SW19 Diary: Campaign to rename this capital hill doomed to fail

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The Independent Online

Radio Wimbledon, perhaps in an effort to detract attention from what's been going on in the broom cupboard (see SW19 Diaries passim) has launched a major campaign to have Henman Hill officially designated as such.

The idea was the brainchild of the station's roving reporter, Simon Mundie, and has been enthusiastically endorsed by the management of the onsite station. In a nine-minute feature, we hear the crowds on the hill heartily say "Aye" to the notion of permanent recognition, while a cast of well-known tennis names has also backed it.

John McEnroe wants Henman Hill set in stone, so too Mark Petchey, the former coach of Andy Murray. The veteran US commentator Bud Collins agrees, so too Gary Richardson, and tennis dad Richard Williams, Andrew Castle and actor Ross Kemp, who was among those canvassed for some reason.

The former British player Chris Bailey sums up the mood when saying: "It's Henman Hill, and that's no disrespect to Andy Murray at all. Hopefully, we'll end up with a statue of him, and that's better than having a bit of dirt named after you."

Henman himself contributed an amusing few lines to the debate. "It would be nice if the club give me that bit of real estate," he said. "I could stick a few flats on it and make some money out of it." He added that he's discussed the subject with Murray and Murray wants it to be Henman Hill.

Says Mundie: "We have two aims. First, we'd like some official recognition from the All England Club that the people perceive the hill as Henman Hill. Second, we need a signpost, in recognition of the fact that Tim Henman changed the face of the tournament for British fans."

RW's campaign already looks destined to fail. A spokesman for the club told the Diary: "That area of the grounds already has a name. It's called Aorangi Terrace and it will remain so."

The terrace was given its name because it was constructed on the site of the old New Zealand sports and social club. Aorangi is the Maori name for Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. It can also be spelt Aoraki. It means "cloud in the sky".

RW's campaign, we fear, for all its fun, is pie in the sky.

Alert goes out warning of fake ticket sites

A word of warning to any fan desperate to get tickets to Wimbledon now that Murraymania is well and truly under way and with Roger Federer just two wins from the all-time Slam singles record: don't be fooled by fake ticket sites.

One such operation, www.onlinewimbledontickets.com, looks like an official site but is anything but. Already the All England Club knows of 50 people and rising who have been duped into paying huge sums for seats that don't exist. The firm tells would-be customers that tickets will be sent, then says they will be delivered to hotels or homes, and then says the buyers need to go to the club. At which point they realise they've been had. One Romanian businessman lost €13,000 (£11,171) on four non-existent tickets.

"Our security department and the police are looking at this site," a club spokesman said. "We reiterate that anyone buying tickets should buy from official sources or verify authenticity with our ticketing department."

Federer puts in late shift on Facebook

Roger Federer has been answering fans' questions on his Facebook page. His view of the new roof? "Great. The AELTC was able to keep the old, traditional elements of center court intact and add a very modern element... the roof! I have not yet had a chance to play a match under the roof, but I am excited to do so in the future." Roger later wrote at 1am: "I have to hit the sack now." Either someone else is doing his typing or he's very late to bed for a top athlete.

Wimbledon quotes

"We'd keep you informed... if there was any escalation above the normal sort of what you'd expect, but it would appear there isn't." The All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins plays down fears of a swine flu outbreak at Wimbledon

"I love the record I have, reaching so many Grand Slam semis in a row. Twenty-one is quite a number and it shows how consistent I have been." Roger Federer is pleased with himself after a three-set victory against Ivo Karlovic to reach his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semi-final

"It is only because he is better than everybody else." Karlovic explains Federer's ability to read his serves

"I am going to try and go out there and see if I can annoy him a little bit." Tommy Haas is realistic about his strategy for tomorrow's semi-final against Federer


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Outlook Tomorrow will be much more unsettled with a 70 per cent chance of showers. Maximum temperature 26C, possible heavy thunder and lightning.

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