Top sports stars have always been drawn towards each other
romantically - and following the wedding of Mike Tindall and Zara
Phillips, we've decided to run down sport's top 10 power couples.
the ego of the average top-class athlete, it is no surprise that not
all of our top 10 are still together. But while they lasted they
generated as many column inches for their relationships as they did for
their exploits in the sporting theatre.
Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips
the daughter of Princess Anne, was considered a bit of a wild child in her
youth with stories of boozy nights and Ann Summers sex parties hitting the
tabloids. However, she seemed to settle down in 2005 when she met England rugby
star Mike Tindall - a veteran of the 2003 World Cup-winning side - and went on
to win the Eventing World Championship in 2006 as well as BBC Sports
Personality of the Year.
Tindall still plays for England and
Gloucester, and despite the odd hiccup - in 2008 he was arrested for drink-driving
the morning after a day out at the Cheltenham Festival with Phillips - he has seen
his star rise throughout.
antics appear not to have dried up just yet, however: the morning after the
pair were married at the weekend, Tindall was pictured (left) still wearing his
wedding suit and looking distinctly the worse for wear...
Marion Jones, CJ Hunter and Tim Montgomery
can be brought together by many different things: common schedules, an
appreciation of the unique pressures faced by high-profile
athletes... or, occasionally, their willingness to break the rules in
Sprinter Jones became one of the biggest stars in athletics in 2000 when she
won five medals at the Sydney Olympics.
Her time in
Australia was marred, however, when it emerged that her then husband - an
Olympic shot-putter - had tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandralone
on four separate occasions before the Games.
quietly withdrew from the Olympics citing a knee injury, while Jones
divorced then blasted him in her 2002 autobiography, claiming that his
had hurt her image as a drug-free champion.
retaliated by claiming to have seen Jones inject performance-enhancing drugs prior to her
Olympic heroics, and as the infamous BALCO scandal blew up Jones was right in
speculation reached fever pitch when Jones's new beau, one-time 100m world
record holder Tim Montgomery, was caught doping - and eventually it emerged
that Jones herself had indeed been using drugs to boost her performances.
and Montgomery went into downward spirals, with both ending up in prison following
a cheque fraud scheme. Jones has since remarried (to Barbadian sprinter
Obadele Thompson) while Montgomery is still in prison as his convictions also
included heroin dealing.
Adam Scott and Ana Ivanovic
Adam Scott became
the envy of men all over the world when he started seeing Serbian
star Ana Ivanovic two years ago.
golfer claimed at the time that the relationship helped him - "I think it
helps that she's a top sports star as she understands what I go through,"
he said - though his form on the course suggested otherwise as he plummeted
from just outside the world's top 10 into the lower reaches of the top 100.
a similar plummet: the former world number one was already on the slide when she
hooked up with Scott, but then plummeted to outside the world's top 50 while
they were together.
split up in October 2010 after 18 months, with Ivanovic claiming that
the split contributed to her slump in form at the end of last year. They have
improved since, however, with both sportspeople now back in the world's top 20.
Gabby and Kenny Logan
In 1998, Scotland
and Wasps rugby star Kenny Logan started dating Gabby Yorath, a former
Commonwealth gymnast and daughter of Welsh football legend Terry Yorath.
recently started making a name for herself in TV sports reporting - not the
first time that Logan had hooked up with a TV face, having spent three years as
the other half of newsreader Kirsty Young.
Gabby married in 2001, and are still together 10 years later with twin
Chris Evert and Greg Norman
This was a
match-up of genuine sporting royalty. Norman and Evert won an astonishing 245
professional titles between them, and that nearly became 246 in July 2008, a
year after the pair got together and just two weeks after they were married in
the Bahamas. With the still-striking Evert watching him from the ropes, Norman
almost sprang the golfing surprise of the century by leading the 2008 Open at
Royal Birkdale going into the final round.
collapsed that afternoon, and a year later his marriage
collapsed as well: the pair divorced in December 2009, and less than 12 months
later he married Kirsten Kutner.
