Keeping Tabs: July 4

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 /by

AKThere's been no shortage of second-guesses about its deployment over the last week, but it must be admitted that the roof has done its job. No one wants indoor tennis at Wimbledon, but it beats no tennis at all. Despite many days of rain, we look up and see that the event remains on schedule, and that Andy Murray is no worse for wear after being held over for a night.

So…what else is there to complain about?

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With Friends Like These…
Andy Murray says he doesn’t read the papers during Wimbledon. Let’s hope he doesn’t accidentally get a glimpse of the Telegraph on the way to the courts today. The paper goes on a search for ways that Muzz can be beaten. 

MURRAY’S FIERCE TEST AGAINST IRON MAN FERRER
British No. 1 faces test of mettle in Wednesday’s quarterfinal against Spaniard

Yes, Ferrer is going to be a war. Still, the paper decides to look past Ferru anyway and prepare Andy for what might be coming if he survives him:

TSONGA LOOMS LARGE IN MURRAY’S PATH
Frenchman’s laidback nature makes him particularly dangerous opponent for Briton at Wimbledon

"Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looks the most menacing, if supremely affable, obstacle to Andy Murray reaching his first Wimbledon final. On Tuesday he floated like a butterfly, stung like one vicious bumble bee and was as relaxed as Muhammad Ali telling tales before a spellbound audience."

Whew, forget Ferrer, this guy is the one to worry about.

Perhaps believing it had distracted Murray, the Telegraph finishes by reminding him of the difficulty of the task at hand one final time:

FERRER MORE THAN CAPABLE OF SPOILING MURRAY’S PARTY
David Ferrer has struck a seam of such unalloyed talent in the autumn of his playing career that he has become tennis’ version of a human metronome

So, anyway, good luck with all of that Andy

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Fred Really Does Haunt the Grounds
Elsewhere, the Telegraph brings this—interesting?—piece of news:

REMAINS OF FRED PERRY SPENT A YEAR IN COLD STORAGE DURING WIMBLEDON ROOF WORKS

It seems that Perry’s ashes, at his request, have been sitting under his statue at the All England Club for all of these years—I thought he hated the place after being snubbed there as a young man.

Anyway, the ashes had to removed when construction began on the roof in 2008.

“When the roof project came to be planned,” said Ashley Jones of Wimbledon, “it was realized that we were going to need four exceedingly large cranes, and Fred was lying right where one of those cranes had to go. We approached his family and they agreed to allow him to be removed from the ground and put into the museum’s air conditioned storage.”

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Pack a Sandwich
So says Nick Bollettieri in his preview of Murray-Ferrer today for the Independent. He also recommends a trip to the bathroom before the match starts, because, “this is going to go some.”

Nick’s pick? Murray in five. 

“This is going to be about small margins,” he says. “Murray knows it. Ferrer knows it.”

As I read that, I was sure that the next sentence was going to be, “And Nick knows it, too.”

It isn’t, but I know that’s what Nick wanted to say. Instead, he tells us the match will be decided “on a few lucky breaks.”

Sidenote: I’ve noticed that the man with the best name in sportswriting is still doing tennis at the Independent: Steve Tongue

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Favorite Headline of the Day…
Courtesy of the Express:

JO-WILFRIED TSONGA FRIES WET FISH

—Elsewhere in the Express:

Who is Rupert Grint? That’s my question. The question at Wimbledon yesterday was, Where is Rupert Grint? The actor, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, had his name removed from the guest list for the Royal Box yesterday.

The Express cleverly wondered, “An invitation to the Royal Box is not something you usually weasel out of, so perhaps there was something more to the disappearance of Grint from the guest list.”

—Serena Williams was in the news for a couple of reasons.

First there was her impressive win over Petra Kvitova. Then there was her quote afterward: “I had to weed out the riff-raff.”

Yesterday, ESPN, perhaps picking up a trick or two from the tabs, showed a clip of Serena saying those words, without giving any context to them. It sounded like the "riff-raff" were the players she had just beaten, including Kvitova. That, of course, would have made for an epic quote. Alas, it turns out Serena was just talking about her own game, and how she’s had to weed out its flaws.

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You Can’t Go Home Again
I have to say that I’ve been a little disappointed in the performance of the Sun’s headline writers over the last week and a half—have they been tamer since the Murdoch affair last year? Today, though, the Sun made me laugh at this mental image:

KERBER’S GERIFIC
Angelique Kerber is leading a resurgence of German tennis and roared, “Now is our time.”

Kerber “roared” this in the interview room at the All England Club? Funny idea. Then I saw the photo above. Maybe it wasn't an exaggeration . . . 

It’s enough to make me wish that my paper, the New York Times, had a little tab blood in it. How does the Times describe the defeat of U.S. players Brian Baker and Mardy Fish yesterday? Anything about being scalloped or baked in the oven? Anything about Bionic Man Baker roaring vengeance? No, intead we get:

LAST TWO AMERICAN MEN EXIT THE STAGE

It is true, at least. As of July 4, the U.S. men are done, leaving an all-Euro quarterfinals. Is it a sign of hope that Baker and Fish made surprising runs to the round of 16? Or is it a sign of our diminished expectations that I find it hopeful in the first place? Something (not) to ponder on Independence Day.

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