Court Circular

Fans pay price in the sun
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The Independent Online

This year's championships could be among the hottest on record, with the temperature on Centre Court soaring over 90 degrees yesterday and the St John's Ambulance service called upon to treat members of the public and officials alike. The ball girl who felt queasy on Court 18, they confirmed, was definitely suffering from the sun, and not from her proximity to the American pin-up, Jan-Michael Gambill. They did not, for the record, confirm what Gambill, the No 12 seed, was suffering from as he crashed out.

Among the 146 people who sought treatment, it was confirmed that 50 were the victims of the heat and a few dozen more had minor ailments. It cannot be confirmed that there were also several cases of fainting, caused at the All England Clubs bars, by people who had asked for a glass of Pimms, and been told: "That's £3.85, please."

Devotion runs riot on the web

It would be an understatement to say that Diana from Kentucky, a Lleyton Hewitt fan, is an admirer of the hunky young Australian. "I love you very much!!!!!!!!!!" she writes in one of the many messages she has posted on the website at lleytonhewittonline.com. "Please marry me!!!!!!!" says another. A third plea implores: "I love Lleyton soooooooo much!!!! I love him soooooo much, I want to marry him and be the mother of his children!!!!! I'm not insane or a stalker, but a fan." Indeed.

Who is first in today's queue?

The first person through the Wimbledon gates this morning will be...

Name: Sue Callaghan.

Age: 48.

Occupation: Housewife from Surrey.

Tickets sought: Centre Court, for £26.

Arrived outside the All England Club: 11.30am on Saturday.

What provisions did you being with you? A tent, a lilo, a quilt, brandy, biscuits, plenty to eat and drink. We haven't had to eat any insects yet.

Are you sad, mad or simply a tennis fanatic? I'm mad, crazy, and a tennis fanatic. You leave you brain at home and you get down to Wimbledon.

Who are you here to see? Tim Henman

Who will win this year? Tim. We all want our English boy to do it and he's the only one here who can.

And who's the sexiest man in the event? Pat Rafter.

What a racket

The price of official Wimbledon baseball caps in the All England Club shop is £13.99. This is a mere £4 more than the official Wimbledon baseball caps in the sports shop just across the road from Southfields tube station half-a-mile down the road. And a measly £11 more expensive than the very reasonably priced caps (albeit unadorned) available via the internet shop, blank.caps.com. Bargain.

The view from over there

Venus Williams begins the defence of her title today against Shinobu Asagoe of Japan. Will tomorrow's media focus in Tokyo be concentrating on the latter, who is hoping to following in the footsteps of her eminent predecessor, Kimiko Date, into the world's top 10, starting with a big win against the champion? "Ha ha," laughed Hiroki Shoda of the Kyodo News Agency. "No, our main story will be about Pete Sampras."

Having a ball in the rain

Rain was a distant memory yesterday, but with this being Wimbledon it is never too far from the thoughts. Take Slazenger, which will introduce water-resistant balls next year. "If the conditions are damp, or there is water on the surface of the court, the standard ball increases in weight by 10 or 20 percent," said a spokesman. "A player will feel that in their arm, so this represents an important development for the professionals and the public." We can hardly wait.

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