'Move on': Sad truth in the Woodies' fading friendship

Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde are pictured with the men's doubles trophy after their French Open win in 2000.
Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde lift the trophy after their French Open victory in 2000. Picture: Clive Brunskill /Allsport/Getty Images

Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde were once one of Australia’s most iconic - and successful - sporting duos, but it would appear their days of close friendship are over.

Beloved as ‘the Woodies’, Woodbridge and Woodforde won 61 ATP events, including 11 grand slam titles, as well as an Olympic gold medal and memorable Davis Cup triumph in their peak, which spanned nearly a decade from 1991 to 2000.

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But Woodforde, speaking on the Break Point podcast, revealed he and Woodbridge hadn’t spoken for some years.

The doubles legend said the pair had drifted apart since retiring, particularly once Woodbridge put more focus on his media career.

“It’s probably one of the greatest quandaries right now. I wish Todd and I were in a better place, we haven’t spoken in some time,” Woodforde said.

“Todd has elected to move on and play with Jonas Bjorkman in some of the legends doubles events, who he played with once I retired.

“He developed a partnership with Jonas and they had success together, but not anywhere near the same as the Woodies.

“I guess the Woodies drifted into the background for him and I guess he’s developing his own brand.

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“So it’s disappointing for me, I still play the legends events so it’s kind of a head scratcher to turn up and we’re not playing together.

“There’s bits and pieces which I’m sure we both share in, but I hope some day that we can be on better terms than where we are now.”

Mark Woodforde hails success with Todd Woodbridge

While he was saddened about the pair falling out of contact after their success as a duo, Woodforde said he would always look back on their playing days fondly.

Woodforde said the pair had been able to put a rocky start to their on-court relationship behind them to flourish over nearly a decade of competition together.

“The first tournament we didn’t do so well. It was abysmal. The second tournament we did a whole lot better,” he said.

Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge are pictured after winning the men's doubles at Wimbledon in 2000.
Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge with the trophy after beating Paul Haarhuis of Holland and Sandon Stolle of Australia during the final of the mens doubles in the 2000 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship. Picture: Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT

“From that very first match in the second tournament – mind you, we’d only played one other match! We lost first round. We got our butts kicked so badly we were thinking ‘there’s nothing here between us.’

“But the second tournament, that very first match we beat a seeded team. There was something there. We just kind of walked off like ‘hey, this is pretty good.’

“We actually changed back to our original sides, me being the lefty on the ad(vantage) court, Todd the righty on the first court. It just flowed. It flowed for a number of other matches that week. We ended up losing in the semis, which wasn’t a bad loss.

“Our coach and a trainer at the time, they saw something on the sidelines as well.”