The first rule that any Lawn Tennis Association chief executive should know is that for 50 weeks, nobody gives a monkeys what you do. The second rule is that the other two weeks are set aside to give you an annual kicking.
So fair play to Roger Draper for going on Radio Five Live's Sportsweek with Garry Richardson yesterday. And commiserations that Garry eviscerated you so totally that it was embarrassing. Draper was verbally torn to pieces on subjects as varied as a failure to meet targets, the insignificance of doubles, the roles of Brad Gilbert and Paul Annacone, and the record of "no-hoper" players such as Alex Bogdanovic. Nice work, Garry, the interviewing equivalent of a tennis triple bagel, with Draper conceding: "If I had a magic wand it would be wonderful, but we don't." Draper did manage to make clear one new target: five Britons in the singles top 100 rankings by 2010. See you in two years for another sacrificial roasting. In the meantime, you might like to ask your chums at the All England Club to lend you their newly out-of-work pigeon-shooting marksmen, and point them in the direction of the broadcast centre.
Making song and dance over Wogan
Murray-mania special: No 1. Andy Murray's mum, Judy, was watching on Saturday from the competitors' box along with Kim Sears, Andy's girlfriend, and Judy confides that they spent ages on a crucial debate. Andy's serve, perhaps? No. His double-handed backhands? No. The subject was which person in the Royal Box they'd most like to meet. Not Sir Bobby Robson or Sir Bobby Charlton or Kelly Holmes. Nobody sporty at all, in fact. "We agreed it would have to be Terry Wogan," says Judy. "To ask him about Eurovision."
Fascinating insight into Murray world
Murray-mania special: No 2. Andy's autobiography, Hitting Back, contains an entertaining section of titbit Q&As. Included: Favourite Grand Slam? "US Open." Toughest opponent? "Rafael Nadal". (They could meet in the quarters). Favourite books? (Always a good one for an author). "I hate reading." And our fave: Does he still get marriage proposals? "Not since the girl with a banner saying: 'Andy, will you Murray me?'". We all know Andy is too devoted to Kim for that malarkey. But it's no secret Jamie is always game in that department.
First in the Queue
Sleeping on the pavement is part of the Wimbledon experience. Each day we'll bring you an interview with the first person in the queue for the day's play.
Names: Martin and Sharon Bishop (right).
From: Cricklade, Wiltshire.
Occupation: Fire alarm engineer/mum.
Arrived in the queue: 11.30am Friday.
For: Today's play.
Who are you here to see? Federer mainly.
Why? We want to see good tennis. And we don't really like Andy Murray, who seems arrogant and rude, and makes a big deal of being Scottish, not British. We've been before and he effs and blinds at the crowd.
Are you clinically insane? Not officially, but...
Today's random question: which foreign player would you like to see persuaded to take a British passport? Martin: Baghdatis, because he's a character and a trier who never gives up. Sharon: Djokovic. He was flirting with the idea, wasn't he? And he's good looking and successful.
If the All England Club served a pigeon that has been slaughtered at The Championships, would you eat it, if it was prepared nicely, perhaps in a scrummy pie? Martin: I certainly wouldn't refuse on principle. Sharon: Yes. We live in the country and I've eaten pigeon before.Reuse content