Court circular: Radio Wimbledon rules the airwaves

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WHEN MARCELO Rios said after his first-round loss to Francisco Clavet that Wimbledon was "overrated" and "just another tournament" there seemed to be a bad smell of sour grapes on his breath. Along with the ivy facade, the dress code and other traditions, how can an event that even boasts its own radio station fail to stand out from the crowd?

After batting the idea of a tournament radio station back and forth for some time, the All England Club finally allowed Radio Wimbledon to take to the airwaves in 1992.

The brainchild of Larry Hodgson, former head of BBC Sport, it now broadcasts from 8am until an hour after play finishes and can be picked up on 87.7FM by everyone within a four-mile radius of the ground. News bulletins, clips from players and live press conferences are all part of the service as well as bringing every result from every match in every competition to listeners.When asked how the 10-person team cope with rain delays the `C' word is mentioned. "Cliff Richard does come in," editorial director Steve Butterick explains. "But we don't let him sing."

Jane Marlow