Tennis: Wimbledon '99 - Court Circular: Ivanisevic galled by BBC repeats

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The Independent Online
GORAN IVANISEVIC, three times a losing finalist, feels that God (with a little help from the BBC) has got it in for him. After losing last year to Pete Sampras, the Croatian said the defeat had been the worst moment of his life and that he felt like shooting himself. Matters had not been helped, he added, by the fact that, during rain breaks in the tournament, the BBC had done little for his morale by showing his 1992 defeat to Andre Agassi. Speaking a few weeks ago the popular but unlucky loser said of the prospects of spending showery hours in the locker room: "Please God, I only hope that the BBC don't show last year's final if it rains. If they do, I'll regard it as some kind of punishment from God." So what did the Beeb choose to screen yesterday as Ivanisevic sat in the locker room waiting to play his fourth-round tie with Todd Martin? Last year's long and excruciating loss to Pete Sampras, of course.

ONE OF the biggest draws at the All England Club's rain-sodden grounds yesterday was the BBC's demonstration of interactive television where fans were shown how, in the future, they will be able to watch 20 courts at once and call up simultaneous match statistics. The attraction of the display, presumably, had less to do with the fascinating technology - all the courts were under rain covers, and the message "Play is suspended due to rain" was on the screen - and everything to do with it being situated in a dry tent.

GREG RUSEDSKI is not alone in switching allegiances. Of the players left in the singles' draws yesterday the British No 2, born in Montreal, was just one of six with migratory tendencies. The others were the Canadian Daniel Nestor and the Australian Jelena Dokic (both born in Belgrade), France's Nathalie Tauziat (born in Bangui in the Central African Republic), Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand (born in Los Angeles) and Mirjana Lucic of Croatia (born in Dortmund, Germany).

CAN WE expect to see more of Tauziat in London after the championships? Chelsea's manager, Gianluca Vialli, has, after all, signed her second cousin, Didier Deschamps.

JOURNALISTS CAN be a scavenging bunch. Before the start of the Championships the soft drinks maker, Robinson's, sent Wimbledon Survival Kits - which consisted of sun cream, sweets, an umbrella, drinks, stationery, a watch and a computer game - to tennis writers covering the Championships. After several enquiries from hacked-off hacks who had failed to receive their goodies (worth around pounds 100), a spokeswoman said: "The kits were sent to the journalists' offices. It appears they were plundered, as if by vultures."

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