Hey, hard luck Rodders!
Ahh gutted, no more Wimbledon, which means no more chances to poke fun at the Inverdale/McEnroe/Henman bong smoking reggae circle. Ho hum. Still, it’s great to hear from our tennis correspondent Rory, who had this to say…
The moment you saw Pete Sampras in the Royal Box yesterday, having just flown in to see his buddy Roger Federer overtake his record of 14 grand slam titles, you couldn’t help but wonder whether the Andy Roddick might just poop the party. But no. Nothing was going to stand in the way of Federer and history.
Sweat pouring off the brim of his cap, furiously adjusting his shirt sleeves in between sending down ace after booming ace, A-Rod did everything in his power to halt Federer’s march towards the indisputable title of Greatest Of All Time. Took them a while to get there though, didn’t it? It’s as if they played a fifth set, called it a draw at 6-6, then played a sixth which Fed went on to win 10-8. Any longer and it was in danger of getting boring.
And so we were left with the classic sporting conundrum – one the one hand you felt pure joy for Fed at reaching the milestone but on the other… well, only the stoniest of hearts wouldn’t have been shot through with sympathy for the sweaty American. He may never get another a chance like this and the look on his face afterwards told you he knew it.
So that’s it folks – Wimbledon is over for another year. Interestment now has literally NO idea how to fill the next 351 days until it all starts again. For now, we’ll just have to pass the time by giving out a few random awards to recognise this year’s outstanding performers.
The Sartorial Dedication Award
Boris Becker. Fed gave him a good run for his money with le-jacket-waistcoat-combo, but there could be only one winner. No heatwave was too intense to get B-Beck out of his swish gentleman’s jacket.
The Fonz Award
John McEnroe – a very cool man indeed. A passing resemblance to The Simpsons’ Mr Burns, but Interestment definitely wants to be more like him.
The Rocky IV Award
Gisela Dulko for her win over Maria Sharapova – petite Argentinian beauty overcomes towering Russian grunt machine. Just a little bit like Rocky IV.
The Slightly Annoying Award
The BBC, for overusing that slow-motion close-up thing. Oh look, there’s a ball about to be picked up by a ball boy… yep, he’s just picked it up. That was great. And what’s this? Oh, it’s the twentieth close-up in an hour of Andy Murray’s box-like mouth contorted in another shout of “come on!”. I hope we get to see that again really soon. Ahhh…
The Tourette’s Award
Andy Murray. Do you really need to shout “come on!” every time you win a point? No, you don’t.
The Unintentional Comedy Award
Only one winner here – Philipp Kohlschreiber. In case you missed it first time round, check out his website (and make sure the sound’s up).
Is that a ball in your pocket…
It’s always with a massive rush of euphoria that we hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, so when Rory got in touch this morning, we damn near fainted with joy. Here’s his tennis update…
Day three and Wimbledon found a new sweetheart. Against the shrieking Sharapova, a little-known Argentine woman called Gisela Dulko pulled off the most unlikely victory. Classic Wimbledon it was, too – everyone cheered Sharapova onto the court, welcoming her back from a long injury lay-off. Then as the match went on, everyone got bored of the pinched face along with the incessant grunting and squealing and got behind the not-British-for-once underdog. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she happens to be pretty nice looking, so in the post-match press conference she got probed with all sorts of insightful tennis-based questions like “Have you got a boyfriend?” Felicitaciones Senorita Dulko. Bienvenidos a la big time. Just so you get the idea what all the fuss is about, that’s her up there (pictured).
Less popular was Victoria Azarenka who felt the full force of the anti-grunt backlash. The normally mild-mannered SW19 crowd put down their strawbs and cream, removed the knotted jumpers from around their shoulders in protest and started imitating her grunts in between points. That’ll teach her.
Elsewhere, Roger Federer was back in the waistcoat, which he removed for just long enough to crush his second round opponent, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Strolling from one side of the court to the other, throwing down bombs at will, the Fed looked so relaxed you half expected him break out a cigar at any moment.
Someone else in super-chillax mode was Andy Murray. So chillaxed in fact that he even took time out to do a spot of Twittering. “Got a putting competition going with Daniel Nestor. They’ve put a putting game in the lockers. Could get interesting. Just done the ice bath.” Now that’s cool – Top Gun’s Ice Man (pictured) would be proud. Let’s see how it all helps in his game today.
Also in action will be the only Brit left in the women’s draw, Elena Baltacha, who goes up against Alona Bondarenko. “It’s another tough match but I’m looking forward to it. If I play good tennis and just keep believing, then I’ve got a very good chance of getting through to the third round,” she said, beautifully setting up an inevitable defeat.