The big Aussie
was far from Evert's first foray into being part of a sporting power couple,
however: she was engaged to fellow tennis star Jimmy Connors in the 1970s,
married to British player John Lloyd for eight years, then married Olympic
skier Andy Mill (with whom she has three children) in 1988 - only to see that
end in a 2006 divorce.
Sergio Garcia and Martina Hingis
obviously something about male golfers and female tennis players: Spanish
golfer Sergio Garcia has had several relationships splashed over the papers,
but his most high profile to-date was with five-times Grand Slam champion Martina
Hingis circa 2002.
relationship fizzled out after about a year - they were both only 22 at the
time - and then, for a time at least, both saw their careers endure a similar
downward spiral with Hingis even quitting tennis for two years in 2003.
star would later get engaged to Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek, although
that didn't last either, and she was also once romantically linked with former
England footballer Sol Campbell.
As for other golf-tennis love
matches, the latest rumours have claimed that US Open champion Rory
McIlroy is developing a close "friendship" with tennis's world number
one Caroline Wozniacki... watch this space!
Anna Kournikova and Sergei Federov
He was one
of the top ice hockey players in the world, she was a swimsuit model who also
happened to get knocked out in the early rounds of few tennis tournaments.
Hart Trophy (MVP) winner Federov claimed he married the Russian beauty in 2001
and they divorced in 2003, but, bizarrely, Kournikova has denied they ever tied
Russian hockey player, Pavel Bure, was also said to be "knocking
around" at a similar time, with more engagement rumours surrounding him
singer Enrique Iglesias finally ended up with Kournikova, though these days you're
more likely to hear Kournikova's name mentioned during a game of Texas Hold 'Em
Poker rather than a tennis match. The starting hand of an ace and a king is now
known as an 'Anna Kournikova' and not just because of the initials - it's a
hand that 'always looks good but rarely wins'.
Michelle Smith and Erik De Bruin
Michelle Smith delighted the Irish public at the 1996 Olympics when she came
from nowhere to win three golds and a bronze. The fact that her husband and coach
was Erik De Bruin - a former Dutch Olympic discus and shot putter who had been
banned for steroid abuse - didn't sit right, but wasn't enough for the Irish
punters to start questioning the achievements of 'Michelle their Belle'.
"how could we have been so naïve" was the collective response of the
nation two years later when Smith was found guilty of tampering with a urine
sample and nobody believed her protestations of innocence anymore.
to Erik... he has twice been in court in Ireland: once in 2003 for
shoplifting vitamin tablets and chicken breasts from a supermarket, and a year
later for overtaking two stationary cars at temporary traffic lights. Michelle,
meanwhile, has become a successful barrister and even had a law book
Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic
Russian tennis star hooked up with the Serbian basketball player - a mainstay
of the NBA title-winning LA Lakers in 2009 and 2010 - in November 2009.
who had struggled with injury throughout her time with him, got
engaged to her man last October, thus destroying the fantasies of legions of
male fans who had pined after the woman voted "sport's most eligible bachelorette".
Iker Casillas and Sara Carbonero
difficult for British sports fans to picture exactly what a high-profile and
slightly bizarre set-up there is between Casillas and Carbonero. Put it this
way, if you can imagine ITV's pitchside reporter Gabriel Clarke being married
to John Terry then you'd be more or less in the right territory. Now there's a
mental image you won't forget quickly...
Clarke scrubs up quite as well as Carbonero, obviously, but Spanish goalkeeper
and World Cup-winning skipper Casillas is as big a name as it gets on his home
soil, despite playing his club football for Real Madrid rather than
have been together for two years, despite the ups and downs: more than once
Carbonero has irked her other half with probing post-match questions about the
team's (thankfully rare) lacklustre performances, while the pitchside presence
of the 27-year-old journalist was even blamed, slightly ridiculously, for
Spain's shock defeat by Switzerland in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup
in South Africa.