Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Why is your nose so red? The wacky world of Wimbledon

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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.

What Laver thinks about record-breaking Federer

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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.

Federer settles argument about Greatest of All Time

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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.

Roddick gatecrashes Murray’s Wimbledon party

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roddickThe 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.

Murraymania keeps on building … but Andy’s unimpressed

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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:

from Commentaries:

Will Murray success at Wimbledon be RBS’s best return?

Royal Bank of Scotland is not best known for backing winners.

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So the Scottish bank must be savouring Andy Murray's run at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

World number three Murray is one of the "sports personalities of present and past" sponsored by RBS during the heady days of Sir Fred Goodwin.

Does women’s tennis offer value for money?

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lisickiNow is not a good time to compare the men’s game with the women’s and the question of value for money, both for the people who hand out the prize money and for those who buy the tickets, has come up again.

Three of the four women semi-finalists have yet to drop a set and three of the four quarter-finals — Dinara being the exception — together lasted less time than the fourth round battle between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka under the new roof.

From the sublime to the ridiculous at Wimbledon

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The trouble with a match as riveting as Andy Murray’s against Stanislas Wawrinka is that it’s very hard to find something good enough to follow it … and women’s quarter-final day at Wimbledon was singularly unable to do so.

venusFrom the sublime tennis provided by the British number one and the Swiss number two in an historic match under the new Centre Court roof, we went to a 6-1 6-2 victory for Venus Williams over Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska that was ridiculously easy.

Wimbledon raises the roof … whether they needed to or not

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Like a man who comes back from the shops with a dirty big power tool and immediately decides the pictures need re-hanging, Wimbledon just couldn’t resist putting their expensive new toy to use … even if it wasn’t completely clear they needed it.

A little piece of sporting history was made on Monday as the new roof over Centre Court at Wimbledon was put in place for the first time in a match at the Championships.

With one final shriek, Sharapova is gone

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It’s beyond me how anyone can deride women’s tennis as being dull. The relentless changing of the guard at the top of the world rankings and the general air of a free-for-all that the grand slams are cited as weak points in the game, when the sheer unpredictability of women’s tennis (compared to the men’s game) is precisely the reason it should be celebrated.

What many of the critics are really bemoaning, I suspect, is that Maria Sharapova didn’t go on to become the women’s Roger Federer. And while you couldn’t help be enthralled by her Wimbledon match against Gisela Dulko of Argentina on Wednesday, the Russian’s nailbiting defeat beneath the sunshine on centre-court is only going to bring more tut-tuts about the state of the game.

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