collection.

Becker’s three Wimbledon trophies, his two Australian Open trophies, a trophy for winning the 1989 Davis Cup with Germany, and his Olympic gold medal from the men’s doubles event at the 1992 Games in Barcelona are among the missing.

In other words, all the big stuff.

“Unable to recollect”

A joint statement from Becker and his bankruptcy trustees, Smith & Williamson, said this: “Mr Becker is unable to recollect where they are located.”

The 50-year-old German is trying to get out of a money crunch dating to last June.

A bankruptcy court in London ruled that Becker owed a big sum of money. And despite his claims it was all a misunderstanding and that the sale of a huge property in Mallorca would go a long way towards covering it, they were not confidant he was good for it. 

“We are currently trying to locate and recover Mr Becker’s missing Australian Open and Wimbledon trophies, settling an income payments agreement for the next three years as well as continuing our investigations into other possible recoveries, including property, in the UK and overseas,” the trustees said in a statement.

Becker is currently at the Australian Open doing television for Eurosport.

Becker

Bedene gives up on British dream

Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene and the British Lawn Tennis Federation spent years trying to lobby for an exception so he could play Davis Cup.

Bedene, a UK resident since 2008 and a citizen since 2015, announced Friday he’d given up. 

From Jan. 1, he will represent Slovenia again, as he did from 2010-12.

He said he doesn’t want to miss out on competing in Davis Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

There were other consideration. Bedene’s new wife wanted to return to Slovenia, per the BBC. As well, twin brother Andraz is now Slovenia’s assistant Davis Cup captain.

Agent Andy Murray opens shop

Andy Murray is open for business with his new firm, 77 Sports Management.

The company’s first signees are talented 20-year-old sprinters Shannon and Cheriece Hylton and 17-year-old Scottish junior Aidan McHugh. 

Murray and McHugh practiced often at Wimbledon this year.

“I signed with a management company the first time when I was 12 or 13 years old. Which to me is ridiculous. It’s way, way too young,” Murray said in a BBC interview.

“You don’t need that pressure, and get yourself into trouble by signing long-term contracts that are maybe not serving your best interests.”

Nadal grocery-shops all the time!

The photo of Rafael Nadal being helped out at the self-checkout in the local Wimbledon market went around the planet.

There were skeptics. But Nadal said on the BBC that at home, he goes out to get groceries all the time.

The problem, he said, was that they don’t use self-checkout too often in Spain. And he saw there was a lineup behind him. So he got some help from a man named Nick Roberts. 

He even thanked the guy on Twitter for the assistance.

What a guy. Seriously.

Nastase harasses teenaged Shriver

Not that we need more evidence of former Romanian Davis Cup captain Ilie Nastase’s disrespect towards women. But American tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver says he was inappropriate to her, when she was just a kid.

Shriver told BBC Radio 5 Nastase repeatedly asked her if she were a virgin.

“I’m a teenager, and I’m playing the tour, and it was a shocking thing – I never had anybody ask me that before,” she said. “When I got older… and he asked me for about the 30th time, I said, ‘Would you please stop asking me that?’

 

If a Player Nobody’s Heard of Gets Suspended?

The Tennis Integrity Unit, born in the wake of IMG’s Teddy Forstmann’s gambling debauchery a decade ago is at it again. With a budget of 2.4 million dollars, the TIU managed to flag a total of nine players in 2016, with only one ranked in the top 200, the rest of the players not even the most serious tennis fan would recognize.  Only the Benghazi hearings have uncovered less consequential information. When will this farce of an investigation unit end? After spending millions of dollars to nab players like Romanian Alexandru-Daniel Carpen, who almost broke the top 1000 in 2007, methinks the need for a TIU lessens every year.

Man’s Best Friend Getting the Royal Treatment…

Headline: Rescue Dogs get best tennis ball treatment ever!!! In honor of their recently deceased  rescue dog “Everything”, his owners started sending tennis balls to rescue shelters, giving these at risk pups the chance of a lifetime to frolic with our favorite sports balls. The trend caught fire, and what started as a can of balls soon reached a pool of 4000. A veritable fuzzy yellow balls party. This particular gesture pulled at the heart strings of the Tennis.Life staff. Its mankind at his best, when he treks the path of the giving spirit.