Wimbledon Diary: £14,500: Nice work if you can get it

Tuesday 26 June 2012 01:00
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Not sure what the Tories' bash-the-benefits brigade would have made of Potito Starace's efforts yesterday. The 30-year-old Italian was the first to depart this year's Championships, retiring hurt 59 minutes into the day. His 10 games against Ryan Sweeting earned him £14,500 as a first-round loser, which is not a bad hourly rate.

BBC bears no grudge for channel hopper

John Inverdale is back on BBC duty after his dalliance with the dark side, or ITV as it is known outside of the corporation.

Inverdale was the main man for ITV's coverage of the French Open, which it pinched from the BBC. It is believed the BBC was none too pleased to see Inverdale saunter across the channel (pun intended), but everyone is friends again.

Losing is a pain but football is a racket

Josh Goodall, whom we cover on this page as the first Briton to depart yesterday, lasted some two hours longer than Starace – and with him went his collection of rackets, each named after a player from his favourite football team. He has a John Terry, an Eden Hazard, a Didier Drogba, a Frank Lampard and a Fernando Torres. But not, it would seem, an Ashley Cole.

Does Connery have an ulterior motive?

There is often a tartan touch to Wimbledon these days, although with Andy Murray not in action until today it was left to Sean Connery to fly the Saltire.

Was this, in fact, a cunning attempt by Connery to divert attention away from the launch of the anti-independence campaign back home?

One Williams exits, another enters...

Remember how upset Serena Williams was last year when she and her sister were exiled, as she saw it, to No 2 Court?

Yesterday Venus made her early exit from the Championships on that court and then out came today's order of play. Second on No 2 Court … yup, Serena Williams v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Surely she won't do a sister act?

SW19 in figures

13: Number of aces hit by Novak Djokovic in his victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero

1997: The last and only time Venus Williams lost in the first round

112: Speed (mph) of Maria Sharapova's fastest serve yesterday

79: Time, in minutes, it took Roger Federer to beat Albert Ramos

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