Court Circular

Graf reveals her grasp of economy
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The Independent Online
NO WONDER players sometimes find journalists exasperating. Steffi Graf was asked the following question in a press conference. "There is an economic theory about marginal utility, the less you have from something, the more you want to make out of it. Can we say that it's happening to you, that you are enjoying more than ever, and especially here at Wimbledon, a championship that had given so much to you?" Steffi replied: "I've basically not understood very much." The questioner continued. "This economic theory says that if you have 10 units of something, the value of each of the units is X, but if you have only one, it's much more, or if you have two, it's more than the 10. I don't know how many championships you have, a lot, but do you enjoy each Wimbledon more than before?" Steffi replied that tournaments did indeed take on a special meaning as she got older, and added: "I obviously treasure those moments a lot more, economy- wise too."

POOR Lindsay Davenport. Yesterday she eliminated Jana Novotna, the reigning champion, and then nobody wanted to speak to her about her achievement. A few minutes after her victory, an announcement came over the loudspeaker in the press centre: "Attention. Lindsay Davenport is in the interview room. No one is there."

JELENA DOKIC, the 16-year-old Australian sensation, is obsessive about her game. In an interview with Tennis Stuff, the International Tennis Federation's journal for junior players, she describes her on-court ritual. "I never walk on the lines between points," she said. "And I bounce the ball five times before my first serve and twice before my second serve." She adds that in a perfect world, her ideal opponent in a Grand Slam final would be Martina Hingis. That was never going to happen this year after Hingis was sent packing in the first round - by Dokic.

GLENN HODDLE, the former England manager who believes in reincarnation, looked to be enjoying himself yesterday in the Royal Box. It cannot be confirmed that as he left, a steward said "Nice day, sir?" and Hoddle replied "I have great confidence I'll be back."

IT WAS good to see Pat Rafter's Australian followers in good heart on Court 13 yesterday. Embracing the genteel spirit of the Championships, the girls screamed "We love you Pat" between points and at the end of each game a raucous bunch of lads burst into the chant "Ozzie-ozzie-ozzie. Oi-oi-oi." The greatest mirth, however, was before the match began, when Rafter hit a practice serve straight into a delicate area of a ball boy. The feat was greeted with a small "oooh", then laughter and applause.

THE BBC presenters' chairs must be very uncomfortable. Why else would Steve Ryder be seen buying a Wimbledon cushion for pounds 5.50?

LENS MAGNETS

A photo count from yesterday's national press (seedings in brackets)

MEN NUMBER OF PHOTOGRAPHS WOMEN

Tim Henman (6) 28 11 Anna Kournikova (17)

Greg Rusedski (9) 10 10 Venus Williams (6)

Becker & Courier 8 6 Alexandra Stevenson (-)

The total photo count since 21 June

Tim Henman (6) 157 122 Anna Kournikova (17)

Greg Rusedski (9) 103 93 Martina Hingis (1)

Andre Agassi (4) 62 82 Jelena Dokic (-)

CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS

0 The number of sets Lindsay Davenport of America has lost en route to her first Wimbledon semi-final.

13 The number of points Tim Henman and Cedric Pioline managed to contest before rain interrupted play.

75 The percentage of break points Jana Novotna converted during her quarter- final loss to Lindsay Davenport.

120 The speed (mph) of Venus Williams's fastest serve yesterday during her quarter-final match with Steffi Graf.

TV COVERAGE

BBC2: 1.0pm-8.30pm;

BBC1: 1.40pm-4.10pm.

Highlights: BBC2: 9.30pm.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Dry with bright or sunny spells until early afternoon.

Winds light to moderate.

Maximum temp: 24 C (75F).

QUOTES OF THE DAY

At the beginning of the tournament, I was reading the paper and my coach goes, "You know the odds are 15-1 that you're going to win? I'm going to put pounds 1,000 on that". Reading things like that doesn't bring me down, though, it's always kind of funny to see that people don't think I can do it.

Lindsay Davenport, after her 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final victory against Jana Novotna.

She may not be a household name but she was the choice of the shrewder punter.

Graham Sharpe, spokesman for bookmakers William Hill, who offered the 14-1 on Davenport.

Every player has an opponent they don't like to play - and mine is Lindsay. I definitely think she can win the title now. She was just too good for me.

Novotna.

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