Wimbledon `97: Oh I say

Richard Edmondson delves into his notes for the pearls of wisdom that missed the newspapers first time around
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The Independent Online
I was asked and I thought, well, I don't seem to have anything better to do. Tim Henman on his burning desire to address the Fourth Estate during a rain break on the first Friday.

Q: Tim, who is Holly McGuire?

A: I'm quite happy to keep her to myself, thanks.

Q: What is the general opinion in the men's locker room of Anna Kournikova?

A (Henman): From what we've been able to see, she's obviously tickled a lot of your fancies.

Q (to Kournikova): Your next opponent is Barbara Rittner. Have you ever played her?

A: No, I've played her once in doubles.

Q: Is your boyfriend here or is he not coming?

A: I'm single.

Q: You're not going out with him? A: I'm single. Kournikova before a tryst with Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings in the players' restaurant.

Q: What's your previous grass court experience?

A: I've played Queen's twice. I lost to Petr Korda first round and this year I lost to Fleurian first round. Last week I qualified in Nottingham and lost first round to Scott Draper. So I can't say it's unbelievably positive.

Q: What about as a junior?

A: I played the juniors once and lost second round.

Q: Did you play Newport?

A: I played last year and lost first round to Rafter. So not the best record. Justin Gimelstob outlining his impressive grass pedigree after beating Gustavo Kuerten.

Q: I've read that your father is from Louisiana like I am. Where in Louisiana is he from?

A: Shreveport, where are you from?

A: New Orleans.

Q: That's down south? Venus Williams, suggesting her tennis is better than her geography.

Q: Tour players were quoted as saying you weren't very friendly and that was going to be a problem. Does that bother you?

A: I don't hold great conversations. Actually I don't hold conversations at all. Venus the gregarious.

Q: How long do you keep the beads in?

A: Five or six weeks.

Q: And do you do any shampoo, or anything special?

A: You just wash right through the beads.

Q: Regular shampoo?

A: Yes. Searing insight into the Williams lifestyle.

Q: What woman player in tennis history do you admire?

A: I really haven't seen too much tennis in the past. Disingenuous Venus part I.

Q: How did your parents come to pick Venus as your Christian name?

A: You'd have to ask my mother. I don't know." Disingenuous Venus part II.

Q: How would you celebrate if you won Wimbledon?

A: I wouldn't have time to celebrate because I would be too busy putting together my movie about the biggest underdog to win. Nicole Arendt, a third-round victim to Monica Seles, on the film that was never made.

Q: If you could invite anybody in the world to sit in the players' box to watch you play, who would it be?

A: Mother Nature. Arendt again.

A: Travis Knight of the LA Lakers. Lindsay Davenport

A: Madonna. Jana Novotna.

Q: If you were a first-time Wimbledon fan, how long would you wait in a queue to get in?

A: I would wait for ever. I would sleep in a tent. I would do anything if that was the only way to get into Wimbledon. Martina Hingis.

A: You've got to be kidding. Arendt.

Q: What's the one thing that is most misunderstood about you?

A: That I am a very nice person. Novotna.

Q: Where does this rank as far as your career is concerned?

A: It could be my biggest win, a match as huge as that on Centre Court at Wimbledon with the crowd going bananas and flashes going on a bit like a pop concert. Todd Woodbridge after defeating Michael Chang.

Q: Do you feel sorry for Clare?

A: Yes, I feel a little bit sorry for her but I was trying not to be on the court pretty long. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario after her emphatic 6- 0, 6-0 victory over Clare Wood.

Q: Did you know you are the first British woman qualifier to win a match at Wimbledon since 1976?

A: Am I really, wow.

Q: The last one was Karen Mulsworth, who was also from Devon. Have you had any contact with her?

A: What's her name?

Q: Karen Mulsworth

A: Never heard of her. Karen Cross showing West Country solidarity after her defeat of Linda Wild.