Wimbledon 2013 Diary: National sport of queuing; Lucky loser earns £6,000 a game; Murray keeps good work up his sleeve

 

"It's huge," said an impressed steward. It takes a lot to impress an honorary Wimbledon steward but the size of the ticket queue on day one this year was big even by SW19 standards. By 9am at nearby Southfields Tube station the Tannoy was instructing wannabe spectators to head home if they didn't already have tickets. Such was the demand that the touts – as much part of the experience as strawberries and so on – were only buying. It's another reminder that few countries watch sport, any sport, in such huge numbers as the British, which also probably explains why so few of us play it.

Lucky loser earns £6,000 a game

It took an hour and eight minutes for Lara Arruabarrena to become the first to collect this year's record payout of £23,500 for being a first-round loser. The 21-year-old Spaniard took to No 7 Court to play Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine and won four games, which works out at £5,875 per game or £345.59 a minute. The German Tatjana Maria followed her out with even more bang for her buck – she won 11 points and one game. You do the math.

Murray keeps good work up his sleeve

Printed on Andy Murray's left sleeve – the one that faces the camera when he is preparing to serve – yesterday was "The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity". Up in the royal box was Ross Hutchins, Murray's friend who underwent a six-month course of chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden. Murray donated his £73,000 winnings from Queen's to the charity and while there is no direct contribution from Wimbledon that space donated is worth plenty. A previous sponsorship deal for a corner of his sleeve earned him a seven-figure sum.

Royal box title watch: one prince, one princess, one duke, one baroness, two knights, one honourable, two excellencies, his and hers, one major general and one rear of the year (Felicity Kendal 1, Pippa Middleton 0).

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