SOARING temperatures at Wimbledon today on women’s quarter finals day.
But there was nothing to match the excitement of Andy Murray’s transformation into the Prince of Darkness last night.
Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn duly bowed out, as defending champion Venus Williams scorched her way into the semi finals.
The 31-year-old veteran, nicknamed Tammy, won many friends here, both with her smile and a refreshing honesty.
Asked before the match for her thoughts on Venus, she replied: “I play her many times and she kick my butt. I feel very short in the locker room.”
Even so, Tammy made her taller opponent fight for almost an hour before conceding the first set 6-4.
Another 39 minutes elapsed until Venus secured the second 6-3.
Making her 12th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon, world No 60 Tanasugarn knows that time is not on her side.
After defeating an injured Jelena Jankovic, this was her first quarter final – having reached the previous round of six occasions.
You could see just how much it meant to her.
Tammy’s match with Venus was big news back in Thailand, where kickboxing is a national obsession.
“I heard from my friends and my family, last couple of matches they’ve been live, but on cable TV.
“But today’s match like on the local TV. So it’s kind of happy and everybody can see me, supporting me.”
Although she bowed out of SW19, the woman who carried Thailand’s flag into the Olympic stadium at the 1996 Olympics was still beaming.
With an eye on that ticking clock, she plans to study for a masters degree in business at Bangkok University.
“I try to help and improve tennis in Thailand. I wouild love to do that. Or I would do something else besides tennis – like normal people.”
Heavy rain is predicted to threaten Wimbledon tomorrow, where the Murray v Nadal clash is second on Centre.
But whatever the weather, you can guarantee Tammy will still be smiling.