The Big W from Amy to Zina

Bud Collins presents his alternative alphabet of Wimbledon
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The Independent Online
A is for Amy (Frazier), lady-still-in-waiting, stood up at the mixed doubles altar by the walk-out man, partner Tarango.

B is for Bruno (Rebeuh) and Benedicte (Tarango). Don't invite them to play mixed doubles. He bungled the umpiring of her husband's match. She responded by delivering to him the best overhead smash since Billie-Jean King retired.

C is for Caroline (Hall). Inconsiderately, she put her skull in the line of Tim Henman's fire, and cost him expulsion.

D is for Dick (Norman), the biggest Belgian possession since the Congo.

E is for Eddie (Seaward), the estimable groundsman trying to keep the venerable Centre Court from becoming a fallen lady before two this afternoon.

F is for Fabrice (Santoro). Had bad luck of the draw. Played (and lost to) Andrei Olhovskiy in the first round instead of Pete Sampras, whom he beat at the same stage in Rome. "If I'd started against Pete I could have gone all the way," he mused.

G is for Greg (Windsor? Churchill? Plantagenet? or whoever that born- again Brit is).

H is for Helena (Sukova). Pardon her if she is sulking. Her little brother Cyril Suk has outdone her in the mixed. They should play en famille. They won the French together in 1991.

I is for Ingrid (Bentzer). Finest of female Swedes, admittedly not a strong tennis sex who used to baby sit for Bjorn Borg in his early Wimbledon days. Has retired her alluring self to the TV booth. Lucky Swedes who can still watch her.

J is for Jeff (Masters). Aussie elder won the doubles in 1977 with Snake Case, and has returned for old time's sake.

K is for Kim (Po) whom headline writers love as the greatest space-saver since Hu Na.

L is for Lindsay (Davenport), Depressed about playing her best friend, Mary Jo Fernandez. Vice versa for Mary Jo. They fumbled nervously, painfully through their fourth-rounder. Since when did humanity surface in tennis? Will they be fined?

M is for Murph (Jensen), who got more attention for doing a bunk than he would have doing for winning the title.

N is for Nikki (Pilic). The German Davis Cup captain is still an historic figure on the scene, the focal point of the Great Boycott of '73.

O is for Owen (Davidson). Aussie old boy at present in the mature doubles, who, with Billie-Jean King, won the mixed titles of 1967-'71-'73-'74.

P is for Panja (Saurav). Indian junior called the "Bombay Bombshell." Unfortunately, he bombed in the first round.

Q is for "Quick" Jack (Knott). For years as proprietor he has maintained one of the world's foremost men's rooms - the loo with a view at the top of Centre Court staircase 63. A very restful room with a cheery MC who says his patrons, like the players, take it a point at a time.

R is for Rosalyn (Fairbank-Nideffer). The lone mother in the singles, 34-year-old Ros, who nearly beat Martina Navratilova in 1988, won a round this year while husband Bob minded the new kid in a stroller.

S is for Sean (McCarthy), rookie husband of Big Bad Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, the 6ft 4in bombardier of 120mph aces. I'll bet he does the washing up.

T is for Todd (Woodbridge), who screamed "Shut up" at the fair Alexandra Dixon, friend of Pat Rafter, and made her cry. Did chivalry go out with the wooden racket?

U is for Udo (Riglewski). Ranked No 1175, he is nevertheless the greatest player in Riglewski family annals.

V is for Victoria (Freeman), security guard in the interview room. She should be cited for courage, having endured scores of banal press conferences and scores of banal journalists, but has maintained a smile.

W is for Willie Lee (Chan), Hong Kong's sole entry at the big W. Don't you think such a rich island could afford to buy more tennis players.

X is for Xavier (Daufresne), Belgium's best player until Dick Norman showed up.

Y is for Yevgeny (Kafelnikov). The Tsar may not reappear, but this guy is giving Russian tennis a regal look.

Z is for Zina (Garrison- Jackson) whose 13th and last time around provoked honest and understandable tears from this pigeon-toed princess. This gallant 1990 finalist will never grace Centre Court again.