SW19 diary: Tea? Thanks a million

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Wimbledon queue experienced a landmark event yesterday with the handing out of the 1,000,000th "queue card" since they were introduced in 2003, highlighting the event's power to draw people to SW19 to wait for hours to get in.

The queue cards were introduced in response to "the South African queue incident" of 2002, an episode still talked about in hushed tones by those who witnessed it. A party of around 20 South African tennis fans, wanting to see Wayne Ferreira play Tim Henman, pushed in at the front of the queue, and a fracas ensued, requiring security and police to break it up. "A dreadful scene," an eyewitness says.

The queue cards are the definitive way to prove your place, and the 1,000,000th went to Rose Stanley, visiting Wimbledon for the first time. She comes from... South Africa, and was "thrilled" to received a free programme and an invitation to tea with the head steward.

The taste of success

The LTA's hierarchy faces ongoing questions about style over substance. It didn't help that no members of the LTA press team were at work on Friday evening because they'd opted instead to go to the LTA cocktail party. The LTA's head of marketing and communications, Bruce Philipps, was witnessed "in something of a hurry" trying to get to the same party, in his Porsche, honking at other cars. Nice work if you can get it.

Britain in bloom

Ken Skupski is Britain's best men's doubles player, and a gent. When Elena Baltacha agreed to partner him in the mixed, the amiable Scouser sent her a big bunch of flowers.


BBC 1 ......... 1.45-6pm.
BBC 2 ......... 12-3.25pm, 5.50-8pm.
Additional coverage on BBCi and BBCHD 12-7pm.
BBC 2 ......... 8-9pm

*Sunny intervals towards the middle of the afternoon with a chance of a light rain shower in the morning.

*Maximum temperature: 26C