WIMBLEDON '95: Court circular: Jones serves up verbal volley against British clubs establishment

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The Independent Online
Alan Jones, the leading coach, has criticised the structure of British tennis which he claims is preventing this country from developing talents like Andre Agassi.

Jones, who coached Britain's Jo Durie to No 5 in the world rankings before her Wimbledon singles farewell on Thursday, blamed the country's clubs for failing to produce a successor to her.

''Andre Agassi, the most marketable and charismatic figure in the game, would not be allowed to play at virtually any club in the land,'' said Jones.

''It is not because of the way he plays, but what he wears. The kids want to put on the same clothes as him.

''But they would be kicked off court if they wore what he did when he won the Australian Open.

''His all-white gear for Wimbledon is exceptional. How are we going to get our kids playing in droves if they can't emulate their hero?

''The archaic attitude of our clubs is a huge problem and unless they change their ways towards children, we are going to have problems.

Jo Durie is set to receive "posthumous" recognition for her final tilt at the Wimbledon singles. Apart from a second-round loser's cheque of almost pounds 3,000, the Avon girl will slip into semi-retirement as British No 1.

Her first-round win over Alexia Dechaume-Balleret should be enough to take her above Brighton's Clare Wood in the world rankings - and thus into the British top spot.

Hollywood has twice come to Wimbledon. In 1967, Rod Taylor and Christopher Plummer took to the Royal Box in Nobody runs Forever. In 1978, it was The Players starring Dino Martin, Dean Martin's son, and Ali McGraw. Ilie Nastase was among the real players who took part, but his pride was too great to admit defeat. He "retired hurt" when knocked out of the fictional tournament.

An outing from Umbrella Heads Anonymous gather for a day of action as Wimbledon sweltered in record temperatures.

Coiffeuse at cutting edge

Suzanne Strong may not be a household name, but millions of people around the world have seen her work. For the last 14 years she has been hairdresser to the Wimbledon players, responsible for styling champions past and present, the accommodating and the difficult.

She has no doubt who the most awkward are. Originally, she concentrated on the coiffure of the women, but for the last two years she and her two assistants have had to deal with the men's hair.

"They are all so fussy. Every single one of them. It's much easier doing the women," Suzanne insists.

Chris Evert, Gabriela Sabatini, Steffi Graff and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario are all clients of the hairdresser who has a salon just outside one of the women's changing rooms.

"The players are all so different to how I imagined them," she says. "They all want to know where it's best to go out in London and what shows to see in the West End. It's anything but tennis."

Snap shots

Do you recognise the tennis player pictured here? If you do, you can win a bottle of fine port by phoning 0891-252630. Three winners will each be sent a bottle of Quinta do Noval 10-year-old tawny port, delicious chilled for the summer. Your call will cost about 25p. The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before 4pm today. We regret the competition does not extend to the Republic of Ireland. Normal Independent competition rules apply. Yesterday's snap shot was of the Frenchwoman, Mary Pierce and the three winners are: Jannette Wilson of Nottingham; Kieran Holland of High Wycombe; R Sheppard of Malvern. Answer and another competition on Tuesday.