SPORTS

Watching Wimbledon gives a peaceful, easy feeling

Everyone loves this celebration of tennis excellence

Certain sporting events capture the imagination of people around the world – even if for the rest of the year the sport doesn’t sit high on the must-watch list.

Wimbledon is one example, in my opinion. It starts at 11am on Monday.

It doesn’t much matter if you have never picked up a tennis racquet in your life, when Wimbledon comes around the non-believers suddenly become followers.

Of course, the stature of the event and the quality of the players who grace it is hugely important. But there’s something about the whole scene that holds great appeal.

People who wouldn’t think to order a Pimm’s for much of the year insist that it must be the drink of choice at the Championships – close to a quarter of a million are sold each year. Visiting the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in south-west London and not having a Pimm’s would be like visiting the bar in south-east Asia’s Raffles Hotel and not ordering a Singapore Sling. Certain things just have to be done.

So, too, is the situation with strawberries and cream. Think Wimbledon and you think strawberries and cream. Indeed, an enterprising UK cream producer has come up with a campaign pitching three personalities against each other on recipes involving strawberries and cream. More on this elsewhere on this site.

Yes, Wimbledon is synonymous with summer and its lazy, hazy days. Cue for a song?

British interest in the finals is a little more muted this year given that Andy Murray will be missing from the men’s singles. The highest male seed is Kyle Edmund who is 30th (out of 32); highest women’s seed is Johanna Konta at 19. Konta represented the country of her birth, Australia, until seven years ago. I wish her well, but wouldn’t wave the Union Flag too wildly were she to win.

Andy Murray is due to take part in the men’s double with Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. Would have preferred another Brit (his brother Jamie, for example) but won’t lose too much sleep. He is also considering entering the mixed doubles though his camp have doubts about putting his dodgy hip through too many games.

If the Murray brothers each win their two opening matches they will face each other over the net in the men’s doubles.

Among names being put forward as a possible partner for Murray in the mixed doubles is Serena Williams. An untried team, but they would certainly intimidate their opponents.

French Open men’s champion Rafael Nadal is somewhat peeved by his seeding at No 3 given he is actually seeded No 2 in the world. However, the seeding committee for the men’s game is allowed to factor in how players have played in the past two years on grass. So Nadal finds himself behind Novak Djokovic (1) and Roger Federer. That sounds about right and I can’t look beyond Novak.

Nadal in action. S0urce: Carine06 from UK [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Seedings for the ladies, on the other hand, follows the women’s world rankings – only injury to a player will change it. This means that a woman with little or no history on grass will still be highly seeded. Agree? I don’t.

Here’s looking forward to a great fortnight of tennis.

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If your name is Andy that’s handy! You can claim a free ice cream while the Championships are on

Earlier this year, tennis superstar Andy Murray was on the brink of retirement – however, thanks to a successful surgery and glorious recent win in the men’s doubles at Queen’s, Andy is back to his best. 

To celebrate Andy Murray’s appearance at Wimbledon, Mazetti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Four Winters Ice Cream Parlour have combined to serve a winning dessert. 

Dubbed ‘Break The Serve’, the tasty treat consists of an edible chocolate green-coloured tennis ball with a rich and velvety smooth balsamic vinegar, strawberries and cream ice cream centre. It comes with a small racquet to break it .

The best part? All Andys who show their ID will be able to get their hands on a complimentary serve every day for the duration of Wimbledon. To take advantage of the deal (maximum one serve per person, per day), Andys need to head down to Four Winters in Gloucester Road in the heart of the capital. 

For those who don’t share the same name as the British tennis champ, the Break the Serve ice cream is available throughout Wimbledon fortnight at Four Winters, priced at £5.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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