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Wimbledon 2010 diary: Majestic Murray

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Originally published on: 24/06/10 22:40

By Royal appointment

Amidst much excitement on Thursday morning, Her Majesty arrived at the All England Club looking resplendent in a dazzling blue coat and hat. And my oh my, what a lot of preparation went into her visit. The pavements of the AELTC, which we hardly back alleys beforehand, positively sparkled. Mere mortals could not walk where she did, along St Mary’s Walk, which was cordoned off over an hour before she arrived, the dustpan and brushes were doing overtime to clean it up, you could have eaten off it!

Anne Keothavong was among the players that lined up to meet the Queen today, and not for the first time as our Anne has met Her Maj once before. But she did admit that she practiced her curtsey and that she was amazed to see tennis royalty like the great Billie Jean King practicing hers too – now, is it left foot or right foot forward…seems even legends feel nerves from time to time.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams – who had practiced hers too and met the Queen before lunch didn’t make it out on court until long after HM had left the grounds. Not that it mattered: the defending champion’s match was scheduled as the third match on Court 2. Which has no royal box. No official word from the powers that be behind the decision to move the defending champ and No.1 seed away from both show courts, on today of all days. Make of it what you will.

End game

It will be the talk of the tennis world for years to come: THAT match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut finally came to an end at 4.47pm this afternoon after a mind boggling 11 hours and 5 minutes.

Seems like most of the players don’t think a rule change to contain the length of a final set is necessary, many on the basis it will never happen again. Andy Murray’s view of the marathon match was “I think the rules here are very good.  They work well.  You know, it was a huge, huge story for everybody yesterday and really good for the sport.  So keep it as it is.” Easy to say when you’ve just come off court in one hour and forty-two minutes after a display worthy of inclusion in a Royal Variety Performance.

Sounds like Roger Federer likes things just the way they are, too. “I love this. I know they’re maybe not loving this, but I guess this is unheard of in our game,” he said yesterday, having began his second round match with Isner and Mahut tied at 11-11 in the fifth set – and found the two at it when he walked off Court 1 nearly three hours later. “John is barely moving anymore but he’s still able to produce good serves when he has to. It’s so impressive to see. I was watching this. I don’t know if I was crying or laughing. It was too much.”

Not all players were fans, though. Maria Sharapova joked if it had been her, ”I’d be checking myself into the local hospital at that point. It’s pretty incredible what they’ve done. I think at this point maybe the rules will be changed at a certain point you’re going to have to play a tiebreaker.”

Half the World away…

Murray’s opponent in the third round is Frenchman Gilles Simon. Last time they played in 2008 in China at the Tennis Masters Cup, Muzza won 6-4 6-2, when Simon reckoned “I lost against him when I was playing my best tennis.”

However with no World Cup team to follow maybe he will, despite his recent knee injury, benefit from free swinging at the ball. The Frenchman who got a walkover against Ukranian Illya Marchenko into the third round now has no team favourite, “Not sure, so just gonna watch who is win.  When your team is out, after you don’t care.”

Jamie and Jonny give the champs a run for their money

In a tight five setter Murray bro Snr, who teamed up with fellow Brit Jonathan Marray in the men’s dubs, took the No.1 pairing of Daniel Nestor and Nenand Zimonjic to the limit, the final score 3-6 6-7 7-6 6-7 15-13. Where’s that Championship tiebreak when you need it?

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