SW19 Diary: A rattled Federer tells press to do homework

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The Independent Online

It seems strange to think it now, but those with tennis memories longer than seven years will recall the days when Roger Federer regularly lobbed his toys from the pram and threw hissy fits. It was a slightly out-of-sorts Federer who turned up to his post-match press conference. When asked if this could be Andy Murray's year, given that some of the big names hadn't been playing so well, he retorted, sarcasm laced with topspin: "Yeah, I mean true. Rafa played terribly lately [four straight titles]. Soderling is not a threat either. [Murray] has got an easy ride to the title, that's for sure. Djokovic can't play tennis any more it seems. Go and do your homework."

Highly-strung affair

Stat of the week: A one-day record of 316 rackets were strung on Monday by Wimbledon's team of stringers, we've learned. Last year's fortnightly total was surpassed by yesterday.

Groundsman has to put in the hard yards

The longest commute of the championships award goes to George Spring, who works as part of head groundsman Eddie Seaward's team that takes care of the courts so fantastically. His job at the Championships for many years has been to take charge of the court attendants (the folk who put the covers on and off). He travels over to SW19 every year from his home is in a remote part of northern New South Wales, Australia. Fair dinkum.

Cover girls enjoying their share of the limelight

As we know, it was only in recent years that the women have earned parity in prize money here, and only for the past few Championships that women have been allowed to be honorary stewards. Now another bastion of sexism has fallen: girls are now allowed to be part of the court attendant teams to shift the covers, and every team features at least one woman. The Diary reckons that leaves just two jobs around the club that remain exclusively male: the hawk that keeps the pigeons away, and the bouncers who stand behind the players' chairs.

Keothavong family pride

Anne Keothavong on Twitter yesterday: "Been watching Djokovic and Lu, only just realised it was my brother umpiring them when the commentators mentioned his name!" James Keothavong is a professional official.

Lu is made in Taiwan

The All England Club has had more than 500 emails requesting they denote that Lu Yen-Hsun is from Taiwan, not Chinese Taipei, not least because he considers himself Taiwanese. Quite right too. It's actually the ATP's call, and we'll bring you more on imperialist geopolitics when we get an explanation.