Wimbledon 97: Feaver's record safe for a while

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The Independent Online
John Feaver, the former British Davis Cup player and now a Lawn Tennis Association tournament director, can stop chewing his nails for the next couple of days at least.

Back in 1976, Feaver, using an old fashioned wooden racket, created a Wimbledon record when he served 42 aces in his second-round match against the former three-time champion, John Newcombe, a match he nevertheless lost.

Feaver, understandably, is quite proud of his record, but in recent years has always thought that one day Goran Ivanisevic, the King of the Aces, would surpasss it.

But in his first-round match against the Romanian, Dinu Pescariu, Ivanisevic served only 24 en route to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win, although he only served for 12 games, working out at two aces per game.

Feaver does not mind that. But he does not want Ivanisevic to get involved in a long five-set match where his figure of 42 could go by the board.

Wimbledon fans, queuing up for the opening day of the championships, must have been alarmed about the weather prospects when they saw Sir Cliff Richard standing outside the main gate already embarking on his rainy day sing-song repertoire.

Memories came flooding back to last year when, on a particularly wet day, the old Bachelor Boy produced an impromptu concert to entertain frustrated spectators who had only the court covers to look at.

But this time it was not Sir Cliff. The vocalist was lookalike Jimmy Jermain, winner of the Stars In Their Eyes television talent show last year.