This man started well…
As ever, it’s a complete joy to hear from a member of the ever-growing Interestment family. Rory – a masterful writer with a dry wit – popped in with this to say about Wimbledon…
Wimbledon is officially under way. We know this because, as has become the custom in recent years, Roger Federer strolled out onto the centre court wearing the kind of clothes you might more usually expect to see someone wearing on cruise ship in the Caribbean. Looking resplendent in shimmering white, he managed to pull off what snooker players have been attempting for years – looking cool in waistcoat.
In similarly ice-cool fashion, he didn’t even bother to break a sweat as he crushed his opponent Yen-Hsun Lu, 7-5 6-3 6-2.
Elsewhere on the courts, Queen’s runner-up James Blake packed his headband and headed for the exit having been defeated by a man called Seppi, Maria Sharapova grunted her way past Kutuzova and an assortment of British players you’ve never heard of lost (most of them in straight sets probably).
One who did lose but in somewhat more exciting fashion was embryonic tennissette Laura Robson. The reigning Wimbledon Junior Champ was beaten in her grand slam debut by Daniela Hantuchova – although couple of twists, turns and serves going the other way could have seen her win it.
You have to feel sorry for her – not because she lost but because of the inevitable tide of expectation that now threatens to engulf and overwhelm her 15-year-old world. To put it in perspective, Roger Federer won his first Wimbledon title aged 21. That’s six years on from where she is now, which is a long time (assuming she ever gets to the level where she might win) with people asking, praying, expecting you to win.
But then, the very fact that she hasn’t turned into one of these loathsome little oiks is pretty good going already.
Have you ever found yourself wondering what those curious little packets are that tennis players seem to be ingesting between games? Here’s Novak Djokovic‘s opponent Julien Benneteau tucking into what might be a Happy Shopper ketchup sachet at 5-0 down in the third set.
In fact, it’s an energy supplement (here’s where you can buy them). Unfortunately he hadn’t reckoned on Djoko, who upped the ante a touch, and totally outmuscled him in the energy supplement stakes.
Not only did the microphone-haired Czech have a seemingly-unending supply of Lucozade tablets to chomp on, he also had an energy patch on his arm. No wonder he won the match…
Murray-mania kicks off in earnest today, with the bedraggled racquet-smith up against American Robby Kendrick. Not got a ticket to see the Muzza in action? Like ballroom dancers? Why not join the queue anyway, and see if Alesha Dixon challenges you to a game. For some reason she was doing exactly that yesterday, despite the fact she has absolutely nothing to do with tennis. Odd.
Can this hippy really win the thing?
As ever, we welcome Interestment contributors with big open arms and glasses of delicious moonshine, and today Rory joins us as our Wimbledon expert. For the next two glorious weeks, he will be guiding us through the best weird stuff going on at SW whatever it is. He had this to say…
Hello Interestmenters and welcome to the first installment of Wimbledon Watch.
As you’ll already know, watching Wimbledon takes quite a long time – more often than not, up to two whole weeks. But don’t worry, we know how busy you are. That’s why we’ll be doing a little round-up every day to keep you abreast of everything that’s going on down at SW19.
No fist pump will go unnoticed, no tantrum unchallenged. In fact, Cliff Richard won’t be able to so much as wipe his strawberry-coated fingers on the grass floor of the royal box without you knowing about it. We might even bring you a bit of news from the tennis action itself.
So what’s been going on pre-tournament?
Well the big news is Rafa Nadal won’t be playing, which has paved the way for everyone in the land to get carried away with all kinds of Murray to win nonsense.
It has also prompted every paper in the land to cash in with the headline Advantage Murray. Conveniently this overlooks the fact that some bloke called Roger Federer is still playing, and he might just be the best player of all time.
Never mind that though, no doubt we’re moments away from seeing a giant saltire painted on the crest of Mount Murray, or Murray Mount, or Mountain Mr Murray ahead of his inevitable second round exit. It’ll always be Tiger Tim’s Henman Hillock to us.
It’s not all bad for the dour Scotsman though – win, lose or draw he’ll be looking a little more suave than usual, having just unveiled a new range of Fred Perry clothes, all of which he’ll be sporting with his customary panache at this year’s event.
Other big, shouty-type news comes in the form of an outspoken attack from top tennis coach Nick Bolletieri. He reckons players should be penalised for grunting too loudly. Fair enough, but it’s a tad rich coming from the man who coached the jumbo-grunt brigade Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams (pictured).
Tune in again tomorrow to find out what happened on the opening day…