Ready for 2018? Wimbledon ballot opens

Save

There are ways to get tickets to Wimbledon without having to sleep out all night in the queue. 

So it’s worth improving your odds by trying all of them, as the UK Public Ballot for 2018 Wimbledon tickets is now open.

You have go go old-school: send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the All-England Club to receive a ballot application form, which you then have to mail back.

There’s a ballot for overseas fans as well. That form will be available next month. Tennis.Life will keep you posted.

You Cannot be SERIOUS! Where it began

Save

John McEnroe has gotten a lot of mileage in his post-playing days out of his spontaneous “You CANNOT be SERIOUS!” line. 

Just check out this Eurosport commercial he stars in for proof that more than 35 years later, it’s still going strong.

But do you remember when it actually happened?

It was at Wimbledon, back in 1981, when he hit a serve and chair umpire Edward James wouldn’t overrule and call it in. 

Believe it or not, this was actually studied.

From disappointment to victory for Liu

Save

American junior Claire Liu, 17, made it to the French Open junior final last month.

But in losing to countrywoman Whitney Osuigwe, two years younger, there was disappointment.

Liu got on the grass, and got on a roll. She won the tuneup event at Roehampton without dropping a set. And then she won the Wimbledon juniors, beating another American, Ann Li, in a three-set final.

Liu’s currently WTA Tour ranking is inside the top 300. But at this point she has a decision to make that faces most girls her age – college, or not?

Henin gets Hall of Fame ring

Save

Justine Henin was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame last summer.

She finally got her ring this week at Wimbledon.

It was a little special, Henin said, because Wimbledon was the one Grand Slam she never won.

Henin’s countrywoman Kim Clijsters is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a few weeks. Two from a small country like Belgium is the motherlode.

Clijsters is playing the Wimbledon legends invitational this week; they really need to get Henin on board for 2018.

Ladies’ legends go wild at Wimbledon

Save

Some of the lady legends take the invitational event kind of seriously.

Others kind of get the point.

And so when a portly fellow from the audience Friday wanted to play, Kim Clijsters – who could barely talk, she was laughing so hard – obliged.

The players got the man all kitted out in white, so as not to have the Wimbledon underwear police out tut-tutting. And off they went.

It’s hard to know who enjoyed it more: the crowd, the man himself, or Clijsters. Probably a three-way tie.

Pre-match head banging for Rafa

Save

It’s not funny, even if Rafael Nadal had a good chuckle about it with opponent Gilles Muller before entering No. 1 Court for their fourth-round match Monday.

In doing his usual pre-match jumping thing, Nadal misjudged his surroundings. (perhaps because he’s not played on No. 1 Court all that much in recent years).

He ended up banging his head – hard, on the top of the doorway.

Nadal quickly went out and lost the first two sets to Muller, the No. 16 seed and fellow lefty who is on a fine run of grass form.

Agassi talks Nole – and Lavazza

Save

As it happens, Andre Agassi is a Lavazza (coffee) ambassador. And Lavazza is an official Wimbledon sponsor.

And so the super-coach of Novak Djokovic was happy to do an interview with the Wimbledon Channel, with the sponsor’s logo displayed in the background.

It’s all very synergistic. Agassi sponsor Longines also is a French Open sponsor. And he did similar things there when he first joined forces with Djokovic.

The American tennis icon is taking no coaching salary. But he’s maximizing his Slam sponsor opportunities, so it’s all working out.

Masters Green = Wimbledon Green

Save

It’s not the first time Wimbledon and The Masters, golf’s pre-eminent invitational tournament and one of the four golf majors, have been compared.

There’s the perfect landscaping, the lush lawns, the hushed tones, the longstanding traditions, and the slightly snooty air both can have at times.

It turns out, too, that the two tournaments’ tastes in green are … identical.

Check out Masters champion Sergio Garcia, in the Royal Box Friday. Wearing his green jacket (did they ask him to wear it? You wonder), he practically blends into the green seats.

Konta wins, dispenses big hug

Save

Johanna Konta isn’t necessarily the warmest, fuzziest one out there.

But after prevailing in a brilliant and sporting three-hour battle with Donna Vekic of Croatia Wednesday on Centre Court at Wimbledon, it was pretty clear her 21-year-old opponent needed a hug.

And so Konta gave her one. A pretty great one, actually, as Vekic burst into tears.

Vekic gave it everything before going down 10-8 in the third set on a very hot, very humid day. And then she played doubles.

Queue fun with Judy Murray

Save

Those long hours whiling away the time in the queue until fans can enter the All-England Club are being made far more entertaining with the help of Judy Murray.

Andy and Jamie’s mum has been out on what they call Court 20 most days.

Thursday, she and former Brit star Tim Henman will be coaching 30 grade-school kids from a Wimbledon Foundation-supported charity.

Early Wednesday, she gave former Strictly Come Dancing (U.K. version of Dancing with the Stars) partner Anton du Beke a tennis lesson.