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The Championships - Day 5 Diary

Wimbledon, England

Djokovic© Novak DjokovicNovak Djokovic has found himself a unique supporter during The Championships. takes a look at the news and talking points at The Championships, celebrating its 125th year, on Friday.

What The Newspapers Are Saying

Current Generation More Enjoyable
Rafael Nadal believes previous tennis eras cannot match the excitement generated by the current stars of the sport. "Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable," the 10-time major champion told The Evening Standard. "It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet. It was less eye-catching than what we do now. Everyone enjoys the tennis we play much more. I am not saying we are playing better tennis, just more enjoyable tennis. For me, in the past it was just serve, serve, serve." Mats Wilander, the seven-time Grand Slam champion, says there is greater depth today. "If you go down to the 100th-ranked player, we weren't as deep as they are today," said Wilander. "But the first seven or eight guys were at the same level and produced great rivalries. Looking back, it was really special."

Djoker's New Love
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic revealed on twitter the new love in his life - a squirrel.  The 24-year-old Serbian said, "It's my best friend in London. She is coming closer to me each day and maybe one day I'll be able to feed her from my hand. I love London, there are so many parks. If I was here without tennis I'd just walk around and spend less time in the car."

DelPo A Shoe-In
After Juan Martin del Potro beat Olivier Rochus in four sets on Thursday, the 2009 US Open threw his trainers to a child in the crowd. "It's the first time I've given my shoes to someone," said the Argentine. "After the match I saw the kid and signed everything for him. I walked back to the locker room in my socks."

Tsonga Praises Dimitrov
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says he hopes World No. 62 Grigor Dimitrov, who he beat Thursday night, will be one of the "big champions". The 12th seed from France said, "I hope he will go on to be one of the big champions. He was on fire. I said to myself if I am consistent he will miss but he didn't and it was difficult."

Connors Memoir
HarperCollins has announced that eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors will publish his memoirs in June 2012, when he turns 60 and on the 30th anniversary of his last Wimbledon title.

Murray Mania

Tim Wits
Andy Murray is fed up of British fans crying out 'C'mon Tim' during his matches at Wimbledon, according to numerous newspapers. The Scot has discussed it with four-time former semi-finalist Tim Henman. "We were talking about it before my first match and asking how long it would be before the first 'Come On Tim'," said Murray. "We were going to have a bet and everyone gave a minute when it would be said. I just said it would be inside the first game - and it came four minutes in. It is a classic that one." Murray does not find it amusing. "It is hilarious. It happens every match, three or four times. Seriously, though, I do not find it particularly amusing."

McEnroe: Toughen Up
John McEnroe has told The Evening Standard that Murray needs to toughen up in the big matches. "Murray needs to get to them," the three-time former Wimbledon champion said. "Grand Slam matches are not just tennis matches, they are mind games. He's got to find a way to get under their skin. It should be a part of his game, instead of saying 'we are great friends and everything is wonderful'. When I played Connors, clearly we didn't take a liking to each other and that spurred us on to higher levels in those matches. If Murray showed his opponents that he wanted it more and gave the impression that he was willing to do whatever it takes to get there, it would help his chances. You look at Rafa and Roger and they intimidate opponents, they jump up and down or stick out their chest. I'm not saying that's the only way to become a great champion because Pete Sampras never showed any emotion. However, Pete didn't waste energy or show anything to his opponent by doing something like shouting at his coach either."

Headline Of The Day

"Serve 'n Wally" - The Sun. "Jamie Murray gave his new doubles partner Sergiy Stakhovsky a headache by whacking him with a 115mph serve. Jamie said, "I clocked him right in the ear. I had been serving really well, threw the ball up and there was a gust of wind. I got him pretty good and he was a bit dazed - and a bit annoyed, as I am sure I would be, too. It put me off a bit because when I served after that I was consciously trying not to go anywhere near him."

Match Of The Day

World No. 158 Bernard Tomic completed a comeback from two-sets down to oust experienced Russian Igor Andreev 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1; the match resumed at the start of the fourth set Friday. The 18-year-old Australian, who proved his big-match mentality when he challenged Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Australian Open in January, earned a clash with World No. 5 Robin Soderling, who came from two-sets down to defeat Tomic’s fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt on Thursday. “It's the first time I've been down in my career two-sets-to-love and a break and potentially a double break down. I think I gave it a shot.  I tested myself to win that match, to get back in that third set, and I did,” said Tomic.

Upset Of The Day

World No. 44 Feliciano Lopez stunned Centre Court as he ousted three-time finalist Andy Roddick 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 6-4. The Spaniard struck 28 aces and 57 winners, while committing just seven unforced errors in a sublime display, to avenge the defeat he suffered to Roddick at The Queen’s Club two weeks ago. “I beat a couple of great players in Wimbledon in the last 10 years,” said Lopez. “But to beat Andy in this court is very special, of course. I would say maybe the best probably. When you play Andy Roddick here, you never expect to win two straight tie-breaks against him.  So I'm really happy with my performance.” Conceded Roddick, “He played an outstanding match. I got beat.  He came out. He served about as well as someone has.”

Roddick Generous To His Racquet In Defeat

A young autograph seeker got much more than Andy Roddick’s signature as the American walked off Centre Court following his straight-sets loss to Feliciano Lopez. Instead of venting his anger on the offending racquet that he finished the match with, Roddick threw it in to a young fan in the crowd. “I just had the racquet in my hand.  I figured it was just going to go to waste like a doorstop or something or the bottom of my foot.  I figured a seven year old boy would probably get more use out of it than my grass court bottoms.”

Tweet Of The Day

@colin_fleming - Just been to pick up a HUGE Nando's takeaway. Chicken piri-piri bonanza about to happen! Only gonna be one winner....

Celebrity Watch

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent was joined in the Royal Box by former British No. 1 Mark Cox and former Romanian Davis Cup player Ion Tiriac, who is the owner of the Mutua Madrid Open. Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint and ice-skating Olympic Gold Medallist Jane Torvill were also present.

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