Sights and sounds from SW19
No lilting West Indian voice announcing at Southfields station that if you had no tickets, you better head home; just a regular sort of voice. No band playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ as you walked from Southfields station to the gates of Wimbledon.
Not quite so many seedy characters asking for extra tickets. And no ladies giving away free bottles of Evian water to passers-by. Ah well. But so what, eh? The sun was shining really bright for most of the morning and a few passing clouds were not enough for anyone to cover up.
Quite a change from the opening Monday when clouds dominated, and not just because Rafael Nadal lost and a wind blew through the day much like Roger Federer blew away Victor Hanescu.
Orange seems to be the colour of preference with Federer, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic wearing it as an accent for their mandatory whites. There was a little twitter kerfuffle over whether Federer would get into trouble because the soles of his shoes were orange but nothing seemed to have come of that. Perhaps Hanescu complained that the man on the other side of the net was too red-hot for him?
Some big miss, this
With all the television attention — as expected on Centre Court and Court No 1 — some excellent tennis can be missed on the other show courts and the not-so-show courts. Tommy Haas played some superb game against Dmitri Tursanov on Court No 2 with his backhand in sweet form. Richard Gasquet on the same court showed that his backhand was made of silk but Marcel Granollers was not going to get caught in his web — he was up a set against the Number 9 seed as this is being written (but also down a break).
The strawberries and cream sellers seem to be doing brisk business as the weather gets more summery. Yesterday’s hot sun also saw many people flocking to the various ice-cream counters all over the arena. The Aorangi terrace (better known as Henman Hill and perhaps to be christened Murray Mountain) was full yesterday. The victory by British hope Laura Robson was good news for local fans, a bit saddened by several exits on Monday.
App you like it
Senior citizens are much in evidence but as it often is, the young enthusiasts evince the most hope for the future of tennis. As Haas played his first round match against Tursanov, the air was filled with chirps of young fans who shared statistics and predictions with the people around. Yes, I know. All those apps help. It’s that kind of a world, right?