SW19 Diary: Will footballers come with a late run into the royal box?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Monday 27 June 2011
It has not been a good Championships for the banana. The sight of a player chewing ruminatively on the fruit in between games has long been a fixture of the sport. But the diary has yet to spot one being consumed at this year's Wimbledon. Andy Murray once labelled them a "pathetic fruit", an attitude that appears to have spread to his fellow players.
Wimbledon already stands accused of being sexist over this year's scheduling, with the All England Club forced to deny that they asked Caroline Wozniacki to do some light dusting around the trophy room after her match on Saturday. So the diary is loath to accuse them of being sportist, but the question has to be asked: do they have something against football? Saturday was sport's day on Centre Court with the royal box packed with the "sporting stars".
There were rugby players and Olympians aplenty – the cricketers were in earlier in the week – but the sole footballing representative was Sir Geoff Hurst. Is the people's game just not seen as right for the royal box (and Prince William, president of the FA, doesn't count – in case he turns up this week)?
Mrs Murray keeps eye on 'Deliciano'
Keep an eye out for Judy Murray among the crowd on Court 3 this afternoon – provided her boy doesn't dally too long on Centre. Mrs Murray is a huge fan of Feliciano Lopez and it is not the Spaniard's two-handed backhand, or even the fact that he is a potential quarter-final opponent for her son, that has fuelled her interest. Mrs M has christened Lopez "Deliciano" and has been tweeting regularly about him. "Oooooh, Deliciano, looking good out there," went one message. Lopez is a doppelgänger for the actor Christopher Lambert, who played the lead in Highlander, so maybe it's a Scottish thing.
Hot dog such a cool cat chez Fish
The atmosphere at post-match press conferences at SW19 is remarkably relaxed – and as immaculately organised as the rest of the tournament – and it leads to a range of discussions you could never imagine being touched on in other sports. Animals are a regular topic. Last week we had Novak Djokovic's squirrel and on Saturday it was Mardy Fish's dog. "She's a dachshund, a hot dog," said the last American in the men's draw. "She has a person living at our house now taking care of her. She's pretty spoilt. She's very LA."
Wozniacki wary of media own goals
Caroline Wozniacki is a smiley sort but she might come to regret mentioning she was a Liverpool fan – Steven Gerrard in particular – as every time she appears in front of the media now the subject comes up. She received good luck messages from a couple of the players but refused to name names. "The last three weeks I've been in the spotlight, supposedly dating every single guy I eat dinner with," said Wozniacki, before resolving to keep schtum. "If I say a name here, then I'm sure it will make a big headline. So I just prefer to be quiet about it."
Serena reveals yet another bad brake
Serena Williams has been through the mill recently – she told our own Nick Bollettieri that she was happy just to be here when they had a chat and a hug at the end of last week – but one mishap only emerged in the wake of her victory over Maria Kirilenko on Saturday. Last October, Williams revealed in a fit of giggles, she fell off her bike and still bears the shoulder scar to prove it. "I was going too fast," she said. "Everyone was laughing at me. I was just like: 'Oh, my God'. I was so embarrassed."
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