It’s always a blast spending the last few days before Wimbledon roaming the grounds and catching players’ practices and Saturday was no exception.
We get a full practice schedule for all the players so we can head to specific courts for specific sessions.
I went to Court 12 Saturday to catch Roger Federer hit with Kei Nishikori but the Swiss was a no-show. Instead, preparing Nishikori for his tough opener against the huge-serving Sam Groth was the Japanese’s coach, Michael Chang.
Want to know how 175cm Chang tried to simulate the serve of the 193cm Groth for Nishikori’s return practice? Chang stood mid-court serving non-stop at Nishikori, showing no signs of the wear and tear a 44-year-old retired tennis player would be feeling in the same situation.
Michael Chang hitting serves from middle of the court against Nishikori in practice pic.twitter.com/jk6rjcZee4— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) June 25, 2016
I also caught part of Serena and Venus Williams’ practice. Serena was working on her serve while Venus slammed back some epic returns and those few minutes I watched reminded me of how Serena got to be so good – she spent her entire life having Venus as a practice partner.
Ernests Gulbis was practicing with Novak Djokovic before rain interrupted their session while Dominic Thiem was hitting with Gilles Simon.
Garbine Muguruza was on the next court with Julia Goerges, while Carla Suarez Navarro was playing a practice set with Angelique Kerber.
Kerber, the Australian Open champion, told us later during her press conference that she always goes to a musical each year during Wimbledon and she plans on doing the same one day this fortnight. But she insisted that would not be the case on Sunday, as she will be otherwise busy watching Germany take on Slovakia in the Euro 2016 last-16 stage.
Muguruza showing support for Spain. Asked her who her fave Spanish footballer is: "Sergio Ramos, Iniesta, Xavi" pic.twitter.com/xWVqTFwGTW— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) June 25, 2016
“I think they have a tough draw right now,” said Kerber of Die Mannschaft.
“I said from the beginning that I believe in this team because they know each other. This team is a really good team. They have great players. I think that they can go really far. I hope that they can win the Euro.”
Muguruza is also keeping tabs on Spain and she showed up to her press conference wearing the national team’s football jersey in a show of support.
I asked her who her favourite Spanish football players are and she named Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez as her top-three.