Wimbledon Diary: Williams girls crush everyone but who's the No 1 arm wrestler?

Before the Sisterhood began turning Wimbledon into a game of Monopoly, the Diary had a unique insight into the sheer power of Serena and Venus Williams. They delivered a pair of handshakes that can only be described as bonecrushers. It would be interesting to see the outcome if they engaged in an arm-wrestling competition. Why not? Having gained first-hand experience of the girls' vice-like grip, they would give Muscles Murray or even Rafael Nadal a run for their money.

Equal pay isn't fair play

Talking of which, yesterday's winner in the family affair that was Williams v Williams walked away with prize money of £750,000, the sum that will be earned – really earned – by the men's singles champion today. Parity? It's nice work if you can get it, although for most of the time it can hardly be described in the women's game as work. The juniors, by contrast, deal in pocket money and when they leave the courts they don't summon a courtesy car. They queue with the hoi polloi and pay £2.50 for a bus to Wimbledon station where they catch a train to Sutton for B&B at a tennis academy.

Thai tongue twisters

Over at the BBC's rooftop terrace, John Inverdale has been doing his laidback, tie-less schtick in a hassle-free manner – until it came to pronouncing the name of Elena Dementieva. Inverdale kept saying it as if the word was somehow connected to Alzheimer's. Yet the name of the Russian is a mere bagatelle to what's on the horizon. In the boys' draw there was Kittiphong Wachiramanowong and in the girls' final against Britain's Laura Robson was Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. Anyone for alphabet soup? If the Thai teenagers decide to play mixed doubles they may need a longer scoreboard.

Sing when you're winning

Back to the Williams family and they sometimes give the impression they would rather be back in Florida. They have very little to curse about but Serena's serene progress in the tournament was interrupted by a code violation for an "audible obscenity" for which she apologised to the umpire. The unpredictable weather in Blighty has something to do with it, although back home the Sunshine State has been known to be hit by a typhoon or two. "I hate this rain," Oracene, the matriarch, was heard to complain the other day, as a gentle shower caressed Wimbledon. "Every time I come to this country it rains. I just can't stand it." The cameras usually focus on the father Richard, who coaches his daughters, but they are missing a trick with Oracene. When one of her daughters is under pressure, which is not too often, she tends to sing hymns – the family are devout Jehovah's Witnesses – in the manner of a plausible soprano. When they are doing well she can switch to Kool and the Gang's 'Celebration' which, to some ears, is kinder than anything Cliff Richard has to offer. Yesterday Oracene was torn between hymn and hers.

Murray talks a good game

Like Henmania, Murraymania was good while it lasted but it wasn't just the media that hyped Andy up to a hysterical degree. "I'm more of an all-rounder now compared to the majority of the top players. I counter-punch and can be aggressive. When it goes in, my first serve is a huge weapon. I think I have a chance of winning." That was Murray, not before his quarter-final defeat by Nadal, but before the start of The Championships. He should take his border terrier Maggie, who was exercised around Wimbledon by a dog-walker, for a hike north of the border. That would put a Highland spring back in his step.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'