Hit & Run: Rog's golden groupies

Is it easier to be a GOAT (Greatest of All Time) if your cheerleaders aren't just mom, dad or uncle Toni? In the swooning analysis following Roger Federer's historic victory at the French Open on Sunday, this is the question that dangles as tantalisingly as a ball lobbed high over the net.

For although Federer's wife Mirka watches lovingly from the sidelines at every match, the leader of the celebrity Fed-Squad is Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of US Vogue, who cheered on the Swiss in Paris at the weekend.

The unlikely friendship between the 27-year-old player and the British-born fashion editor began back in 2007. Wintour, in a piece of killer accessorising that devastated other fashion editors' thousand-dollar It-bags, toted the decorative young player to sit front row at a Marc Jacobs catwalk show in Manhattan. When asked by New York magazine to name her favourite tennis couture, the normally stony-faced Wintour giggled, "Anything that Roger wears!"

Despite snide remarks that Wintour has been in the throes of "a crush", the relationship has endured and her wind-proof bob is now a fixture courtside at Federer games, while his adoption of made-to-measure cardigans and Prada is doubtless an Anna thing.

The Vogue editor's main rival as chief of the Fed-Squad is Roger's buddy Tiger Woods – although it's easier to see why these two are friends. In the early days of their amity, Federer explained: "He knew exactly how I kind of felt out on the court. That's something I haven't felt before, a guy who knows how it feels to feel invincible at times."

Still, it's not all manly heart-to-hearts about the perils of being perfect. Federer has supported Woods at tournaments in China and Miami, while the golfer told reporters, "Roger's a great guy and has become a really good friend."

Woods' appearances at Federer's matches have sometimes been controversial. In 2006 at the US Open, watching the final against the American Andy Roddick, Woods and his wife Elin rejected the neutral seats and sat in the Swiss camp.

"I didn't really notice until they showed him, you know," Roddick sniffed, of seeing Woods ditch patriotism out of loyalty to Federer, "But he's a big boy. That's his decision."

Other Americans regularly spotted in his private player box are the singer Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale; Stefani met the Federers through her friend, the former tennis player Mary Jo Fernandez, wife of Roger's agent.

So, to join Federer's gilded coterie, one needs single-minded ambition, global fame, wealth, a fat-free body and your own line of clothing. Does Hit&Run hear the sound of Victoria Beckham urgently booking tickets to Wimbledon? Susie Rushton

The rites of Springwatch

So Kate Humble and Chris Packham, fellow presenters of Springwatch, BBC2's charming early-evening show about butterflies, badgers and other feathered/furry creatures, find themselves the target of scurrilous rumours about their blossoming (Get it? Blossoming! Spring? No...?) friendship. Bill Oddie never had to put up with this.

Then again, Oddie never made odd pop references that could be construed as obliquely sexual during onscreen exchanges with the married Humble. Last Monday, Packham lost a wager about fledgling blackbirds. "You said you're not a betting man," joked Humble, "but I think you should put your hand in your pocket." To which Packham pointedly replied: "You just haven't earned it yet, baby."

To a flustered Humble and the viewing public, who'd simply been sitting down to watch otters being cute, this sounded like some sort of lewd invitation. In fact, Packham had agreed to another bet with a friend, which required him to slip the names of songs by The Smiths into each day's programme.

"You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby", from the band's 1987 compilation album, The World Won't Listen, was Monday's choice, and Packham had prepped Humble with instructions, asking her to feed him a line about how it was time to pay up. She ad-libbed, he didn't – confusion ensued.

The episode will come as a relief to Packham's fans from his days on The Really Wild Show. Unlike many grown-up pre-teen idols, Packham – now a youthful 48 – must have been a bit cool in the Eighties, too. Tim Walker

Swimwear if you dare

While the economy's up the creek, life's a beach for those dealing in luxury swimwear. An £800 swimsuit has sold out at New York emporium Rosa Cha, where the crème de la crème of beach babes pick up their waterside wardrobes.

Not that they'll be swimming in it. The suit in question is made of butter-soft meshed brown leather and would be ruined if one dived into one's infinity pool whilst wearing it. Other pieces flying off the shelves of the SoHo boutique include a £2000 Swarovski crystal encrusted suit.

"The people that buy the pieces are people who can definitely afford these kinds of items," says shop manager Christina Delice, helpfully, of the limited edition range, which includes a £1190 kaftan (also sold out).

Still, looking trim in the leather suit at least won't be an issue, as many of the wearers are likely to be too hungry to manage much of a splash about. Harriet Walker

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice