May 21, 2019
Which players put most bums on seats at Wimbledon?
It might depend on the year and the venue, but here at Wimbledon Debenture Holders, we thought we’d take a shot at giving you our hottest box office top ten, in reverse order.
10/ Juan Martin Del Potro
Fans know that the big man in full flow is still one of the finest sights in tennis, especially when he in injury-free. We still remember Delpo’s epic Wimbledon semi-final against Djokovic, which left Novak too drained to resist Andy Murray in the 2013 showpiece. Delpo remains one of the most popular players in tennis.
9/ Naomi Osaka
The woman who won the Australian Open and the US Open is something of an enigma. Softly spoken, almost childlike, yet she possesses the raw power of a tennis goddess and the emotional self-control, by her own admission, of a robot at times. Growing into the new superstar of the women’s game.
8/ Alexander Zverev
The German’s form may have been a bit patchy of late, but he oozes star quality and charisma. He also hS a sensational game that has allowed him to enjoy the top five status for a while now. “Sascha” won over the British crowd during his troubled get ultimately triumphant year-end ATP Tour Finals in London with his sense of humour. The man is going to be massive.
7/ Nick Kyrgios
What are you going to get when you book to see a Nick Kyrgios match? You never quite know, but it is always going to be interesting. Nick might not get his hardest for a set and then come with unbeatable tennis and romp to victory. He might clash with the crowd, the umpire, perhaps even himself. But he is supremely talented and the drama is always spellbinding.
6/ Stefanos Tsitsipas
This guy has it all and in the next two to five years he will become box office of Hollywood proportions. Recent conqueror of Rafael Nadal in Madrid, Tsitsipas is strengthening physically and technically by the month – and he is already top ten on tennis alone. Throw in his movie-star good looks and you have the perfect sporting hero. Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer rolled into one.
5/ Maria Sharapova
Sharapova may be in the twilight of her career but she is still a huge global superstar. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea and her loud screaming during points has caused its share of controversy. However, her enduring popularity has survived a doping scandal and prolonged periods out with injury. People still want to be able to say they have seen this glamorous, talented and fiercely determined star in the flesh at Wimbledon, win or lose.
4/ Serena Williams.
Arguably the finest tennis player who has ever lived, Serena Williams creates a special atmosphere when she walks onto Centre Court. You just know you are in the presence of sporting greatness, a player with the history to match the magnificence of the surroundings. For all we know this could be Serena’s last tilt at the singles title, so we expect our knowledgeable customers to take every opportunity to see Serena strut her stuff while they still can.
3/ Novak Djokovic.
The world’s greatest tennis player at present, Novak Djokovic pulls in the crowds with his sheer brilliance. The Serb’s game is complete, it is perfect. And when Djokovic has the right mindset, his patient precision is unmatched. The masterful way he builds points is something to behold before that ruthless winner is unleashed from either side. The elastic defence has to be seen to be believed.
2/ Rafael Nadal
Everyone loves Nadal for his physical prowess and extraordinary will to win. He is a tennis warrior, with all the admirable, bludgeoning brutality of a sporting gladiator. The grass isn’t Rafa’s favourite surface and yet he is capable of playing his part in unforgettable and epic contests, such as his semi-final against Novak Djokovic last year. And who will ever forget his win over Roger Federer in the darkness of that 2008 Wimbledon final, arguably the greatest of all time?
1/ Roger Federer
It just had to be! More popular than Djokovic, more popular even than Nadal, Roger Federer is king of all box office royalty. Not only has he won more Wimbledon titles than the rest, he has always done it with such class, elegance and style. To watch Federer on the Wimbledon grass is to witness poetry in motion. Demand is never higher than when Roger Federer is playing. And because he may be playing his last Wimbledon this year or next, Federer Fever for tickets is stronger than ever.
So there we are. Our box office top ten. What does it tell us?
The living legends are still the biggest stars, they still have the greatest ability to put bums on seats. And maybe that’s the way it should be for now!
But make no mistake, when the likes of Federer and Nadal, Serena and Sharapova have hung up their racquets, a new generation of superstars is more than ready to take over.
We predict a huge clamour around Tsitsipas and Zverev at Wimbledon this year, for example.
Yes, tennis is in a very healthy state indeed!