The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court ladies play it low
- If designer shops are where you’ll find soccer wives, their tennis counterparts head elsewhere

London, July 3: As a Scottish teenager rose to be king of the Brits at Wimbledon on Saturday, an English schoolgirl became the queen bee of the competition’s wives and girlfriends (WAGs).

Andy Murray may break the mould of British Wimbledon heroes, but his girlfriend, Kim Sears, 18, has quickly filled the role played for so long by Lucy Henman: the English rose seen clapping in the stands and heard hardly anywhere else.

True WAGs in the World Cup mould are harder to find at Wimbledon. But Kerry Kendrick, sister, and Marney Bovey, friend, have hardly slept since they flew in from Florida with the American player Robert Kendrick.

They dined at Nobu, shopped at Cartier, drank champagne at the Hippodrome, and danced on numerous tables.

“Robert even looks like David Beckham,” Kendrick said. “He and his fiancee, Liz Proctor, are like Barbie and Ken. She’s a totally glamorous person.”

The two women admit that they are the exception. You are more likely to find a WWAG (Wimbledon WAG) in an art gallery than a nightclub.

Lleyton Hewitt’s wife, Bec Cartwright, is a soap star ' in Home And Away ' a pop star, and, according to FHM magazine readers, the sexiest woman in Australia. But she has not been snorkelling in pools at Wimbledon Village.

Caroline Burns, of Advocate Galleries, said: “She has been in a few times. She was into Rob Hefferan, sort of Romantic photo-realism.” Yes, but what was she wearing' A football WAG’s bikini, with high heels' “A vest top and trousers,” Burns said. “With flat shoes.”

The WWAGs will never match the World Cup variety, according to Bruce Heffernan, a coach on the ATP Tour, because “most tennis players are egomaniacs”. He said: “They wouldn’t want to share the spotlight with anyone. Look at Steffi Graff ' a massive star, wife of Andr' Agassi, but she slips in (through) the back door of Wimbledon.”

Mark Philippoussis’s fiancee, Alexis Barbara, a property heiress, model and actress, appears a likely sports WAG.

“But while he’s been linked with so many celebrities in the last five years his rankings have taken a pummelling,” Heffernan said. “The tennis playboy scene happened in the mid-1990s, with Moya, Lapenti, Ivanisevic, but it’s been stamped out by sports agencies like SFX and IME, who don’t want their stars associated with celebrities or nightclubs.

“Pat Rafter would have been out with his girl the night before a match, but you couldn’t see Federer’s girl in a nightclub. No one sees Rafael Nadal’s girlfriend. He does have one, but his eyes are fixed on the number one spot.”

On Thursday, Kendrick was narrowly beaten after a five-set battle by Nadal, the world No. 2. The following evening, the ladies were planning a last hurrah. “It’s been fun,” Kendrick said. “We’re going to hit Chinawhite.”

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