The serious business of spectating at Wimbledon

Andy Murray's Wimbledon box is awash with his management team – and it's not because they're tennis fans...

The Players' Box at Wimbledon is where the tournament seats its most famous off-court stars: Roger Federer's wife; Serena and Venus Williams's dad; Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni. When Andy Murray defeated Nikolay Davydenko on Tuesday, however, he was watched from the box not only by his girlfriend and his coaches, but also by four unfamiliar faces, who turned out to be his management team: XIX Entertainment's chief executive Robert Dodds, account manager Louise Irving, account handler Matt Gentry and talent manager Sharon Ely.

Murray signed with 19 Entertainment in December 2008. In 2010, 19's founder Simon Fuller, former manager of the Spice Girls and creator of Pop Idol, established a new artists management firm, XIX, which now oversees the Scot's career. XIX, which was valued last year at $100m, also represents the Beckhams and Lewis Hamilton, and such non-sports stars as Jennifer Lopez, Annie Lennox, Will Young and Roland Mouret.

And Andy isn't the only Murray signed to Fuller's firm: his brother, doubles player Jamie, and his mum Judy are both XIX clients, too. Just as major musical artists have become the subject of so-called "360 deals", so single firms such as XIX now take responsibility for every aspect of a sportsman's career besides their backhand: PR, commercial branding, business management.

It should come as little surprise, then, that they sit almost as close to Murray as his coaching team. Some players are keener than others to have an entourage, says one sports management professional. "Some athletes hire their friends and family, based not on merit but on trust and because they get along. But then they expect them to do a professional job, which is dangerous. If it happens that you hire the people that are right for the job and you become friends, fantastic."

Another industry insider suggests XIX may have been elevated to the back row of the players' box simply to lend support to a player whose results have recently been middling.

Perhaps Davydenko lacked supporters to fill the seats. Murray has aleady has a considerable entourage,. The world No 4's portfolio of coaches in the front row includes eight-time Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl; Venezuelan Davis Cup player Daniel Vallverdu, an old friend and doubles partner of Murray's, who is also his hitting partner; fitness coach and "physical conditioner" Jez Green; and physio Andy Ireland.Also in the box were Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears; Rob Stewart, manager of the website; and Murray's lawyer, Gren Evans.

The player's mother, Judy, was watching British hopeful Elena Baltacha win her first-round match in her capacity as captain of Great Britain's Federation Cup team.

The only person to have appeared in the Centre Court box more frequently than the Nadal, Williams and Federer families is honorary steward David Spearing. He's the championship's longest-serving steward, which affords him the privilege of seating and assisting the players' retinues

Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits