Revealed: Capriati's secrets of the curtsy

Court Circular
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The Independent Online

Day four and the level of questioning in the post-match interview room is becoming somewhat alarming. Jennifer Capriati makes a special plea. "Can we talk about tennis?" she says not unreasonably after being asked about the decor in the ladies' locker room. For a while, sport does indeed intervene until the American is questioned over her ability to perform a curtsy, now no longer obligatory on Centre Court, of course, unless the Queen or Prince Charles are in attendance. "There would be a guy showing you how to do it," she volunteered before being hit with the follow-up. "Was the guy wearing a dress?" A slight, bewildered pause, before Capriati replied with an admirable straight face. "He was wearing pants."

Talking of interviews, producers at the BBC must have been rubbing their hands with glee at the "master-stroke" of employing Lucy Rusedski as a reporter during the Championships. The decision, so far, has been met with derision (Mrs Rusedski and her sister Oonagh have been compared rather disparagingly with the Slater sisters from Eastenders and their revelations have been painfully embarrassing, amounting to who on the circuit are "Greg's friends"). But surely now, following her husband's outburst, there was the potential for a little scoop? A little first-hand reporting? "Tomorrow it will be forgotten. There will be another big story," she informed viewers. "He has not said much and I am working so I have left him to consider where he goes from here," Lucy added matter-of-factly. Apparently, blissfully unaware of the irony of the situation, she then said: "There are people outside the house so he will hide away." People, presumably, including fellow BBC reporters.

A footnote to the Rusedski drama. As reported yesterday the rules of tennis clearly state that the umpire Lars Graff acted correctly in not replaying the point. But could not Andy Roddick, who won the point, have insisted on a let? It is something that used to occur a few years ago, most memorably when Bjorn Borg once refused to win a match on a poor line call. "I don't think it would happen now because they are all so professional," the tournament referee Alan Mills admitted .

Celebrities have been a little thin on the ground. An appearance yesterday in the Royal Box by Richard Stilgoe surely does not count, although others such as Matthew Perry, a star of the US sitcom Friends, and the actress Minnie Driver are admittedly a little more A-list.

Who would have thought it? Going into the third round of the men's competition and Britain has as many players left in the draw as Australia. With the defeat of Wayne Arthurs and Scott Draper yesterday, both nations are left with one player in the last 32. British hopes of claiming the new American heart-throb James Blake - mother from Oxfordshire - were also dashed. He was bounced out in straight sets. It must be in the blood.

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