Fans on Murray Mountain are older and wiser – but their hopes are high

The steep, spectator-filled embankment east of Centre Court had a slightly different look to it this year. Formerly known as Henman Hill, fans of Andy Murray, the Great British hope, had turned up in force. But this year, the screaming teenagers on Murray Mountain, as it has been dubbed, have been replaced by mature Murray maniacs – and Scottish female ones in particular. Murray's absence from yesterday's schedule of play did little to dissuade his loyal countrywomen from turning out in force.

"This year is the best chance he'll ever have," Margaret Powell, 63, told The Independent, "because Nadal is out of the way and it's not often we'll be able to say that". She and her 61 year-old sister, Elizabeth Catherall, hail from Melrose in Scotland. Having never been to the opening Monday before, they were enticed by the prospect of tapping into the buzz surrounding their countryman.

"It's high time Scotland had a player we could be proud of," Catherall said. "I think there was a feeling that Tim Henman was a bit English and boring. Andy is a Scottish warrior – volatile and unpredictable, like the rest of his countrymen."

Margaret Tredre, 62, a nursing sister originally from the Scottish town of Lanark, thinks that Murray has matured hugely. "He's much more like the complete package this year. He's got all the shots and variations. He's a lot stronger physically and mentally," she said. "Plus he's got a girlfriend and a haircut, which makes him more like Federer, which is what he needs to be."

Former therapeutic counsellor Moreg Robertson, also a Scotswomen in her 60s, said that the key to Murray's chances lay in his controlling his temper. "I'm obviously a huge fan of Andy but I do think he's got to keep his cool. I didn't like all that swearing a few years ago and I'm glad he's calmed down a bit. If he controls his temper this year could be his year."

Roger Federer may have managed to turn up at Wimbledon in something akin to fancy dress but woe-betide spectators who try to do the same.

High on the list of unwanted garments are superhero outfits which are almost certain to herald disruption to the tournament by protesters anxious to grab the attention of the cameras.

Fathers for Justice and Plane Stupid are just two of the organisations regarded as having the potential to launch a stunt in superhero costumes and any spectator found with one faces being removed from the grounds, or at the very least having the costume confiscated. Banners, if allowed at all, will be unfurled to check their messages are directed at the tennis in hand.

More serious threats, including terrorism, could also be given away by the wrong clothing – among the most obvious potential mistakes is wearing clothing that may hide a weapon but is out of place in the heat of summer. According to one uniformed security official, "people wearing big coats might politely be asked why they bothered doing so when it's so hot".

Superintendent Pete Dobson, Gold Commander of Merton Borough Police and the man with overall responsibility for tournament security, said: "We have to cater for all types of incursions, whether they be from terrorist groups, from single protest groups or fixated persons."

"We are very concerned because it is an iconic event televised live around the world. London is still at 'severe' on the international threat level. We are extremely concerned."

Specialist support units including explosives officers and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) device teams, would also be on standby throughout the tournament, Mr Dobson added. "Should we have a dirty bomb scenario then we have resources to help us deal with that," he said, though he added there was no specific threat to Wimbledon. Stalkers are a particular problem. One member of security personnel outside Court 3 told The Independent that he and colleagues had been told of a hit list of 30 individuals from around the world who might target the tournament. "There are meant to be some veterans who always turn up," he said, "but we know who they are and they won't find it easy getting in."

Staff have been encouraged to use their discretion when searching new arrivals to the vast complex.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor