Wimbledon `97: Court circular

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Canada shuns

Greg the `traitor'

Since Greg Rusedski kindly brought it to our attention that he had not been getting the coverage his achievements deserved, the response on the back pages has been swift.

"Rusedski Rolling", "Rusedski leads the way" and "Rusedski wins battle of big guns" are just some examples of the headlines Greg's Wimbledon victories have comanded... from the British press.

The response in Canada has not been quite so gushing. Born and raised in Montreal, the 24-year-old Rusedski chose to become a British subject in 1995 - although he held a British passport and maintained that for three years prior to his "defection" he had spent most of his free time in between tournaments in Surrey. Since the change of nationality the reaction of the Canadian press has been to shun him.

"There are a lot of people who are very bitter about him and label him as a traitor," Jacques LeBlanc, an editorial assistant at the Toronto Star sports desk, said yesterday. "We would probably put a small piece in the newspaper about him, but he doesn't get a lot of coverage".

When asked why their star abandoned ship, LeBlanc suggested that it was the possibility of being part of a tennis programme that enjoyed better financial support and more lucrative sponsorship deals.

Meanwhile, Rusedski has been doing his best to sound British. The British media used to make fun of his use of typically English expressions such as "brilliant", "lovely" and "lads", but he is beginning to sound more natural now. He talks about being treated by his "physio" rather than trainer and watching matches "on telly" instead of TV. He also speaks of "ground shots" rather than "ground strokes".

THE NUMBERS GAME

1904 The year the French player, and twice Wimbledon champion, Rene Lacoste, was born

44 The number of times Australia's Ken Rosewall has appeared at Wimbledon

27 The number of years since a British player has beaten the defending champion

112 The number of matches Boris Becker has won on grass during his career

29.1 The profit - in millions of pounds sterling - the All England Club made from the 1996 Championships

20 The age Nicolas Kiefer will be when he celebrates his birthday on Saturday

TODAY'S WEATHER

Cloudy with the possibility of showers Maximum temp 17C

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