Wimbledon: Rafa’s Certain Victory

MURRAYMANIA may be over but there’s still plenty of excitement left at Wimbledon 2008.
Not to mention the prospect of almost certainly two more of Rafa Nadal’s highly entertaining press conferences.
Last night the charmer from Majorca was asked what the score would be if the Nadal of last year played the Nadal of 2008.
With the usual puzzled look he gives when trying to translate some of the more bizarre questions served up here, the No 2 seed paused for reflection.
Then, quick as his flashes of brilliance on court, he volleyed back smiling: “I think I gonna win right now.”
Cue outbreak of laughter in the room as Rafa hit yet another winner.
The Real Madrid supporter was also asked what he thought about the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo going to his club.
“I don’t know what can I think,” he replied in his sing-song English with a Spanish accent.

“Every day we saw in the press if he’s coming.
“Today he’s coming, tomorrow he’s not coming. After tomorrow he’s coming.
“We will see in the end.”
As will tennis fans waiting in anticipation of what will surely be a Nadal v Federer final on Sunday.
Or possibly Monday if the weather forecast is correct.

Nadal, 22, is ready to mount his strongest every challenge to the defending champion in what would be their third consecutive Wimbledon final.
But Federer, 26, isn’t ready to abdicate his title as King of Centre Court.
In a statement to chill the hearts of his challengers, he said: “I have a chance to win this tournament for the next five to 10 years.”
The walk from Southfields tube station to the All England Club on the second Thursday is always a little sad.
The queue is no more – aside from those arriving to buy daily ground passes.
As regular readers will know, no daily show court tickets are sold on the final four days.
But if rain delays force play on a third Monday – and the current forecast for Sunday is not great – that queue would return.

It’s a big if, of course, but if the men’s final was put back to Monday, the majority of the seats on the 15,000 capacity Centre Court would become available.
That’s because when you buy tickets for Wimbledon, they are for whatever matches may be played on that court on that day.
So if you have a Centre Court ticket for Sunday, you can’t use it for Monday.
It would be a case of turn up, queue and then pay at the gate in cash to see any play on Monday.
There would be certain restrictions on the number of tickets due to local authority bylaws on the size of the queue in Wimbledon Park.
But a People’s Monday would be quite an event.
Not that we should get too ahead of ourselves.

Day 10 sees the women’s semi-finals played on Centre.
First up is Venus Williams v Russia’s Elena Dementieva.
That’s followed by Serena Williams v Zheng Jie of China.
Two British juniors also go for glory in the girls’ singles quarter finals.
Stockport’s Naomi Broady, 18, plays a Thai teenager with a name to test both the scoreboard and the headline writers.
Noppawan Lertcheeewakarn, 16, is the No 3 seed.
They meet second on Court 19.

A place on the show court next door – 18 – has been given to Britain’s Laura Robson, 14, for her quarter final against No 9 seed Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia.
That’s the court Jelena Jankovic complained about having to play on.
She moaned that it was out near the car park and required a helicopter to reach it.
When, in fact, it’s nowhere near any car park and just a long lob away from Centre Court.
Today’s photos below Rafa and Andy show, in order:
1. No 1 Court in darkness just before midnight last night.
2. A now redundant queue sign.
3. Court 19 this morning.
4. Court 18 this morning
Wylie’s Wimbledon