Many years ago when I was still wet behind the ears doing this job writing, broadcasting etc on the tennis tour, I wanted to do a story on Wimbledon in the off-season so off I went to the Club and spoke to the then...
Many years ago when I was still wet behind the ears doing this job writing, broadcasting etc on the tennis tour, I wanted to do a story on Wimbledon in the off-season so off I went to the Club and spoke to the then CEO, can’t even remember who it was it was so long ago, and asked: “How can one become a member of the Club?” I did indicate I was naive. He sat back in his leather chair and responded: “My dear boy, it’s been said it is easier to win the Championships.” That is the very point of this blog. If you win the singles championship you get membership, but it is not the case if you win the doubles championship. To the best of my knowledge the only doubles team to be admitted as members are Australia’s legendary Two Woodies – Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. I believe it is time that the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, should be given membership to the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Certainly the Woodies won the doubles title way more times than the Bryans, all up six times as a team including five in a row, and were rightly given membership albeit a bit late, they should have had it a lot sooner. “I know the Woodies were made members; they won it five times in a row and they were made members right after that,” Mike said. “I don't know their criteria, but I think it's pretty much you got to win five. I know at Queen's you win four in doubles.” Bob added laughing: “You win four and then they have a vote.” Mike continued: “They finally made us members there, but Wimbledon is a little tougher. Two doubles, two or three mixed with an Olympics medal, I think it’s good enough.” Bob and Mike have won the men’s doubles twice and been finalists three times. Both of them have also won the mixed doubles once each and been finalists once each. However, adding to all that is something no other doubles team has done, they won the Olympic gold medal upon the lawns of the All England Club. When it comes to membership of the All England Club you cannot take into consideration all their other amazing achievements in tennis because those trophies don’t count in this scenario, but I really still believe they deserve this honour and so do a lot of other people in the game from fans to tennis megastars, The twins would dearly love to have the honour but are too humble to say anything about it, but suggest it to them and their eyes light up. Novak Djokovic who won the men’s singles last year and was made a member on the strength of that believes it is something that should be awarded to Mike and Bob. “They definitely deserve it; I'll vote for that,” Djokovic said. “Yeah, it's tremendous what they're doing. I know actually Nenad Zimonjic who won it twice in doubles, he doesn't have it. So, look, I'm not getting into the politics of the All England Club. Obviously they know what they're doing and they're doing it really well (but) if you are asking me if they deserve, yes, they deserve after all they have done.” Five time Wimbledon singles champion Serena Williams agrees and believes the time would be right. “Oh, wow. I mean, obviously I'm always rooting for the Bryan brothers,” Serena said. “Their career is legendary and exciting. If they're close to what the Woodies did, they should definitely be mentioned amongst that.” Roger Federer, who probably has seven green and purple striped Wimbledon neckties because that’s what members receive, was asked his opinion if the Bryans should get that membership. “I'm just a member; I'm not the chairman or whomever, you have to ask them really because it's a very much their decision,” he said. “I don't think we should weigh in on anything that they decide. It's a club, it's run in a very normal way during the year, and then obviously they have this incredible tournament happening for a few weeks of the year. “Yeah, so they cannot take away anything that the players achieved, so that's already ingrained in the history of Wimbledon for them. Yeah, I don't know if they need a membership necessarily because of just winning it in doubles. “Then again, they might make special rules. Didn't they make special rule for Todd Woodbridge maybe? You only got to win it nine times; it's pretty simple also, you know.” Well Roger, one day over a cup of tea and the petit cucumber sandwiches with the chairman Philip Brooks why not give it a mention?