Wimbledon Diary: Murray leaves football in the shade

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The Independent Online

The beast that is football typically devours all before it in the sportingworld. But the British public know what they like and quite frankly it's agritty Brit in SW19. You can read all about the BBC's fantastic viewing figuresfor Murray-Gasquet in the news pages – but the abbreviated version is that the tennis averaged 8.6m viewers and peaked at 10.4m, for a fourth round match, whereas the Beeb averaged only 10.6m for the Euro 2008 final. Not only that, but within Scotland, Murray got a whopping 50 per cent audience share. So sod any middle England curmudgeons, Andy, your real home support is backing you. Against such a backdrop it is ironic to have to report – exclusively of course – what Etienne de Villiers, the executive chairman of the ATP was doing on Monday night.

De Villiers, also chairman of BBC Worldwide, was on Centre Court. But he, errm, left early, because he thought it was over. "Like pretty much everyone else, I thought Gasquet was going to win," he confided. Still, there's always BBC iPlayer.

Military manoeuvres out in the car park

Wikipedia assures The Diary that Gurkhas "are people from Nepal, who take their name from eighth century Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath". The British army love(d) them because they were "thought to be naturally war-like and aggressive in battle, and to possess... courage, loyalty, self-sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, the ability to work hard for long periods of time, fighting tenacity and military strategy". Is that why they’re in charge of Wimbledon's Car Park 4?

The whys and wherefores of queueing

The psychology department of Goldsmiths College, London, has beenhanding overnight queuers a survey about recreation for a EuropeanCommission-sponsored project. Theresa Wood of Reading and Bernie Dudmanof Swindon would have said the queue is more relaxing than familylife. Holly Gideon and Julie Craig from Oklahoma would have confessed toselling their worldly goods to be there. The surveyors don't care. One said: "Weonly chose the queue because we want people who have nothing to do for 40 minutes."

First in the Queue

Sleeping on the pavement has always been part of the whole Wimbledon experience. Each day we'll bring you an interview with the first person in the queue for the day's play...

Name: Kev Cooper.

From: Nottingham. Age: 41.

Occupation: I run my own business, UK Football Tours.

Arrived in the queue: 9.40pm Monday, minutes after being on Centre Court watching Murray beat Gasquet.

Queuing for Wednesday's play. After the Gasquet match I decided to stay. I phoned the wife to say I wasn't coming back yet.

Who are you here to see? Murray. He's British and I like his attitude.

Are you clinically insane? Must be.

Today's random question – Which player's biceps would you most like to wrap you in a warm embrace? I presume the question was meant to be aimed at a girl. I think girls would generally go for Nadal over Murray in that department, wouldn't they?

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 pan-fried, and served with cauliflower foam? No chance. I'm a fish and chips man myself, every day. But I've nothing against shooting the pigeons. They're vermin.