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from Left field:

“What a Wimbledon” – Rusedski

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This year’s Wimbledon Championships had a lot of interesting stories. On the men's side it was all about the top 4 players in the world. On the ladies it was about Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and whether or not any of the young pretenders could win the Championships.

All of the top 4 cruised into the men’s quarter-finals. Only Rafael Nadal was a bit of a worry hurting his foot against Juan Del Potro in the first set. After the match he said he would have to take painkillers for the rest of the tournament and possibly miss the next 6 weeks after Wimbledon finished. This brought hope that possibly Andy Murray could beat Nadal if they both reached the semi-finals which they both did easily. Expectations were reaching fever pitch now with a real belief Murray could make the finals.

In the other quarter-finals Djokovic was playing the 18-year-old qualifier Bernard Tomic. Tomic was the third youngest player in the history of Wimbledon to make the quarter-finals with only Becker and McEnroe being younger. Djokovic won in 4 tight sets, but Tomic proved he was world class and will be one to look out for in the future.

The match of the quarter-finals everyone was looking forward to was Roger Federer versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Queens Club finalist. Federer played a sublime first two sets and had never ever lost a grand slam match from two sets to love up, but on this occasion Tsonga lifted his game and won the next 3 sets to win in 5.

from Left field:

Djokovic and Kvitova lead European charge

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Few things in sport can be sweeter than lifting the Wimbledon trophy, as Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova found out on Saturday and Sunday.

Djokovic even took a shining to the hallowed Wimbledon turf, describing his post-win snack as "well kept", but in all seriousness the Serb is winning fans left right and centre and on Monday will be confirmed as world number one for the first time.

from Photographers' Blog:

Wimbledon, William and a Mexican Wave

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Rafael Nadal is hurt. A physio and a doctor have arrived on court to inspect his left foot. I scramble to position myself directly across the court from his chair to capture what could be a crucial moment in the match. It is towards the end of a tense first set. Temperatures have only cooled slightly from a sweltering 33 degrees C (91F).

In my haste to capture Nadal's injury I had left my original position with just a 300mm lens and Canon Mark 4 body, knowing I had to be agile as I joined a crush of photographers.

from Left field:

Mercury rises on Wimbledon’s ‘Manic Monday’

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A record crowd for a Wimbledon second Monday witnessed some breathtaking tennis while finding the time to take onboard plenty of liquids as temperatures soared in London.

The Williams sisters found the going tough and their so far impressive comebacks hit the buffers, while women's number one Caroline Wozniacki's route to a first grand slam title also came unstuck, but in the men's draw there were no real dramas as the top four all hit their straps and made the quarters.

from Left field:

Rusedski’s picks for Wimbledon

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With Wimbledon starting on Monday, all eyes turned to the event in Eastbourne. It became very interesting because of Serena and Venus Williams participation. Serena has not played since winning Wimbledon last year because of a freak accident in Munich, were she stepped on broken glass while walking to her hotel room after a night out. She was walking bare foot and cut ligaments in her feet as well as cutting her feet up badly. It took her nearly a full year to recover.

On the other hand her sister Venus hasn't played much due to a hip injury this year. I believe this is only her third event of the year. Serena played really well considering her lay off and beat Pirokova in the first round in 3 sets after starting very poorly. Pirokova was a tough match because she has made the semi-finals at Wimbledon and plays well on grass. Due to the long layoff Serena was not seeded at Eastbourne, because she has lost all her ranking points from last year. The ranking works on a 52 week calendar and if you don't defend your points, your ranking disappears.

from Left field:

“Bring on Wimbledon!” – Rusedski

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The grass court season is finally underway. I love this time of year. We finally get to see some attacking tennis, but still not as much as during my era because the courts and balls are a lot slower.

The Queen's Club Championships started with one of its best fields in the tournaments history with 15 of the top 20 in the world entered. The only big withdrawal was that of Novak Djokovic, sighting a knee problem, but I am sure he will be fine for Wimbledon. Nadal, the six time French open champion, arrived Monday evening after all his sponsor commitments at Disneyland Paris. He is such a professional; he had a 1 hour 45min intense practice session and entered the doubles event as well to get match practice before his first round match in singles on Wednesday.

Best of Britain: Living with history

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Each of this week’s Best of Britain photos touches on how events from the past continue to make their effects felt.  Whether it’s people remembering the victims of the 7/7 London Bombings, tennis fans hoping for a Brit to once again win Wimbledon, or actors breaking a centuries-old Shakespearean taboo, each photo is a small example of living with history.

Also included are photos of anti-war protesters, an unprecedented treasure find, an art exhibit featuring the Queen and a wall-building competition, done the old fashioned way.

from Left field:

Holding court with Greg Rusedski

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Wimbledon 2010 has been a great Championships, the weather for the two weeks has been absolutely perfect. Sun and more sun, not a drop of rain, the first time since 1995. They should have built that 40 million pound roof sooner! There were a lot of question marks going into this Wimbledon Championships for Andy Murray but fortunately for him he had a dream draw and took advantage in the first week to play himself into form.

For me though, the match of the tournament and the first week was John Isner versus Nicolas Mahut. I asked the BBC to schedule me on a short match so I could watch the all important England vs Slovenia qualifying match for the knockout stage of the Football World Cup. They said “No problem, we’ll put you on the Isner/Mahut match, they only have one set to finish”. So off I went with a rookie tennis commentator by the name off Ronald MacIntosh to finish the match he had started the day before. I joked that the outcome would be 27/25 in the final set to Isner, 8 hours 30 minutes later, over two days; I had been part of tennis history. We broke all records; longest match, longest set, most games ever played, most aces, longest match ever commentated on etc etc. It finished 70/68 in the 5th set for John Isner. This is a record which will never be broken. So much for watching the football, England did go on to win 1-0 though.

Best of Britain: Competitions and celebrations

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This week’s Best of Britain photos highlight a week of competitions and celebrations.

The first couple of photos are from sporting events high on the minds of Britons: Wimbledon and the World Cup. Also included is a photo of John Isner’s final victory at the end of an epic record-setting 11 hour 5 minute match against Nicolas Mahut.

from Left field:

Roddick gatecrashes Murray’s Wimbledon party

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.

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