UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Left field:

Murraymania keeps on building … but Andy’s unimpressed


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:

"It doesn't make any difference the way you perform, the hype. If you spend the whole time, if you work in the media and spend a lot of time reading the papers, watching everything on the TV, getting said all the things that are getting said on the radio, then you get caught up in it.

If you ignore it you don't realize it's happening. You don't take anything that's being said about you. You know, I don't read it because 90% of the stuff's gonna be pretty much untrue anyway."

from Commentaries:

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

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


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.

from Left field:

Wimbledon raises the roof … whether they needed to or not


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.

Is RBS chief Stephen Hester worth £9.6m?


As chief executive for a company that is 70 percent owned by the government, a 9.6 million pounds pay package is quite a tidy sum.

It is a package that makes Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester almost as well as paid as the Real Madrid-bound Cristiano Ronaldo.

from Left field:

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


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.

Dad can’t bear to watch sister act


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serena2.jpgRichard Williams cannot bear to watch if his daughters Serena and Venus make it to the Wimbledon final on Saturday — he will be flying back home to the United States instead.

Venus and Serena, who have six Wimbledon titles between them, are currently on course to clash for the third time in a Wimbledon final — and Venus is looking for revenge after twice losing to her sister.

Olympian feats


olympic-flag.jpgSerena Williams glides across the ice rink. Ana Ivanovic leaps to the net in beach volleyball.

Roger Federer poses as a fencer. Rafael Nadal fulfils his boyhood dream as a soccer player.

Clash of the muscle men


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Andy Murray made a great show of pointing to his bicep after his 5-sets win over Richard Gasquet but when it comes to muscles, his next opponent, Rafael Nadal wins hands down.

Widely regarded as the fittest and strongest man on the professional circuit, Nadal has been in powerful form on grass over the past month and is a formidable barrier in the way of Murray’s ambition to become the first British men’s singles winner since 1936.

Reasons to be cheerful



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

Thank heavens colour television was up and running in Britain when we had our last Wimbledon singles winner.

Virginia Wade it was, 41 years ago to be precise (and if memory serves she was wearing a cardigan at the time. Plus ca change.)

The dangers of burnout


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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.