Wimbledon Diary: Day 11
Originally published on: 06/07/12 00:00
Centre Court may have seen some sizzling action under the roof on men’s semi-finals day, but there was very different look to the day for those without Centre Court tickets. There was a fabulous display of umbrellas on Henman Hill and the fact the covers did not come off the outside courts until 2.40pm and play started at 3pm is a very positive reminder of how the Centre Court roof is gold dust for the tournament. Millions of TV viewers who couldn’t make it to the All England Club knew exactly when to take their seats on the sofa at home.
Agnieszka Radwanska was due to come to press at 12.45am today to answer the traditional questions in advance of the ladies' final on Saturday, but at said time there was an announcement to say that the No.3 seed, appearing in her first ever Wimbledon final, was unable to make it since she is suffering from a respiratory illness and was finding it difficult to talk. She withdrew from the doubles earlier on in the week and was forced to leave her post match semi-final presser after a coughing fit. Fingers crossed the Pole is able to take her place on Centre Court on Saturday. In a statement released later, Radwanska said: "The most important thing is that I'm feeling good on the court and playing some good tennis, despite not being able to talk much away from the court."
Once the covers finally came off the outside courts there was plenty of play. On Court 3, the Bryans were in semi-final doubles action against Britain’s Jonathan Marray and his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen. Marray and his partner closed out the two-time champions in four sets 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 and admitted his delight at the boost to his profile. “I think any kind of exposure is great for the game in this country because we need people playing,” he said.
I should be so lucky
Of all the Grand Slams, The All England Club seems to attract the most high-profile list of people, and we’re not just saying that because tennishead is based in SW19 – we travel around the world with the tennis and are sure we see more famous faces packed into the wood-clad royal box on those fabulously comfy-looking chairs. Prince Andrew led the royal list today, but tennis royals included local resident and three-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Roger Taylor, Goran Ivanisevic, Guy Forget, Rod Laver, Frank Sedgman, Manuel Santana, Henri Leconte and – bringing down the average age and male count and rocking the box – Kylie Minogue.
Defeated semi-finalist Novak Djokovic says he will be taking a well-earned rest now and going on holiday for ten days. If Roger Federer is crowned champion here then the 2011 Wimbledon Champion will lose his world No. 1 status. Commenting on this possibility, the Serb said: ”Look, if he (Federer) wins and becomes No. 1 it's going to be well deserved. He's played fantastic this year.”
The talented Mr Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
In his inimitable laid-back way Jo Wilfried Tsonga talked around what must have been a disappointing loss today against Andy Murray and made the press room laugh with his admission that he probably won’t watch Sunday’s final as he will be spending some time with his two-year old niece. In our scorecard, the JWT dive count was three this match and the Frenchman said he managed to have some fun.“For me it's always fun to be on the court and give my best and fight and try to get every ball,” he said, adding: “I'm not the most talented on the tour, but I like to go to the war.”
Murray fashionably late
Couldn’t help noticing that as Murray has progressed through this tournament, he has been arriving fashionably late for his pressers. On Thursday the advertised time was 8.45 and he arrived at 9pm. Today he was due at 8pm and arrived at 8.20pm.
Double whammy for Serena
Serena Williams will feature in both the singles and doubles finals after she and sister Venus defeated No.1 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 2-6 6-1 6-2. Asked about the effort involved in playing doubles today she replied: “It would be good to have a day off, but also it's good to practice in doubles because I get a lot of match play, practice some returns, some serves.” Given that she has served 85 aces so far, a little practice might make entirely perfect. An awesome prospect.