All on track at Southfields

Ranjona BanerjiEvery morning, when you get off the train at Southfields a voice tells you that if you don’t have a ticket you shouldn’t bother to head to Wimbledon for “the tennis”. And every morning, no one pays attention and no one heads back.

Sometimes the warnings are ominous (like a projected 10 hour wait in “the queue”) and sometimes they are hopeful (like “my prayers worked and the rain stopped”!).

But diehard tennis fans perhaps know that chance is a fine thing, and why give up and assume that someone else has all the advantage? The Southfields station by the way is dressed up for “the tennis” with Wimbledon posters and fake grass carpet on the platform. If you thought that you have to get off at Wimbledon station, this platform provides a big hint.

Artificial grass laid out at the Southfields station. Pic/Ranjona Banerji

There goes the glam pair
With Grigor Dimitrov’s loss to Gregor Zelmja on Friday (on Thursday it looked like Dimitrov had control of the match until the rain came), a huge dollop of the glamour quotient leaves Wimbledon. Dimitrov for one is known as “baby Fed”, partly because from some angles he looks a bit like Federer.

Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov

But more than that, he’s known as Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend. Sharapova may have bowed out of Wimbledon on “wild Wednesday”, but she was there on Thursday cheering for her boy (he of the “black heart” according to Serena Williams, but of course with that sweet single-handed backhand.”)

Meanwhile, Serena Williams has been giving fellow American Madison Keys advice on her nails and both made references to that in their post-match press conferences. Serena hoped that if Keys made it to the US Fed Cup team, she could offer even more help. The other American hope Sloane Stephens has been complaining that Serena is not friendly enough so maybe all Stephens has to do is present her nails for inspection!

New battle of the sexes?
The British press is all excited about a possible new edition of the “Battle of the Sexes”, this time between Serena Williams and Andy Murray.

The idea apparently came from Murray and this is what he had to say: “I’d be up for it, why not? I’ve never hit with her, but she’s obviously an incredible player and I think people would be interested to see the men play against the women to see how the styles match up.” Serena said Murray was one of three players she wouldn’t want to play against, but also came up with a list of conditions for the match: no serves for Murray and she gets to serve in the doubles alley. Given Serena’s doubles record, perhaps Murray needs to watch out!

Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas

Quote shoot
The quote of the day comes from Tommy Haas, after he won his match against Jimmy Wang: “You can’t buy ATP points to buy your ranking. It’s not possible; otherwise Gulbis would be No. 1 in the world.”

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