THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Wimbledon Monday Diary: Nole In One
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at Wimbledon on Monday.
Nole In One
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic opened his Wimbledon title defence with a joke on Monday at the All England Club. Arriving on Centre Court for his first-round match with Juan Carlos Ferrero, the Serbian produced a miniature golf club from his HEAD tennis bag, which is designed to prop up like a golf bag.
"It was a little joke we wanted to do with my sponsor, Head," explained Djokovic. "They provided me with a junior golf club. All the Head players have the bags which look like golf bags because you can place them the way the golf bag is standing. So it was a little funny thing. Being creative, that's all. But fans corrected me right away. They said, 'This is not a golf course.' I said, 'Okay.'
Djokovic also revealed in his post-match press conference that he is joined in Wimbledon by his girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, and their dog, Pierre. "We have a little dog with us. So we are staying at the house. It's a little fluffy toy poodle. He's four years old and cute as candy. It's Pierre, a French name, bought in Germany, and we consider him Serbian. He has a little bit of everything. Has three passports."
Centre Court Meditation Helps Murray
On the eve of opening his Wimbledon campaign against Nikolay Davydenko, British No. 1 Andy Murray revealed he has visited Centre Court away from The Championships to reflect on the matches he has played there.
"I have sat on Centre Court with no one there and thought a bit about the matches I have played there,” Murray said. “I have played so many matches and I have so many memories, which mean a lot to me. It feels a long time since the first one."
Carrot & Stick Approach For Raonic
Milos Raonic revealed his parents won’t be coming to Wimbledon unless the 21-year-old Canadian goes a bit deeper into the tournament. "They have things to take care of," he told The Toronto Star at Wimbledon on Monday. "They may come if I do well. I think they’re trying to motivate me."
The Rigours Of Becoming a BBG
Tom Meltzer of The Guardian got involved in a training session of Wimbledon ball boys and girls to see just how well-versed the youngsters were in the lead-up to The Championships.
"Working as a BBG is a job – like packing parachutes – that, done well, is both anonymous and near invisible and, done wrong, is almost always disastrously high-profile. The four teams of six selected to work on centre and No 1 court will be being watched, at times, by millions of people. Even before a single tennis ball has been rolled or caught, I look distinctly out of place in the warm-up. I look out of place because these teenagers show no visible signs of exhaustion, whereas I'm drenched in sweat, panting heavily and wobbling at the knee.
"In my defence, this is a well-drilled squad of super-teens. They need to be. The trainees here today are among the survivors of a rigorous process of constant assessment that has whittled down around 1,000 applicants from 27 different local schools to an elite core of 250. Almost all of them are now certain to be chosen as ballboys and ballgirls – or BBGs, as they are known – at this week's Wimbledon championships."
"We flew to Edinburgh and I took [Jelena] on a surprise trip to Gleneagles," Djokovic told the Guardian. "We visited the William Wallace monument and saw the historic culture. We really liked it – although it rained for the two days, which was expected in a way! I'll definitely be back.
"There was a right turn just before Stirling Castle for Dunblane. So I sent [Murray] a picture on BBM [of the road sign] and he replied: 'What are you doing there!' I told him: 'Mate, this hasn't been photoshopped – I'm really here!'"
Success At Wimbledon Can Change Your Life
Jeremy Bates recalls for the BBC how a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon impacted his life away from the court. The former British No. 1 lost to Guy Forget in the last 16 in 1992. "Jeremy Bates still has the newspaper cuttings which picture the former British number one with his bride, Ruth, beaming on their wedding day," writes Aimee Lewis.
"The snaps were taken by the paparazzi, who had unexpectedly appeared on his doorstep on that August day 20 years ago. It had been a whirlwind of a summer. 'I had people in my garden, people following me to the bank. How are you supposed to know what to do? You learn quickly,' said Bates, winner of mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon in 1987 and the Australian Open in 1991.
"’The attention died down and all of a sudden they turned up at my wedding. I didn't mind at all, I just wanted to make sure my wife had a good day. It was completely out of sync with how we grew up.'"
Henman: How Murray Can Beat Big Three
Writing in The Telegraph, former British No. 1 and four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman gave his verdict on how Murray could beat the Top 3 players: Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
"Djokovic’s style is the most similar to Andy’s: they’ve got to beat each other at their own game, and that’s what we saw in their tight semi-final in Australia. When you are dealing with two players who are almost mirror images, the contest often boils down to first-serve percentage. Who is getting more cheap points on their first serve? Who can dominate the other guy’s second serve?
"A match against Rafa is the time to change it up. You’ve got to look to serve and volley. The slow serve out wide on the deuce court is a key tactic, because it goes to Nadal’s backhand, and then you come in behind it. It’s not just about the points you might pick up that way, it’s about getting into Nadal’s head.
"Of all the leading players, Roger is the one who is the most eager to go for the kill. The heavy balls and slow clay of Paris restricted his offensive instincts, but at Wimbledon he won’t want to be playing long rallies. So Andy will need to be precise and to attack the Federer backhand."
What Not To Wear
For the first time this year, the Wimbledon dress code was posted out to all members of the All England Club in the form of a glossy pamphlet. "There's no change in the standards, with the tournament still banning hoodies, zipper jackets, jeans, flip-flops, strapless tops, shorts and bare midriffs," writes the Associated Press. "Acceptable dress for gentlemen means a suit or tailored jacket, shirt, tie, trousers and smart shoes. ‘Ladies are expected to dress to a similar standard,’ the brochure says."
Who We Saw...
Attendees in the Royal Box on the first day of The Championships included HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH Princess Michael of Kent. Former players Butch Buchholz, Charlie Pasarell, John Fitzgerald also watched the action on Centre Court, as did 2003 England Rugby World Cup winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward.
Upsets Of The Day
World No. 7 and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych was dealt a straight-sets defeat by Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the first round on Monday. The No. 87-ranked Berdych fired 30 aces and hit 62 winners to 30 from his Czech opponent as he claimed victory in three tie-breaks in two hours and 34 minutes.
Elsewhere, Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, who nearly defeated Federer in the first round two years ago, saved one match point to upset 11th-seeded John Isner today. The 28 year old withstood 31 aces from Isner to break serve on two occasions and clinch the 6-4, 6-7(7), 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 victory in three hours and 12 minutes. Isner had held a match point when he led 7-6 in the fourth set tie-break.
"Lately it's happening quite a lot; I get out there in the match and I'm just so clouded," lamented Isner. "I just can't seem to figure things out. I'm my own worst enemy out there. It's all mental for me, and it's pretty poor on my part."
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