The Reuters global sports blog
With hundreds of members of the international press descending on the All England Club every year to cover Wimbledon, players inevitably face a range of questions in their post-match news conferences as reporters seek to find a new or quirky angle for a story.
Most of the more bizarre questions never make it in to their final reports, but now the dust has settled on Roger Federer’s record-breaking win, here is a collection of the strangest.
Reporter: Will (your autobiography) be about tennis?
Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams: I guess it will be about me, so I’m sure a huge part of it will be about tennis.
Reporter: I heard you were in the tube the other day, the underground; is that true?
Men’s singles champion Roger Federer: Not true.
Rod Laver is one of the few players from down the years who might still be considered an equal of Roger Federer and the twice-calendar-slam winner, now 70, is in no mood to concede the title of Greatest of All Time to the Swiss.
The Australian Laver won 11 majors and that number might have been significantly higher had he not turned professional and ruled himself out of the grand slams for several years.
Roger Federer’s epic five-set victory over Andy Roddick, heartbreaking for the American, has surely now settled the question of who is the Greatest of All Time.
That, at least, is the view of Pete Sampras, who was on hand to watch as Federer overtook him in the majors stakes with a 15-th grand slam title.
The build-up to Friday’s second Wimbledon semi-final was all about Briton Andy Murray but the man of the hour was the fearless American Andy Roddick.
Sat on a packed and sunny Centre Court, the prospect of Murray’s party being gate-crashed did not take long to dawn on a crowd who did not seem sure who they should be cheering for.
Andy Murray’s brutal straight sets victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero took him through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time in his career on Wednesday but while the centre court fans and the Henman Hill mob did their Mexican waves one man was singularly unimpressed by the Murraymania.
Murray himself is doing his best to let the media frenzy pass him by. He may have received notes of encouragement from the Queen, Sean Connery and Cliff Richard, and he knows he will be all over the front and back pages of the newspapers again on Thursday, but to say the Scot is staying cool would be a massive understatement. Here’s what he said after the 7-5 6-3 6-2 win over Ferrero:
Fashion models, with varying degrees of taste, have been strutting their stuff at Wimbledon this week — oh, and they play a spot of tennis too.
The courts seem to have become catwalks — Maria Sharapova was showing off a military-style jacket and Serena Williams wore a new mac (an odd choice since it was dry and even if it rained, Centre Court now has a roof).
When Roger Federer shows up at Wimbledon next week without Rafael Nadal looking down at him from the top of the draw, it will almost feel like Laurel turned up without Hardy or Starsky without Hutch.
In an era when the Federer-Nadal showdowns are starting to become tales of Hollywood blockbusters, the Swiss will have to go it alone for the first time since the 2006 Australian Open — which the Spaniard missed with a foot injury.
OK, we still don’t know whether Nadal will defend his Wimbledon title but we do know what the All England Club have in store following the redevelopment of centre court.
We were lucky enough to get an interview with the club’s chief exec Ian Ritchie this morning at Wimbledon. Here’s a brief taster of the interview…
Text updated at 1720 GMT, June 10. Please see note below.
Imagine a tennis tournament — fans, organisers, sponsors and even the small town itself — depending on a big name to show up to make it a success.
This is the case for Halle, a lush sleepy town in eastern Westphalia, which has been banking on the appearance of world number 2 Roger Federer for years to lift the ATP 250 tournament out of relative obscurity.