Imagine you've never heard of Wimbledon - don't know what tennis is, who plays it, or why. Then bang! You open the tabloids, and it hits you like a shot between the eyes: tennis is that game played by serious sportsmen who earn obscene amounts of money, while the women create an amusing diversion in their teeny-weeny tennis skirts.

In other words, you may have noticed that the spotlight at Wimbledon has focussed quite conclusively so far on one Anna Kournikova, an 18-year- old Russian "stunna". In terms of tennis ability Anna's an extreme long shot for the title but that hasn't worried the headline writers. The Sun's Kourna corner promised: "We'll run a pic a day until she goes out", with the comforting caveat, "Don't worry fellas she's in the doubles too." The Daily Mail dubbed her: "The girl who just can't lose (even though she hasn't got a hope of winning)".

Even when Jelena Dokic spectacularly defeated top seed Martina Hingis in the first round, the Sun seemed most impressed with her choice of hairstyle: "With her blonde ponytail, Jelena cut Martina to pieces" was the headline. The Evening Standard called her the "executioner with the face of an angel". At the press conference afterwards everyone seemed more interested in her birthmark than how it feels to beat the world No 1.

This lack of regard for female talent is disappointing, but the real tragedy and disgrace is that the tabloid press has completely ignored an issue that desperately needs exposing - the vast number of drop-dead gorgeous male tennis totty playing down at SW19. OK, there are a few teenage men vying for a seat to watch Anna, but they're way outnumbered by the number of randy female fans ogling Henman, Haas and Rafter.

Head down to the practice courts and you'll find gaggles of women jostling for position to watch Agassi knocking up. Majella Donahoe, 22, from Ireland and Alison Jones, 28, from Cardiff were both hoping for a glimpse of Becker. "I've loved him since I was 15," says Alison. "He's the reason I turn up every year. His thighs are amazing!" A group of fortysomething women were eyeing Pat Rafter: "He's gorgeous!" they squeak.

Outside the player's entrance, female fans outnumber men by at least two to one. They stand for hours against the railings hoping for an autograph. When Jana Novotna arrived she stood chatting for 10 minutes unmolested, but Rusedski was mobbed by girls. Sonya, 15, waited a long time for Sampras: "He's a good player, but I like him because he's the sexiest," she says.

And let's not forget Timmy Henman. Ellie, 18, explains she's only started to fancy him this year. "He's looks so much better - his shoulders have filled out and he's got shorter hair. He's a lot hunkier than before."

The girls want to see more of the men and it's time to give them what they want. So in the finest journalistic tradition of redressing the balance, here's our guide to the hottest hunks of Wimbledon 1999.


VITAL STATISTICS: Age: 24, h: 6ft 1in (UK).

PHWOAR FACTOR: Tim-ultous.


WHAT A WAD: $3m, growing fast.

TOP MOVE: Ball skills second to none.

MIRROR MIRROR: Well-built sixth-former. In other words, popular with matrons and schoolgirls.

HOT GOSSIP: The calm exterior belies a fiery temper. Gave referee Alan Mills a tongue-lashing last week.

ON THE PROWL: Currently with long-term love Lucy Heald. Little hope of him giving her the drop-shot.


VITAL STATISTICS: Age: 25, h: 6ft 4in (UK, formerly Canada).

PHWOAR FACTOR: The full mounty.


WHAT A WAD: $5m. One of the most well-endowed on the circuit.

TOP MOVE: The serve. Greg is the fastest shot in the West.

MIRROR MIRROR: Lanky, hairy, powerful. Good teeth. Legs aren't bad either.

HOT GOSSIP: Frisson with Tim after Greg started competing for Britain.

ON THE PROWL: Not likely. Greg's hooked on girlfriend, lucky Lucy Connor. Mind you, they were in Hello! recently, and you know what that can mean.

Andre is so special

VITAL STATISTICS: Age: 29, h: 5ft 11in (US).

PHWOAR FACTOR: Enough to make your hair fall out.


WHAT A WAD: It's a whopper - more than $15m.

TOP MOVE: Likes to lay the baseline groundwork before making his pass.

MIRROR MIRROR: Hair today, gone tomorrow. Has been known to wax his chest for his special ladeez. Has a certain pigeon-footed, puppy fat appeal.

HOT GOSSIP: Where do we start? An affair with Babs Streisand and a marriage to Brooke Shields have kept hot-blooded Andre in the gossip columns.

ON THE PROWL: Single, at long last. So it's game set and match-o to the first girl who manages to break through his defences.

Game Chest and Match



VITAL STATISTICS: Age: 22, h: 6ft 5in (Aus).

PHWOAR FACTOR: Get down on your knees and worship.


WHAT A WAD: Not big, but not small. A perfectly proportioned $3m.

TOP MOVE: He's nippy for a strapping lad. Serves like a thunderbolt.

MIRROR MIRROR: "Two years ago Mark was this fat kid," says trainer Pat Cash. But now ... behold the Ozzie god, voted "the sexiest man alive" by People magazine.

HOT GOSSIP: Mark had a serious falling out a few years back with ex-best mate Pat Rafter, over Philippoussis's refusal to play for Australia in the Davis Cup. It was tennis tantrums at dawn and the stars stopped playing doubles together.

ON THE PROWL: He's young, gorgeous and loaded. What do you think?


VITAL STATISTICS: age: 21, h: 6ft 2in (Ger).

PHWOAR FACTOR: Tommy Haas-it.


WHAT A WAD: A pretty un-impressive $1m, but the boy's still young.

TOP MOVE: Best backhand in the game. It's all in the wrist action, apparently.

MIRROR MIRROR: Boy- ish good looks, bounding physique. Penchant for wearing his cap back to front. Will probably join a boy band in five years.

HOT GOSSIP: Ooh, surprise! Tommy says if he wasn't a tennis player he'd be a pop star: "To perform on stage in front of 10,000 people must be a nice feeling," he says.

ON THE PROWL: Yes, yes, yes! So far there's been no special lady in Tommy's life. Grab that tennis totty while it's hot.


VITAL STATISTICS: Age: 26, h: 6ft 1in (Aus).

PHWOAR FACTOR: Off the scale.


WHAT A WAD: A bulging $7m.

TOP MOVE: Best stroker in the business.

MIRROR MIRROR: Currently going through a phase of rough-and-ready, the dish from Down Under sports a perma-tan and a good line in designer stubble. Proved his place near the top of the league by making it to the latest issue of American Vogue. Also appeared topless in the Sun.

HOT GOSSIP: None, dammit. Sexy Pat loves his family (he's one of nine kids) and gives loads of wonga (that's money to you, mate) to charity.

ON THE PROWL: Read it and weep. Has a long-standing relationship with Aussie model Lara Feltham.