Olympic Opening Ceremony wows players


Originally published on: 30/07/12 00:00

Eight of the flag bearers at Friday's Olympic Opening Ceremony were tennis players, for whom the experience will linger forever, but the majority of players were in action on Saturday and thus unable to take part in an event that finished at 12.30am. However, it seems most of them had their eye on the TV on Friday night.

"I thought the sequence with the Queen and James Bond was excellent," said Roger Federer, who defeated Alejandro Falla in three sets. "I was actually happy she did play the role herself and that it wasn't a double. At least that's what I thought. Maybe it was a double, but I don't think it was. A double when she jumped out of the helicopter – I hope, at least (laughs)."

Tsvetana Pironkova, playing in her second Olympic Games, defeated Slovakian No.12 seed Dominika Cibulkova and said it was not only a great honour to play here for her country but that she had also watched the Opening Ceremony. “I waited for the Bulgarian team to come out and then went to bed," she said, adding that she thought the Opening Ceremony was spectacular. “I particularly liked the Mr. Bean part because I am a fan.”

“Unfortunately I could not go to the Olympic ceremony and it was a bit weird to watch it on TV knowing that your team was passing by and you couldn’t participate but we got to go on court today and win some matches," said fellow Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

"I thought it was great, particularly in the beginning when they had the rings, I think that was really something.”

Serena Williams, who defeated Jelena Jankovic in straight sets in her first round match, also made the decision not to attend the ceremony. “It was painful. My eyes were watering watching all the US Team. I was texting my friend. My eyes are watering. Is this pathetic or what? I really wanted to be there. I guess next time."

Elena Baltacha, who won her first round match against Agnes Szavay, loved the Opening to the Games. “I think the best part was the Queen and James Bond, apart from the helicopter. I thought that was a little bit too much but I think that was just genius. She's really cool the Queen”

Anne Keothavong who was defeated in three sets on Centre Court by Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki added: “I watched every minute of it, it was amazing how creative it was, how funny it was. My favourite parts were seeing Her Majesty, the Queen come out. Initially I thought it can’t be her, but it was, and Mr. Bean. It was really British.”


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.