Tarango gives it Lars in role of Rusedski's warm-up man

Court Circular
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The Independent Online

Maybe Greg Rusedski should blame Jeff Tarango if he feels the umpire was at fault last night. The Californian former "bad boy" had harangued Lars Graff mercilessly at the start of his first-round doubles match out on Court 17 earlier in the day. Twice in the opening game Mr Graff was Tarango'ed (the player was wrong on both occasions) while later Andrew Kratzmann, Tarango's partner, developed an unerring ability to throw his racket at his chair from several yards away. All the behaviour went unchecked. It wasn't quite vintage stuff - hardly in the same league as Tarango's infamous tirade back in 1995 in which he was eventually defaulted - but did it all affect Mr Graff?

Despite Rusedski's defeat - and the departure of Lee Childs - there will be another Briton left alongside Tim Henman in the singles at Wimbledon today. And one who will be playing on Centre Court. Filming for Wimbledon: The Movie, a romantic comedy, has delayed the start of play until 1.30pm with ticket-holders urged to take their seats early and help with the crowd scenes. The British actor Paul Bettany - playing a no-hoper given a wild card who goes on to play the tournament of his life - will film two scenes. He will have to get them right in one take - tournament organisers have allocated just 30 minutes to the crew. The second scene promises to show the "winning actor/player celebrating' - but whether it is Bettany or his opponent who is victorious is not being revealed.

Talking of Britons, the bookmakers are already taking bets on a Henman victory at Wimbledon... in 2021. A win for Rosie Henman, that is. William Hill are offering odds of 250-1 that Tim's daughter, born in October last year, will grow up to go a step further than her father has so far. Still, those looking for a long-term punt may be better off putting their money on a certain Jaden Gil - the year-old son of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. "With a pedigree like his, punters are convinced that a Wimbledon win is a formality eventually," the bookmaker says. Odds of 100-1 are available.

Those who believe that it is all down to fate may want to take a peak at the players' star signs. While they vary for the top five men's seeds, four of the leading quintet of women are Geminis: Venus Williams (17 June), Justine Henin-Hardenne (1 June), Kim Clijsters (8 June) and Lindsay Davenport (also 8 June). The exception is, of course, the top seed and current champion Serena Williams who is a Libra (26 September). While a glance at the horoscopes offers few clues for the first four, the current champion is urged to go forward in "a confident mood". No change there then.

Surprise, surprise. A survey of the "most popular tennis star on the web" ranks Anna Kournikova (left) as the world's number one player. No fewer than 80 internet websites bear her name with varying degrees of decency. The Williams sisters are in second and third place, with a combined total of 47 websites. Also making the top 10 are Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport with 10 and seven websites respectively. Men's tennis seems less popular with the entire top 10 male players managing a total of just 81 domain names between them. Andy Roddick is top seed with 16 sites. Tim Henman is in second place with 14 domain names while Pete Sampras is in third place with 10 sites - including, cruelly, mydoglookslikepetesampras.com.

While on the subject of names, it is difficult to ignore Mardy Fish although yesterday it was his surname that came up for discussion with one report on his win over Jan-Michael Gambill beginning "Mardy Fish scaled new heights..."