SW19 Diary: High-ranking Roy Hodgson mixes with royalty

 

So who's better, the England football team or Andy Murray? No contest you might imagine, but as of yesterday Roy Hodgson's boys, like Britain's No 1 tennis player, are officially ranked fourth in the world. Fifa's dubious system has promoted them above those hopeless Italians, Portuguese and Brazilians, on the back of reaching the quarter-final at Euro 2012. A fitting day then for Mr and Mrs Hodgson to be in the Royal Box here, along with Kate and Wills. Tennis royalty meanwhile was represented by Mr and Mrs Andre Agassi, the lady in question remaining in All England Club parlance "Miss Stefanie Graf".

Young Brits learn from the greats

Younger hopefuls in the British ranks continue to be much in demand as practice partners for the game's greats. Rafael Nadal regularly asked last year to warm up with Evan Hoyt from Llanelli, while Roger Federer has again been hitting with Kyle Edmund, another 17 year-old Brit, from Beverley.

Biggest day for Britain's Marray

There was a huge match for Britain's Marray here yesterday; that's not a spelling mistake, we are talking about Jonathan Marray, the 31-year-old Merseysider who finally made it to a Grand Slam quarter-final after 11 years, in the men's doubles. While his near namesake was taking Centre (Court) stage, Marray was partnering the Dane Frederik Nielsen on No 3 Court to a five-set victory over American James Cerretani and France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin to book a place in the last four. These days Marray focuses on doubles, with a variety of partners – including, confusingly for umpires, Jamie Murray. He has won 34 titles at ITF level, reaching the top 100 last year; his most notable feat in singles was taking former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt to two tie-break sets at Queen's.

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