SW19 Diary: Britons go for a Burton after marathon misery
Friday 03 July 2009
Imagine finishing a marathon thinking you've crossed the line just ahead of your closest rival. You celebrate for a good five seconds. Then someone tells you that you didn't win, and you have to do the last few hundred metres again. This time you lose. You'd be gutted.
The tennis equivalent of that happened yesterday to two Britons in the second round of the boy's doubles, and the SW19 Diary can testify that they were utterly miserable. George Morgan, 16, and Lewis Burton, 17, believed they were robbed of a famous win.
In one of the longest boys' doubles matches on record, they eventually lost to Carlos Boluda-Purkiss of Spain and David Souto of Venezuela, 7-6, 5-7, 17-15. (For the record, the longest boys' set was 20-18 in a match in 1983).
The controversy yesterday came at 15-14 to the Brits, with their opponents serving at 15-40. The Brits held two match points. Says Morgan of the first: "Lewis hit the ball down the line and it landed on the baseline. It was in. I saw the chalk."
The pair duly chucked their rackets down, jumped up and down in unrestrained glee, and celebrated for a full five seconds. The crowd was going wild. But Boluda-Purkiss, having fallen, was appealing. And, on a late, late call, the ball was called out. On the outside courts – and this was played on No12 – there is no recourse to Hawk-Eye. The crowd jeered the decision. The Brits went on to lose.
The Diary spoke to the boys afterwards. Glum does not describe it. We asked Morgan if there was any consolation in coming so close. "Not really," he said.
"We lost. And the ball was in."
Murray's heroics make the 'pimps' happy
Andy Murray's stirring performances are sending prices into orbit for tickets to see him. Eric Baker, who has been called a "ticket pimp" by a coalition of sports governing bodies who oppose touting, is a man who would know. He is the CEO of Viagogo, Europe's leading "secondary ticketing" company.
"Before Murray's game against Juan Carlos Ferrero on Wednesday, single tickets for the semi-finals were trading for an average of £1,500," he says. "In the few hours after he won, the price rocketed by 180 per cent. If he wins his semi-final, tickets for the final are sure to be well in excess of £10,000 each and may even be closer to £20,000. We have never seen anything like this. We could be set for a UK record for the most expensive tickets ever bought."
Mums unlikely to be in with a final shout
The All England Club has received an email to be forwarded to Andy Murray from two fans from Hertfordshire, both mums, aged 40 and 50, who were in the crowd for his epic win over Stanislas Wawrinka earlier this week. They want seats for the final, which they are sure he will reach, for playing what they claim was a crucial role in that win.
"Our critical cheers were in the final set, 4-3, your advantage, on Stan's serve," they write. "You seemed to be struggling a little bit, and at that point, you eyeballed us directly and appealed for us to cheer you on, which we instantly responded to, very vigorously (we were in row G, about 20 feet away from you, just under the international box). From that point on, you didn't look back in the match! So we are claiming responsibility that it was your appeal to us, and our response to you with our cheering, that supported you in victory.
"As we never do other than clap politely, we never expected to find ourselves cheering so vigorously at your request, so who knows what will come of this note to you? And it really was us who you appealed to directly for encouragement from, and we really did respond."
The email has gone to Murray's management company.
"I feel that a lot of the time people talk about up-and-coming players and say they do a lot of stuff better, but I do end up winning a lot of the time." Andy Roddick reminds us that he is still a force in world tennis
"I thought ace. It's my serve, if I can just stay calm. I was just trying to think positive." Serena Williams explains her thought processes when Elena Dementieva had match point after she scraped through to face her sister Venus in tomorrow's women's singles final
Today Warm and humid but with showers expected that could turn thundery. Max temp of 26C.
Outlook A cooler weekend with max temp 26C. Light showers are probable along with 17mph winds on Sunday, so the men's final could be played under the roof. Max temp of 24C.
BBC 2: 12.00-15.25, 17.50-20.00.
BBC 1: 13.45-18.00. Highlights: BBC 2 20.00-21.00 Additional coverage on BBCHD and BBCi
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