WIMBLEDON '95: Tea date for Rusedski?

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The Independent Online
A seat on Centre Court may be one of the most difficult tickets to acquire in British sport, but there is a corner of the All England Club which is even more exclusive.

Neither love nor money can gain you membership of the Last 8 Club which, as the name suggests, is open only to those who have contested a singles quarter-final or doubles semi-final at Wimbledon.

A hospitality marquee in Aorangi Park overlooking the new Number One Court is where some of the game's elite congregate over the fortnight to reminisce.

The Last 8 Club was founded in 1986 as part of the 100th Championship celebrations. It is Wimbledon's way of recognising the contribution to tennis made by players who have graced the grass and entertained the world.

Britain may not have had too many inductees in recent years, but the Wimbledon committee of management does not forget the home country.

Each year the committee chairman invites eight of the Last 8 Club to come to SW19 as his special guests. Last year the late Fred Perry was on that guest list and this year Christine Janes, runner- up in 1961, is flying the British flag.

And after his thrilling victory over Guy Forget, who would bet against new British No 1, Greg Rusedski, sipping tea in the Last 8 Club at the end of next week.

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