Former champion Goran Ivanisevic’s absence from the Wimbledon seniors doubles in which Britain’s Barry Cowan was a late replacement to partner Cedric Pioline was put down to an injury.
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However, the real reason for crowd favourite Ivanisevic not playing at Wimbledon, where he won in 2001 as a wildcard entry, is his involvement with an online betting company.
Ivanisevic is acting as an ambassador and tennis expert for Unibet UK, even appearing in their Wimbledon TV commercial as the armchair pundit.
Such a role denies him entry to the Wimbledon dressing room because of a conflict of interest from mixing with players when also involved in a gambling capacity during the tournament.
Betting sensitivities at the All England Club are such that access to all gambling websites, including Unibet, is blocked. The AEC would not comment about Ivanisevic’s absence.
Andy Murray’s love of sushi is such that after every one of his matches at Wimbledon, he has the same order — 30 tuna and avocado rolls — made up by the Japanese and South Korean chefs working in the sushi kitchen on the players’ lawn.
The £30 Japanese takeaway — £1 per roll — is not shared around Team Murray, but is all guzzled by Andy himself, whose training diet often takes in as many as 50 pieces of sushi per meal. The mixture of protein and carbohydrates is seen as ideal for muscle recovery and would have been especially needed after his five sets yesterday.
Andrew Castle, having made peace with former GB Davis Cup captain David Lloyd following a legal spat, was responsible for the Beeb gaffe of The Championships by saying Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic should have been in Carrington for the start of Manchester United’s pre-season rather than in Wimbledon’s Royal Box watching Andy Murray.
It needed co-commentator Boris Becker to remind Castle that Fergie has retired. A BBC spokeswoman said unconvincingly: ‘Of course Andrew knows Sir Alex has quit.’
Mahesh Bhupathi, Andy Murray’s agent charged with finding a new global backer for the vacant sponsor’s patch on his shirt, when asked how the search was going, said: ‘We’ll tell you when there’s something to announce.’
Bhupathi, finally dressed in a suit rather than his tennis kit, was accompanied by Judy Murray on the first day at Wimbledon he could concentrate on business, following his quarter-final defeat in the men’s doubles.
Durie’s out on WTA
Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, in 1984, was a surprise absentee from the Women’s Tennis Association’s 40th anniversary gala at the All England Club despite being feted at the French and Australian Open equivalents.
Durie said she had been given a vague alert about the Wimbledon party but had received no firm invitation, much to her puzzlement when she found out about others attending.
Durie said: ‘The WTA is very American-dominated. I had a nice day with my family instead.’
A WTA spokeswoman said: ‘A “save the date” was sent out to all former players on our distribution list last August, December and April, where we specifically emphasised that all former players were very welcome to attend.’
Wimbledon officials are talking about a ‘climate of fear’ over losing gradings status needed for appearing on show courts that prevents them from speaking out on perceived injustices.
The main issue for line judges is the All England Club introducing a rule whereby those who start on the main courts remain there unless they mess up. One umpire said: ‘We’re all scared about talking to the press. We know what will happen if we’re caught.
The line judges were so upset about the goalposts being moved that a petition was sent in.’ The All England Club said it was the head umpire’s responsibility to organise the officials.
- Tardy Ferrer outlasts Dodig in Rd. of 16 (nbcsports.msnbc.com)
- Wimbledon 2013: Remember any of these famous upsets? (standard.co.uk)
- Murray’s Wimbledon to lose (atpblogreport.wordpress.com)
- The Five Greatest Men’s Singles matches at Wimbledon (sportsillustratedblog.wordpress.com)
- Flipkens, Lisicki strike blow for Wimbledon (nation.com.pk)
- The 10 Greatest Wimbledon Finals of All Time (bleacherreport.com)