Wednesday, July 4

BBGs - safer than Murray's pockets!

Each year around 700 boys and girls apply to spend two weeks in the summer chasing and collecting tennis balls during the Championships. The ball boys and ball girls, or BBGs, are so much a part of the furniture that you could be forgiven for not noticing them and in some respects that is how they'd like it. The chances are if a BBG is in the spotlight it's because they've made a mistake or had the misfortune to slip over when going for the ball.

The BBGs, aged 15 on average, begin training over four months before the start of Wimbledon. The final squad will number 250 and they need to fit and disciplined, as well as have a good understanding the game. They are also taught how to stand still and must be able to hold the pose without fidgeting for a long time.

No matter what emotions the players are going through the BBGs need to maintain their unintrusive, professional manner at all times on court. They are constantly vigilant for stray balls and avoiding serves coming at them at over 100 mph. They have even been involved in moments of levity such as Del Potro teasing a ball boy during a match at Wimbledon against Nadal last year. It did get a laugh from the crowd and it will long be a talking point for the young lad involved.  You can see it here on YouTube.

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