Wimbledon Diary: McEnroe eager for spot of doubles with Henman
Tim Henman yesterday gave a solid first-day performance in his transition from playing for a living to talking for his tea.
If he'd mirrored his playing style, he would have started well, wobbled a bit and then pulled through, while assorted thousands sat on a hill pulling out their hair shouting "Not again." But, he was fine.
And John McEnroe is certainly looking forward to working with Tim on commentary. "I think that could be a good combination," he told The Independent.
Any advice for Tim? "Be yourself? I think I was a certain way on the court and people saw a different side of me. He's a certain way on the court, but I've seen a side of him that he should be showing on the commentary. I think that you'll see that: that wry sense of humour that he is capable of, that he wasn't able to share on the court the same way."
So then, corsets at the ready. It should be side-splitting stuff from here on in. But will Mac the Mouth actually ever let Timbo near the mic? "Occasionally."
SW19's discerning diners turn beak up at local pigeon pie
*The Independent's exclusive photo story in yesterday's news pages about the culling of pigeons at the All England Club on Sunday by a small army of men with guns raises interesting questions about the food in the swanky debenture holder's lounge. Is pigeon on the menu? If so, where did it come from? Are the beasts in question among the hulking birds that were slain in the gloaming on Sunday, when The Independent was the only newspaper still on the premises to bear witness?
"No, no, no, absolutely not," says an impeccable source with knowledge of the posh people's catering arrangements. Pigeon has not been served in living memory, apparently. "But a nice bit of wood pigeon, I'm quite partial personally," the source said. "The feral stuff? I don't think it's really our thing somehow."
Revenge of birds given bullet
*So what was the urgency to bullet the birds anyway, when a hawk is normally used to scare them away? One of the marksmen confided exclusively to The Diary that the players had complained of being swooped on by the birds. "There's also been a problem with the pigeons on Centre Court," he said. "Wimbledon are worried that the birds will be crapping on everybody's heads."
First in the Queue
Sleeping on the pavement is part of the whole Wimbledon experience. Each day we'll bring you an interview with the first person in the queue for the day's play.
Name: Jacqueline Sparrowham.
From: Aveley, Essex.
Occupation: Retired nurse.
Arrived in the queue: 2pm Sunday
For: Tuesday's play.
Who are you here to see? Rafael Nadal.
Why? Because my friends, Rita and Chris, think he's fit. And flamboyant.
Are you clinically insane? Yes. Certainly my husband and daughters think so.
Today's random question – is Ana Ivanovic the most beautiful woman in the world? I maybe wouldn't go that far. But she's lovely.
If the All England Club served a feral pigeon that has been slaughtered at The Championships, would you eat it, if it was cooked nicely, perhaps in a burger? Uugh. No way!