THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Wimbledon Middle Sunday Diary: Nicklaus Meets Federer For First Time
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at Wimbledon on the middle Sunday.
Two Legends Meet For First Time
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus met tennis superstar Roger Federer for the first time on Saturday at The Championships.
Nicklaus, an 18-time major golf champion, admitted to watching more tennis than he does golf. He started playing tennis growing up in Ohio and today plays the sport "about 10 times a month".
Speaking to the Tennis Channel, the 72-year-old American, nicknamed 'The Golden Bear', said, “I probably watch more tennis than I do golf. I follow the golf, I know what is going on, but I don’t really watch it.”
When asked whether there was more chance of Tiger Woods’ overtaking his record haul of golf majors or Rafael Nadal surpassing Federer’s mark of 16 Grand Slam championship titles, Nicklaus said, “Tiger has been struggling, but his work ethic and he has had the desire to pass my record since he was a little kid. Rafa is fantastic, but he also has Djokovic to worry about right now. Not too many people beat him.”
Nicklaus first visited the All England Club in the early 1970s, ahead of practise rounds for The Open golf championship.
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan told ATPWorldTour.com at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, six weeks ago, that they are hoping to practise at Nicklaus’ home, on one of his three grass courts, between Wimbledon and the London Olympics.
Wimbledon CEO Explains 11:02pm Finish
Wimbledon Chief Executive Richard Lewis explained on Sunday morning the reason behind Murray’s third-round victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Centre Court at 11:02 p.m. The official curfew is 11 p.m., which is the time the final game began. It exceeded the previous record of 10:58 p.m. set by Novak Djokovic and Olivier Rochus two years ago.
Lewis told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme, "The fact is planning permission for the roof and the air management system was granted on the basis of an 11 o'clock finish. So once you get to 11 o'clock, it becomes a tennis decision and it was quite obvious last night that Andy Murray....was to be given a service game at 11 o'clock to give the player a chance to finish the match, so it was a very simple decision."
So could Wimbledon agree with Merton Council and local residents on a midnight finish in future? Lewis was loathe to compare Wimbledon having a night session like at the US Open and Australian Open. "In New York everyone travels by car so it is a different situation, the Australian Open is played almost at the heart of the city centre so people can disperse very easily. Wimbledon has its unique situation. We make that tennis decision at 11 o'clock in the best interests of the match."
A number of British newspapers commented on Murray's victory, which was watched on BBC television by more than eight million viewers.
Kevin Garside, of The Independent, wrote “So that is how to get Andy Murray across the finishing line at Wimbledon. Threaten to turn out the lights. Welcome to the pleasure dome. This was tennis in the big top, a raucous night of thrills and spills a million miles from the strawberries and cream on which so much of Wimbledon's identity is built. What a change the roof has wrought, not only on the atmosphere on Centre Court, but on the performance of Murray.”
Jim White, of The Daily Telegraph, wrote, “Talk about leaving it to the last minute. Right at the death, with the health and safety rules threatening to evict the players even as they belted the ball across the net, at 11.02 last night Andy Murray battered his way to Wimbledon’s fourth round.”
Kevin Mitchell, the tennis correspondent of The Guardian, wrote, “Andy Murray's gift for simultaneously exciting and infuriating a nation remains delightfully intact and, after edging two minutes past the 11pm deadline under the roof on Centre Court to beat Marcos Baghdatis in four pulsating sets, he will return to Wimbledon on Monday against Marin Cilic invigorated for his charge at the title.”
Andy Murray blamed his shorts after a spare tennis ball fell out of his pocket on three occasions during his third-round win. It cost the fourth-seeded Scot two points.
Hunt For Hawk ‘Rufus’ Continues
Imogen Davies, the owner of missing four-year-old Rufus, a harris hawk used to scare away pigeons at The Championships, says his black travel box has been spotted abandoned in a hedge.
Davies said, "It definitely gives us hope. We are going to be out in force looking for it. He would certainly be getting hungry."
Rufus is normally driven from Corby, Northamptonshire each day at 5:30 a.m., but was kept in a parked car overnight Thursday.