Almost every match you go to, some smart aleck will call out “Come on Roger” as whoever it is starts to serve and occasionally, “Come on Rafa” as well.
Or maybe these are not wisecracks at all but some confused fans forgetting that the order of the tennis universe has been seriously disturbed this year. The umpires, possibly in a state of shock themselves, usually let it go.
Lack of telephone etiquette is universal it seems and across Wimbledon, you can hear phones ringing and chirping, even as players are preparing to serve.
I have yet to hear an admonishment from the umpires which is surprising given how strictly all other rules are maintained. Of course, if a journalist tries to take a photograph on the sly during a match (forbidden!) you can be sure that the security staff or a member of the Keep the Press in Check corps will be there in seconds! Sigh.
If you have money to spare and nothing to do then it is worthwhile – okay, that’s the wrong word, how about “interesting”? – to pop into the Wimbledon shop. In fact, apart from the big shop, there are several little kiosks all over the ground selling key chains and hats and even used championship tennis balls.
But the big shop has the maximum goodies and the maximum prices. T-shirts for just under 50 pounds, key chains for 8 pounds and any amount of tennis and Wimbledon memorabilia – to be honest, that purple and green umbrella looked quite tempting as thoughts of returning to a Mumbai monsoon loomed! Of course, you can also buy Wimbledon towel knock-offs at a shop close to Southfields station as you negotiate the crowds going home, the black-marketeers and the department store that many pop into confusing the queue to the station!
For ol' times sake
Nothing to do at Wimbledon? Impossible! As the tournament gets into serious trophy time, the seniors’ matches start. And what could be more wonderful than watching Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver or Mansour Bahraimi and Henri LeConte. I watched John McEnroe and Patrick McEnroe play Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee on Court No 1 on Tuesday evening and it was the match of a lifetime.
Some clowning around, with the crowd shouting “You can’t be serious” after Johnny Mac did anything at all, and some great hitting as well. And, since these are players from another generation, the net was a fine battle point, not a baseline hindrance!