Mark Woodforde has revealed sad new details of his frosty relationship with former doubles partner Todd Woodbridge.
The iconic “Woodies” pairing are one of the best sporting tandems Australia has ever produced, combining to win 11 tennis grand slam doubles titles, 61 ATP doubles tournaments, a Davis Cup and an Olympic gold during a decade of brilliance on court together.
However, the pair haven’t been on speaking terms for a long time.
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Woodforde has now spoken out publicly in a sign that all may not be lost.
The 57-year-old said recently the relationship breakdown “absolutely cuts” him.
“We don’t have a lot to talk about these days,” he said on The Soda Room podcast with Mark Soderstrom.
“I would love to be able to play some more of the legends events together, but it’s just at a position … it is where it is right now.
“For someone you could rely upon for as many years and have great fun and success and joy with, to be at this stage now, it’s really hurtful – I’m still the same person.”
Woodforde said he “without a doubt” wanted to patch the relationship back together.
The pair were both working at the Australian Open last month with Woodbridge fronting Channel 9’s coverage and Woodforde returning in commentary for SEN.
Woodforde first went public with their falling out in 2020 when he said their relationship is “non existent”.
“It’s probably one of the greatest quandaries right now. I wish Todd and I were in a better place. We haven’t spoken for some time,” Woodforde said.
The left-hander appears hurt at Woodbridge’s decision to play with Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman on the legends tour instead of him.
“Todd’s elected to move on and play with Jonas Bjorkman in some of the legends doubles events, who he played with once I retired,” he said.
“He developed a partnership with Jonas and they had success together, but not anywhere near on the same level as the Woodies.
“I guess the Woodies drifted into the background for him and he’s developing his own brand.
“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 there 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.”
His comments have always contrasted to Woodbridge’s ongoing public comments about their relationship.
Asked directly “are you and Woodforde still close?” in an interview with the Herald Sun earlier this year, Woodbridge said “yes”.
“We are good friends and what we achieved together is very special. We don’t work a lot together or spend a huge amount of time together. We are very different characters and we live in different countries these days,” he said.
The Aussies joined forces in 1990 and after a rocky start became legends.
“The first tournament we didn’t do so well. It was abysmal … we lost first round. We got our butts kicked so badly we were thinking ‘yeah, there’s nothing really here between us’,” Woodforde said.
“But the second tournament, that very first match we beat a seeded team. There was something there. We just kind of walked off and we were like ‘hey, this is pretty good.’
“We actually changed back to our original sides, me being the left-hander 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.
“But our coach and a trainer at the time, they saw something on the sidelines as well.”