Becker is a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, an Olympic gold medalist in doubles, and the youngest-ever winner of the men’s singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 17. Which possibly explains why he feels able to say whatever pops into his head when he’s commentating. Placed next to Tim Henman, middle England’s poster boy, Becker could hardly fail to sound anything but charismatic, but his Rainier Wolfcastle-esque voice, combined with the latent sexual tension between him and Sue Barker, make him one of the highlights of the tournament.
Fernando Verdasco’s hair
Forget the monster forehand. Forget the fact that he was one set away from knocking out Andy Murray. Forget Jarah Mariano. What will live long in the memory, after all of Fernando Verdasco’s other achievements have been trampled into the dust of time, is his immaculately coiffed hairdo. Immoveable, even after a mammoth five-set match against Britain’s best, it truly was a sight to behold. The news that the BBC would be broadcasting the semi-finals in 3D meant that his defeat in the quarters robbed the world of the TV event of the decade: the chance to behold that hair in all its three-dimensional glory. (Rumours that the hair is considering splitting with Verdasco and going solo are, as yet, unsubstantiated.)
The irony of Andrew Castle
You know Andrew Castle. He of the “sometimes sorry makes it all OK, at other times it’s best to screw as much money as you can out of some clueless council” adverts. Well, the very same Castle was forced into an official apology to former GB Davis Cup captain David Lloyd after suggesting he could be prevented from leading the Lawn Tennis Association because of alleged ‘personal problems.’ A statement published on the BBC website said: ‘Mr Castle would wish to make clear that his comments were without foundation and apologises to Mr Lloyd for any embarrassment or distress caused.’ Unfortunately for Castle, it turns out that this was one of the occasions when “sorry just isn’t enough,” as he was also made to pay out damages and legal costs.
Sue Barker’s Continuity Announcements
Just picture the scene. You’ve rushed home from work, breaking numerous traffic laws along the way. You barge through the front door, shun the affections of your partner and children, and turn on the TV. Eagerly, you switch to BBC1. You glance at your watch: you’re just in time. Then, looking up at the screen, you see that it’s the Wimbledon quarter-finals; two athletes at the peak of their profession battling to make it to the next round of tennis’ most prestigious competition. You’re aghast, dismayed, horrified. “This is not what I want!”, you cry. “What about the regional news? How can I ever find out what minor incidents have affected my local region without it?” Fortunately, Sue Barker is on hand to inform us that “we’re sticking with the tennis here on BBC1. Those viewers looking for the regional news, it’s now over on BBC2.” Phew.
Having recovered from two sets down to overcome his Verdasco, with the weight of a nation on his shoulders, and one step closer to your ultimate dream of Wimbledon glory, you can imagine that top of Andy Murray’s to-do list was not “listen to Garry Richardson make a fool of himself on live TV.” Having clearly been working all match on an Alex Ferguson-related quip to spring on Murray, the best Richardson, the BBC’s post-match interviewer, could come up with was a winding, meandering question that went something like: “Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Royal Box today watching you. Erm, he’s been known to go into the dressing room after matches and give, erm, his players a bit of hairdryer treatment. Wi…, er, wi… will Lendl, er, say some things to you Andy to, er, sort of gee you up or… do you not need that, do you know it all yourself?” Murray’s response: “I don’t know it all. Far from it.”