Edmund hoping for double delight as he races to catch England World Cup clash
A host of sports stars will be watching on Centre Court.
Britain’s Kyle Edmund will be hoping for double success when he takes on Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, on the same day England face Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Sir Bobby Charlton, who was part of the winning squad in 1966, was among those in the royal box on middle Saturday.
He was joined by sporting stars including Sir Mo Farah, boxer David Haye, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and former cricketer Andrew Strauss, on another scorching day at Wimbledon.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced on Friday that Edmund will play third on Centre Court, with the scheduling likely to avoid a clash between the tennis and football.
Spectators were spotted sporting England shirts across the site, and several said they will be sneaking off to the pub to make sure they do not miss the crucial World Cup game.
Haye admitted he would be one of those trying to juggle the two sporting events.
“I’ll try, I dunno how,” he told the Press Association.
“We’re going to do it, we’re going to do it.”
Tennis star Heather Watson, who is not due to play on Saturday, also appeared preoccupied by the football.
She tweeted on Saturday: “FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME.”
Good morning all! FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME ⚽️😝💪🏽🦁— Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) July 7, 2018
However Sir Cliff Richard, a regular at Wimbledon, said he would not be focusing on England’s quarter-final.
“I’m watching tennis. I’m here for tennis,” he said as he arrived.
“I’ll get the results later. I hope they do well.”
Olympic gold medal boxer Nicola Adams, who will also be in the royal box, said: “I’ll be focusing on the tennis – and hopefully I’ll get the updates later.”
Asked if she had a message for Edmund and the England team, Adams said: “Good luck, and I hope they do really well, they’ve done really good so far.”
Edmund, the last Briton standing in the singles, hopes both he and the national side will triumph in their knockout matches.
The 23-year-old, who previously said he hoped to watch some of the England game, may be able to catch a glimpse if it does not interfere with his pre-match routine.
Chris Yates, 30, and Craig Pett, 27, from Portsmouth, joined the queue at around 7am to get into the grounds.
But they plan to head into Wimbledon village to watch the England game at 2pm, and have already collected a wristband to ensure they can get back in to enjoy the tennis after.
Mr Yates, wearing a red England shirt, said: “A lot of people said they were heading there. The woman at the gate, she called it the football band rather than a pass-out band.”
Charlie Smith, 26, from south London, and Danny Miller, 29, from Kent, both sporting England football shirts, said Wimbledon organisers should have put the match on a big screen.
“It’s a bit gutting,” Mr Smith said. “But I understand it. If I was the manager of Wimbledon I would do the same thing, but as a fan, it’s just a bit…”
The first clash on Centre Court will begin at 1pm, while England’s game will kick off at 3pm.
Since 2005, the average time for the first point of the third Centre Court match on middle Saturday has been 6.21pm, IBM analysis shows.
The earliest start time for the third match was 3.56pm, but on just two out of 11 occasions did it start before 4.30pm.
Edmund seems raring for another appearance on Wimbledon’s premier court.
He tweeted on Friday: “Can’t wait to get my teeth into Centre court again tomorrow.”
Spaniard Rafael Nadal takes on Australian Alex De Minaur first on Centre Court, before Angelique Kerber, from Germany, and Naomi Osaka, from Japan, battle it out in the women’s singles.
It is set to be a hot day at Wimbledon, with maximum temperatures of 31C (88F), forecasters said.
Spectators will need to slap on the sun cream with UV levels likely to become very high by mid-afternoon.