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Sports Then and Now

Should Sports Stars avoid mixing business with pleasure?

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Rod Crowley

Romance is in the air at this time of year with Valentine’s Day falling in February, therefore it is probably worth a look of some famous sporting couples who have been successful in the love stakes and perhaps it would be a bit more fun to look at those who haven’t been as lucky as we look to answer the question whether sports stars should look to avoid mixing business with pleasure?

Former Tennis player, Chris Evert, is one sporting legend who features prominently in the failed stakes, after several failed relationships with sportsmen including Greg Norman, John Lloyd and Jimmy Connors.

Those sporting couples who have been Successful in love include…

Steffi Graf & Andre Agassi – This was a match made on the heavenly Courts at Roland Garros in Paris (where else?), which brought together arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time and one of the very best males. They were married two years or so later; they remain happily ensconsed with two children and live in Las Vegas. Steffi won a total of 22 Grand Slam titles including a Calendar year Grand Slam of all four titles in 1988, while Andre won a total of 8 ‘Slams’ including Wimbledon in 1992, the same year his wife to be won the women’s title. Agassi won a career Slam, making him one of only seven players to do so in history.

Zara Phillip & Mike Tindall – The oldest granddaughter of HM The Queen and former world eventing champion is said to be really happy following her engagement to the current England rugby captain, Mike Tindall, the hard tacking, broken nosed tough guy centre. No wedding plans have been announced at this stage but the couple do live together in Gloucestershire.

Kenny & Gabbi Logan – The former Scottish rugby union winger is said to have chatted Gabbi up in a pub in London, but obviously his chat up lines worked as he later married the daughter of former Welsh International, Terry Yorath who is currently a leading  BBC Sports presenter. The couple have been married for ten years and have twins.

Paula Radcliffe & Gary Lough – Marathon Queen Paula married her coach and former 1500 meter champion Gary Lough in 2000 and the couple have two children. They have been working extremely hard together to get Paula fit for a tilt at the Marathon in the 2012 London Olympics.

Couples who have suffered defeat meanwhile include

Kim Clijsters & Lleyton Hewitt – Once described as ‘Kylie and Jason with balls’ this engagement was doomed to failure from the start, with both players still far to committed to winning tennis tournaments rather than winning each other over. They lasted 12 months!

Zara Phillips & Richard Johnson – Royalty and Horse Racing normally goes hand in hand, Zara, daughter of Princess Anne and Richard one of National Hunt’s leading jockey’s had a well reported relationship for over three years but sadly for romantics they fell in the fourth.

Sir Nick Faldo & Brenna Cepelak – Sir Nick’s well reported affair with American college golfer, Brenna brought his first wife Gill flying over the Atlantic; a move which turned out to be the beginning if the end for their marriage. Meanwhile Faldo got on with his affair until he found someone else in 1999, which resulted in Brenna smashing his front windscreen of his limited edition Porsche, proving that a 9 iron had more than one use! Luckily for Faldo, these incidents came after his career highs with his last major coming in the 1996 US Masters at Augusta.

Chris Evert & several male sports stars– It is not really known if Tennis legend, Chris gets bored too quickly with the men in her life but high profile failed relationships/engagements/ marriages to a variety of other sporting greats suggest that she does. Her engagement to Jimmy Connors ended before it had really begun in 1974. Her marriage to British tennis player, John Lloyd ended after seven years in 1987. She was married for 18 years to Andy Mills, former United States Skiing champion, before taking up and falling out with Greg Norman between 2008 and 2009. It is not known who she is sending a valentine card to this year.

All said, look at fellow sportsmen and women is probably not the best way for sports stars to go about finding love. There are a few examples of those that have been successful but on the whole, more fail than succeed and therefore it’s safe to conclude that if you’re a sports star, avoid mixing business with pleasure!

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