SW19 diary: Martina roots for Henin

By Nick Harris

Martina Navratilova thinks Rafael Nadal will beat Roger Federer in this year's men's singles final and that Serena Williams will beat her sister Venus in the women's final, but in an exclusive interview yesterday with the SW19 Diary, the all-time most successful player in the history of tennis (men's or women's) told us whom she would actually
like to win this year.

"Sentimentally, my tips are Andy Roddick in the men's and Justine Henin in the women's. I'd like to see Andy win because he's come so close and I think he deserves it, and for Justine to come out of retirement and complete her career Slam singles set would be wonderful."

Navratilova, 53, has just completed a six-week course of radiation treatment for breast cancer that was diagnosed earlier this year. "I had the last session last week in Paris," she said. "I threw a party. That's it over, I hope. I'll need regular check-ups but hopefully that's it, finished."

As befits a woman with a colossal appetite for achievement (a world record 167 titles, nine of them in the Wimbledon singles), Navratilova is not suddenly going to take life easy. Indeed, she is preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year, leading a team of 28 people up the 5,895m (19,341ft) mountain to raise money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. "I'm petrified of the physical challenge, but this is a cause I strongly believe in," she said.

The climb was planned before the diagnosis of cancer and Navratilova now jests: "Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is part of the approved treatment. Scaling new heights while battling cancer. Basically I'm cancer-free now and you're encouraged to be very active during and after radiation."

Martina Navratilova will climb Mount Kilimanjaro between 6 and 12 December to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. To make a donation visit: www.laureus.com

Thumbs up for Robson

It would have been remiss to chat to Navratilova without asking for her view of Laura Robson. The verdict? "She's a good prospect, she can be top 20, top 10. She needs to loosen up because her motion is still quite mechanical but at 16 she's got room to improve. Being British is a bonus in one sense at Wimbledon because of the wild cards. In another it's not helpful at all. The pressure is hard to handle."



Pick your own at Heathrow

On the subject of Britishness, Heathrow airport's PR department has emailed to say that free strawberries and cream are being given out to arriving passengers this week at all terminals. Apparently, the initiative "is part of Heathrow's drive to provide passengers with an immediate taste of British sport and culture". Wouldn't a more accurate reflection have been to parade a couple of drunk blokes, moaning?



Storm brewing?

A faulty kettle stuck at boiling point for 30 minutes in a TV studio office here yesterday. Smoke everywhere. Fire alarms went off. Broadcasters could now face a ban on brewing up.



Oh, the irony of Aegon

The SW19 Diary's daily poem today addresses the irony of Aegon job cuts during Wimbledon. The insurance firm is set to cut at least 600 jobs and maybe more among 3,700 British employees.

Ode to Aegon: "So then, Aegon, you've promised £25m to British tennis / and you promise that contract is safe 'til 2013 / 'cos it's done wonders for the Aegon brand, (if not profitability.) / Yes, 600 Brits at least will lose their jobs / But at least our also-ran players will be all right, Jack."

News
One Direction's Zayn Malik gazes at a bouquet of flowers in the 'Night Changes' music video
people
News
people
News
'Free the Nipple' film screening after party with We Are The XX, New York, America - 04 Feb 2014
news
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May