Each day of the 2009 Championships we blogged about Wimbledon colour on and off the court in our ‘Tennis Shorts’ blog (click here to read all entries). Here are five of the best.
Just Tweet it
The world of Twitter went into overdrive with Wimbledon ‘twits’ on and off the court messaging their thoughts on Michael Jackson’s death.
“My heart goes out to the entire Jackson Family,” tweeted No.2 seed, @serenajwilliams.
@andyroddick was more effusive, tweeting “oh my lord… Michael Jackson died… RIP sad and surreal. Regardless of what you think of him he was completely revolutionary and will be missed.”
BBC interactive’s @carolinecheese offered this: “Odd day. Jacko dead. And approaching Wimbledon was passed by a cyclist wearing nothing but a Union Jack thong. Like I say, odd.”
While @ChampionsTennis mused about the impact Jacko’s death would have on The Championships?
“I wonder if the atmosphere at Wimbledon be different,” wondered the official ATP Champions Tour twit. “The media coverage will be affected – every major player will be asked about it in press conferences, rightly or wrongly.”
Sure enough, Tim Henman, Tracy Austin and Sue Barker were soon discussing the King of Pop’s death on the BBC. “It’s very sad,” said Henman. “He had a huge impact in the world of music.”
Meanwhile Austin offered: “it’s tragic, a lot of people will remember where they were when they heard the news.”
Something to Tw-eat?
In lighter Twitter news, @andymurray amused himself by Tweeting alternative – snack-related – names for his fellow players.
The British No.1 has come up with a veritable feast of foodie forenames and snack-ish surnames for his on-court colleagues.
Here are some of Murray’s tastiest treats: Juan Martin Del Popcorn, Vania Kingsize Mars bar, Gilles Muller Fruit Corner. Novak Yorkie-ovic, Lleyton Chewit, James Flake, Boris Double Decker, Dorito Starace. John McEn-rolo, Cod Woodbridge, Mardy Fishcakes, Prawn Borg, Martina Haggis, Mince Spadea, Egg Rusedski and Spotted Dick Norman.
Murray was pretty happy with his efforts, punctuating his final tweet with the words “too good”.
Wimbledon was abuzz with rumors of a budding romance between Ana Ivanovic and golfer Adam Scott, who was spotted sitting with her supporters during two matches.
Scott was courtside when Ivanovic defeated second round opponent Sara Errani and again for Saturday’s match against Sam Stosur.
Neither athlete has revealed much when questioned about their relationship.
“I met her in Australia, but I’m not going to say any more,” said the Aussie golfer adding that he hoped to get back to Wimbledon for more of Ana’s action.
Ivanovic remained similarly tight lipped about Scott in a post match press conference. “Well, I think, you know, I rather talk about my tennis at the moment,” said the 21-year-old who hung out with the Aussie on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast prior to the Australian Open this year.
“Yeah. I wouldn’t like to comment on that. It’s great to see familiar faces – I think – in your box when you look for support,” she smiled.
Ivanovic might want to tread carefully. Fellow former world No.1 Maria Sharapova has a hankering for Scott too, placing him at No.6 on her list of ideal mixed doubles partners.
The Aussie golfer is the latest in a long line of non-tennis celebrities to take a player’s corner at a Grand Slam. Justin Timberlake was also at Wimbledon on Saturday, cheering on compatriot Andy Roddick. World No.2 Roger Federer has an A-list fan club that includes Anna Wintour, Tiger Woods, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Delta Goodrem used to cheer Mark Philippoussis, Radek Stepanek once curried the favour of Miss Czech Republic and Barbara Streisand used to step up for Andre Agassi.
Connery call from Murray
Andy Murray revealed on Twitter that he had received a phone call from legendary Scottish film actor, Sir Sean Connery. Murray joked, “He called to say well done on yesterday (middle Saturday). Much nicer than someone trying to sell you a phone upgrade.”
The 78-year-old former 007 actor has been watching Murray’s progress throughout the tournament and decided to call the Scottish world No.3 after his third round victory to Serbian Viktor Troicki.
When hawks attack (by Paul Kiernan)
It would be most tennis fans’ dream. I was clapped and cheered by the crowd on Centre Court. However, when the applause is drowned out by laughter and is the result of a bird of prey scaring you half to death it does take the gloss of it somewhat.
Rufus the Hawk flies around The All England Club every morning to scare away pigeons. I went down to interview his owner Wayne and the next thing I knew my left hand was covered in a suede glove and I was clutching a small piece of raw Quail.
Shaking slightly, I was looking up to the other side of Centre Court where Ralph was perched on the new roof, starring me down with his intimidating black eyes. Ralf was due to glide effortlessly over the lawns and land on my trembling left hand.
The cunning, nimble bird was too quick for my aging eyes and I lost sight of him. The next thing I knew Ralf had swooped in behind my back and, unannounced, his bright yellow claws were digging into my hand. My terror was expressed through a high-pitched, blood curdling scream.
The humiliation didn’t end as the laughter of a hundred or so cleaners, journalist, court coverers and stewards loitering in the stands resounded around Centre Court. Did I mention I was live on BBC Radio