SW19 Diary: Long Centre Court wait goes on for Scottish No 1
Monday 04 July 2011
Wasted journey of the week. The name Alex Salmond stood out on the guest list for the Royal Box yesterday. Scotland's First Minister had a busy week, with the opening of the Edinburgh Parliament and assuring the Queen her job's safe if he manages to persuade the Scots to make a go of it on their own, but was denied the chance of the grandest of finales by Rafael Nadal. The smooth-talking Salmond, who was seated next to John Major during the final, has been an impressive performer in government north of the border but, the diary wonders, if things take a turn for the worse, will the Scots start referring to him as British?
Miranda gives Murray reasons to be cheerful
Andy Murray spent the night before the day that might have been watching episodes of the BBC hit comedy Miranda. He liked it – "pretty funny" he tweeted. The programme's eponymous star, Miranda Hart, was on Centre Court on Friday to witness Murray's defeat. The diary does not think the two events are connected.
Long grind in the hectic lives of Bryan
The Bryan brothers, Mike and Bob, have won 11 Grand Slams together, which means that they will have a chance on home soil in the US Open to overtake the record set by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the great Australian pairing. The Americans are now gratefully heading for home – Bob to Miami and Mike to the other side of the country in California – for the first time since January. Not surprising then that Bob described the tour as the "meat grinder" in the wake of Saturday's victory.
Is new golden era about to dawn for Australia?
This is not easy to admit, but it has been an encouraging Championships for Australia. There has been much wailing Down Under about the struggles of the country's tennis players, and they intensified after Lleyton Hewitt squandered a two-set lead to Robin Soderling to tumble out in the second round. But then came Bernard Tomic's revitalising run to the last four and over the weekend Aussies claimed both the boys' and girls' titles. Luke Saville beat home hope Liam Broady in the boys' and, yesterday, Ashleigh Barty, a 15-year-old from Queensland, was a surprise winner of the girls' event, beating the Russian third seed Irina Khromacheva in straight sets. Barty has been helped along the way by Evonne Goolagong, the dual winner here, who has been texting advice to her young compatriot.
Llorente getting his bearings in London?
Fernando Llorente, the Atheltic Bilbao and Spain striker, was part of Rafa Nadal's entourage at Wimbledon yesterday. Could it be a first taste of life in London for the World Cup winner, who has been widely linked with a move to Tottenham?
Bleedin' obvious commentary of the day
Two ballboys enter Centre Court with umbrellas. "What they'll do," explained Andrew Castle helpfully, "is open them and hold them over the players' heads." Complaint of the week: "We never had umbrellas," added Boris Becker, rather like the Fred Trueman of tennis.
In sport it is very much the way that the king is dead, long live the king. Back in the Royal Box yesterday was Rory McIlroy, the much feted 2011 US Open champion. In the cheap seats – if there is such a thing on Centre Court – was Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion.
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