Wimbledon 96 : Court circular : Jensen flannels his way through

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The Independent Online
Luke Jensen has got his wish to wear "three lions on his shirt" at Wimbledon.

Jensen, an American, was banned from wearing an England football jersey during the championships but got around Wimbledon rules after making a trip to Lillywhites sports shop in the centre of London.

When he walked out on court for his mixed doubles first round with Nicole Arendt, he was bedecked in full cricket kit.

"I was all decked out with long trousers and a cricket sweater that had the three lions on the front," said Jensen, who was a 1996 French Open finalist with Arendt.

Jensen, who was also wearing a Robbie Fowler-style nose-plaster to improve his breathing, moved comfortably into the second round with a straight- sets victory.

After the match Jensen, nicknamed "Dual Hand Luke", because of his ability to play both left and right-handed revealed his tactics for playing mixed doubles. "You naturally go for looks when picking your partner," he said with a smile. "And when you play of course you go for the girl but not with big serves because most of them drill it back. It's the spin they can't handle."

If you lose, your tactics change a little, he added. "Well, you can always blame the girl in mixed doubles," said Jensen, who might have hit on the flannels idea while offering expert comment on the championships for the benefit Radio Five Live listeners.

If Arendt does pick up the mixed doubles title with Jensen, she will get more than the pounds 34,000 prize-money - she is a big collector of Swarovski silver animals and treats herself to one after every competition.