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from Commentaries:

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

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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.

Murray must count as one of Sir Fred's more inspired investments. Murray's play has literally gone from strength to strength -- all the time with the RBS logo emblazoned on his shirt sleeve.

Stephen Hester, Goodwin's successor as chief executive of RBS, must be hoping Murray maintains his winning streak and goes all the way to the Wimbledon men's final.

from Left field:

Wimbledon roof is great, but pity those left out in the cold…

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As Wimbledon closed its new retractable roof over Centre Court for the first time in a drizzly southwest London on Sunday, the gap between the haves and have-nots grew wider.

Spectators and organisers hailed the new innovation, which will ensure Centre Court ticket holders will never again go away without seeing a match, but the rest of the soggy Wimbledon grounds provided a stark reminder of what it will be like for the majority of players and fans who walk through the All England Club gates next month.

The dangers of burnout

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**** For full coverage of Wimbledon click here ****

Lindsay Davenport believes she has survived to the ripe old age of 32 in tennis because she took two lengthy breaks from the stamina-sappping demands of the globe-trotting sport.

davenport1.jpgAt 25, Justine Henin was world number one and dominated the sport. Many years of Grand Slam triumphs beckoned. But then she abruptly announced her retirement last month. The fire had gone.

Sharapova’s white tuxedo top stuns Wimbledon

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** Click here for full coverage of Wimbledon 2008 **

sharapova1.jpgFirst came Serena’s raincoat and Roger’s cardigan. But it was Maria Sharapova’s white tuxedo and shorts that upped the fashion stakes at the world’s most famous tournament. The 21-year-old Russian said she wanted to do something classy for Wimbledon so she decided to step up a gear in the tennis fashion parade when appearing on court for the first time in 2008.

“It’s the tuxedo look. I was very inspired by menswear this year and every time at Wimbledon I want to do something classy and elegant,” she said after seeing off French qualifier Stephanie Foretz 6-1 6-4.

A more civilised way to queue at Wimbledon

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** Click here for full coverage of Wimbledon 2008 **

queue11.jpgAt few other world sporting events do so many queue for so long.

Wimbledon , by dint of its allowing fans to just turn up on the day without booking, has always attracted vast numbers of the ticketless, either casual, after-work visitors or the more diehard types who come armed with tent and supplies to see the likes of Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova compete.

Draped with plastic sheets against the rain, bedded down on the hard pavement, those in for the long haul often insisted to interviewers — rather unconvincingly — that the wait was part of the fun.

Time to get off the grass at Wimbledon?

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** Click here for full coverage of Wimbledon 2008 **

wimbledon.jpgImmaculate as the lawns of the All England club may be, their continuing use as a surface for playing tennis is a matter of growing debate.

Clay court players have always hated the way the ball comes off grass so fast and low, and while ordinary mortals can get over a bad bounce and go on to lead normal lives, you sometimes wonder about the pro players.

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