Court circular: Go-ahead for coffee lovers

WHEN DOUBLES partners, Tim Henman and Pete Sampras, had hot chocolate brought on court for them during at match at Queen's this year, maybe they weren't undermining the doubles game as was suggested by some, but just privy to cutting edge nutritional advice.

Recent findings suggest caffeine can enhance your game. Last year's Wimbledon finalist Jana Novotna greeted the findings with mixed feelings. "I must say I'm a coffee lover so that is definitely good news for me," she said. "Nevertheless I have heard from many other sources that coffee is not the greatest drink in the world for top athletes. A cup of tea yes, especially in the cold rainy days but a cup of coffee - I don't think so."

Although independent dietician and nutritionist Mabel Blades Bsc is not aware of any new substance in the drink that might help players, she is of the view that "a little of what you fancy does you good. If players enjoy a cup of coffee there is no reason why they shouldn't have it as long as the rest of their diet is adequate in fluids and well balanced".

Given Novotna's scepticism and the fact that change-overs are only 90 seconds its unlikely we will see players say: "Mine's a double cappuccino please", in between games.