SW19 Diary: Tennis fever hits driveways, Gasquet's great strength

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Gasquet has made a name for himself regripping his racquet.

When the Championships are on, the entire Wimbledon neighbourhood is transformed into one big tennis-themed district with everyone making sure they take full advantage of the situation.

The residents of the houses by the Wimbledon Queue set up lemonade stands, the fashion stores sell tennis-inspired outfits and the rent prices for rooms or apartments shoot through the roof.

One of the funniest ways people manage to monetise their Wimbledon locale is by renting out their driveways as parking spots (don’t ask me where they put their own cars).

Driving through the winding, hilly streets around the All England Club, you can see handmade signs on people’s lawns asking for £20 or more for Wimbledon visitors to use their houses for parking their cars.

I spotted a man with a cardboard sign standing on the corner of his house offering two weeks’ worth of parking.

Hours later, I passed by the same street and he was still there. You’ve got to applaud his commitment to the cause.

GASQUET’S GREAT STRENGTH

Meanwhile at the tennis, French No7 seed Richard Gasquet was quizzed about his lightning fast ability to re-grip his racquet at every changeover during his matches – a habit he stays true to every single match.

“Of course, I’m the fastest to do it. I’m sure about it. I didn’t win a grand slam, but to do that I’m the best,” Gasquet said laughing.

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WATCH: Wimbledon day two highlights and reaction

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There were wins for Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who you can all see here both in action and reacting to their respective victories.

Murray was also asked about Marcus Willis’ dream run to the second round where he will take on Roger Federer on Wednesday.

For all the latest news from Wimbledon, check out our dedicated section or follow our reporter Reem Abulleil on Twitter as she covers the two-week tournament from SW19.










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Andy Murray sails through first round of Wimbledon

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Andy Murray breezed past Liam Broady

​Andy Murray took care of business on Centre Court, breezing through his Wimbledon first round, before he took a cheeky swipe at Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky, with whom he disagrees about the issue of equal prize money in tennis.

Stakhovsky is a strong and very vocal opponent to equal prize money in the sport while Murray is in support of both men and women getting the same paychecks at the same tournaments.

With Murray getting elected to the ATP Player Council this week for the first time, joining long-time council member Stakhovsky, the Ukrainian said he believes the world No2 will change his views on equal prize money now that he has a place at the negotiations table.

World No1 Novak Djokovic was also elected, although not for the first time.

“Maybe when they get to be part of the negotiation of prize money they will see what it means to increase the prize money and what it means to be pulled back by equal prize money,” Stakhovsky was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“It is emotional but I don’t see it as rational. Equal prize money, I’ve never changed my stance in eight years. WTA is a different product from ATP. I think they should earn more than they are earning now, but I don’t see why ATP is trying to push somewhere and they always think they deserve the same.”

Murray, who beat his fellow Brit Liam Broady 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round, was told about Stakhovsky’s comments and whether he predicts he would change his mind regarding equal pay.

“I wouldn’t have thought so, to be honest. I know there’s certain events, like in Washington, for example, where for the men, it’s a 500 (level tournament), for the women, it’s a smaller event. In Brisbane, the men, it’s a 250 event, for the women, it’s a bigger event. You know, things like that you can understand a little bit more,” said Murray, who once had a brief Twitter exchange with Stakhovsky about the matter.

“But, no. Sergiy isn’t always right. Everyone has opinions. I’m wrong sometimes. He’s also wrong sometimes.”

In the first all-British meeting at Wimbledon since 2001, Murray needed just one hour and 43 minutes to get past left-handed world No235 Broady. The Scot saved the only two break points he faced in the affair and won 88 per cent of the points on his first serve.

“I hit the ball pretty clean today,” said Murray, who next faces Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu.

“I think offensively was good. I felt like I could have moved a little bit better. I didn’t defend as well as usual. But, you know, I served well, too. That was pleasing. Got a lot of free points on my serve.”

No4 seed Stan Wawrinka got through a tricky opener against the much-touted American teenager, Taylor Fritz, 7-6(4) 6-1 6-7(2) 6-4 to set-up a blockbuster second round with the returning Juan Martin Del Potro.

Making his Wimbledon debut and playing just his third grand slam main draw, Fritz made a lasting impression on both the public and his opponent.

“He has a great potential, for sure,” said Wawrinka, who made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year. “He has a good game, really talented, strong serve, good backhand. Yeah, for sure is the future of the tennis. But we have to see how he’s going to improve the next few years.”

Del Potro was playing his first grand slam match since the 2014 Australian Open and the Argentine, who missed most of the last two seasons trying to recover from three separate wrist surgeries, passed his opening test with flying colours, beating French veteran Stephane Robert 6-1, 7-5, 6-0.

No15 seed Nick Kyrgios won a fun battle with the 37-year-old Radek Stepanek, who sometimes mentors the young Aussie, in a clash of two incredible shot-makers.

Kyrgios defeated the Czech veteran 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-1 and had a brief argument with umpire Mohamed Lahyani, after dropping the third set, for getting a code violation for verbal abuse.

The often foul-mouthed Kyrgios thought the word he said – believed to be “bulls*** – did not warrant a code.

“You’re telling me that every single person who has said that word in this chair has got a code violation?” Kyrgios told Lahyani

“Man, if you’re telling me that that’s just a load of rubbish,” he added later.

After the match, Kyrgios said he and Lahyani were “good” before immediately saying with a laugh “we’re not good, but…”

Kyrgios has another showdown with a supreme shot-maker, Dustin Brown, in the second round.

Rain suspended play on the outside courts before the referee’s office officially canceled all remaining matches at 19:20 BST.

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