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Wimbledon Diary, Day 3

London, England

Michael Llodra© AFP/Getty ImagesMichael Llodra was forced to retire shortly after this mishap.

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at The Championships on Wednesday.

What the Papers Are Saying
For the fourth time in the Open Era, since 1968, only one Brit has qualified for the men's singles second round. Andy Murray was one of five British starters this year. One British male made it to the second round in 1985 (John Lloyd), 1990 (Jeremy Bates) and 2007 (Tim Henman). ‘Shame On You, Brits’ headlines The Sun, a tabloid newspaper. "It's disappointing,” admitted Murray. “The depth needs to get way better. It’s unacceptable. They don't play at this level too often as they are not ranked that high, so when the tight moments come, they don't play as well. Alex Bogdanovic, the British No. 2 has not won a singles match at The Championships, despite receiving eight wild cards. 

Two-time runner-up Andy Roddick, writing a column in The Daily Mail, insists he’ll be watching the television coverage on his rest day. “I’ll be watching Wimbledon like everyone else of course,” the American said. “The tournament always has great games from the first round right through to the final and this year is looking like it will be no different. It is a shame Rafa had to pull out as he is the defending champion and always great for tennis to have him out there but there’s still a lot of world class players left in the draw for me to keep my eye on. Roll on Thursday!”

The Daily Telegraph reveals John Bercow, a Conservative MP for Buckingham and the new Speaker in the House of Commons, was a promising junior in the 1970s, competing against Andrew Castle, Jeremy Bates and David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach. Felgate, now a BBC Radio Five Live summariser, said: “He beat me as a teenager, he had an irritating style, he knew how to get around the court and get the ball back even though he didn't have the biggest game. He's been pretty tenacious to get where he has today.”

Former World No. 1 Marat Safin, who waved goodbye to the All England Club after losing 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to Jesse Levine on Tuesday, admitted he was “very relieved” to have played at The Championships for the last time before retiring. "This is the situation and I have to deal with it. This is not perfect and it's not the best way to finish Wimbledon. But it's okay; that's life. There are plenty of years coming to me,” he told the press, without sounding too sad at all.

The centrepiece of The Championships this year is Centre Court’s new roof, a £100 million development, to put an end to lengthy rain delays. While it hasn’t rained so far, the All England Club put the retractable roof into good use on Tuesday to block out the sun for VIPs in the Royal Box. The Daily Mirror reports, “As temperatures soared to 33C (91.4F) at the 15,000-capacity Centre Court, the concertina roof was slowly rolled out a few feet to give respite from the searing sun to the select few sitting there.” A Wimbledon spokesman said: “The roof was totally effective and we are very happy that its first use went so successfully. Due to soaring temperatures on the Centre Court it was essential. The roof was designed for rain and bad light but it's proved it has more than one use. It was money well-spent.” Ninety people received medical attention from St John’s Ambulance Service for heat-related illness, such as sunstroke and dehydration, on Tuesday.

Headline Of The Day 
‘Champagne sales prove bubble has not burst’ reveals The Times. In this global downturn Kevin Eason, the newspaper’s sports news correspondent, writes, “The only sign of financial pain is in the corporate tents where executives of the All England Club admit that ‘demand has softened’. Unofficial estimates calculate that corporate bookings are down between 10 and 20 per cent as companies slash their budgets for entertaining.

Murray Mania
‘Pain in the Grass,’ headlines The Sun, which writes “Andy Murray discovered last night just exactly what it's going to take to follow Fred Perry into tennis immortality. He may have the same togs - a vast improvement on Roger Federer's camp outfit from the day before - but it's a different matter attempting to fill Fred's shoes.”

Simon Barnes, the chief sports writer of The Times, described the World No. 3 as “a little unearthly… when he made his entrance. Something very different about him. In a sense, this is his first Wimbledon, for he comes here as a new person, a person whose credentials for winning the championship are sober and serious and real.” Kevin Garside, the chief sports writer of The Daily Telegraph under the headline ‘Andy Murray's path to glory is beset by obstacles,’ writes, in reaction to Murray’s first-round win, “The road to nirvana is already littered with fingernails. What hope for the pulse rate at the end of this fortnight if a man who has won only three grand slam matches in six years can make Andy Murray jump?”

The Daily Mirror was happy to reveal to its readers that Murray’s girlfriend of three years, Kim Sears, was “dressed in a figure-hugging lumberjack shirt and tiny denim hot pants”, and relaxed in the shade before Murray’s four-set win over Robert Kendrick.

Quote Of The Day 
“If you ask me if I really like [The Championships], I would say not,” admitted Robredo, after his 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1 second-round win over Stefan Koubek on Wednesday. “It's tough to play on grass. When you start playing one day and it's full of grass, and the day after it's half of the grass and the day after it's less grass, it’s not good.” Asked what his expectations were, the Spaniard said with a smile, “Survive. Not win, just survive!”

Match Of The Day
There was plenty of excellent doubles clashes on day three at The Championships. Seventh seeds Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram lived dangerously in their first round clash against Santiago Gonzalez and Travis Rettenmaier before winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 in three hours and 35 minutes as the light began to fade on Court 8. Mirnyi and Ram won ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami in March.

Upset Of The Day
Rainer Schuettler’s hopes of replicating his dramatic run to the 2008 semi-finals came to an end when he was beaten 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 by Israeli Dudi Sela on Wednesday. Schuettler, the German No. 18 seed, led 5-2 in the first set before Sela showcased some glorious backhand and drop shot winners. “He played well,” said Schuettler. “He’s a very complete player. He plays very solid with a very good backhand, doesn't serve so hot, but very consistent.”

Statistic Of The Day
For the second day running, The Championships broke its single day attendance record. 45,955 spectators poured into the All England Club Tuesday, while a record 42,811 attended the opening day’s play. The Championships merchandise shops reported a massive boost in takings, including for the highest-priced items, such as Ralph Lauren polo shirts that were selling fast at £95. “Already there is talk that last year's profit - or ‘surplus’ of £25,666,827 will be surpassed,” The Times reports.

Newsmaker of the Day
Spare a thought for Michael Llodra who suffered a freak accident against Tommy Haas on Court One. With Haas leading 3-2, Llodra retrieved a ball on the outermost edge of the court when a drop shot from the German sent him sprinting towards the net. But his sheer impetus meant he could not stop and he crashed into the umpire’s chair and fell on top of a ball girl, Erin Lorencin, crouched by the net. A chair was knocked over and a bin went flying. Two games later, after treatment from a trainer, Llodra called it a day. Much to the delight of the crowd, after Llodra left the court, Haas played several rallies with a 15-year-old ball girl Chloe Chambers.

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