The first thing I saw when I was arriving at Wimbledon on Monday morning was Novak Djokovic running down a super-packed Church Road at 11:00am, dressed in a white hoodie and somehow going completely unnoticed amidst hard-core tennis fans.
Last year, the Serb was spotted multiple times cycling through the streets surrounding the All England Club. On Monday, he ditched the wheels and was on foot, not worrying about potentially getting mobbed on the streets. Definitely an unexpected start to the day for me!
Not long after I arrived, Nick Kyrgios was already out of the tournament, as he was forced to retire two sets into his opener against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Kyrgios has been suffering from a hip problem and was asked in press if he had ever discussed his injury with his fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic, who also had hip issues that required surgery.
“I don’t know if I listen to Bernie too much,” was Kyrgios’ short and sarcastic response.
Over on Centre Court, Andy Murray was facing Alexander ‘Sasha’ Bublik in a first round that was briefly interrupted by rain.
During the rain delay, Bublik, who has a huge personality and is quite the character, started chatting to Murray, which is fairly unusual.
This is Murray’s account of the conversation: “So we were waiting to go out the beginning of the third set. I think I had just broken him. When I got interviewed by him in Indian Wells earlier in the year, I think I spoke to him right before the interview, I asked him how his match had gone there.
“He said, ‘Oh, I served like 20 double faults’. He asked me if I had any advice for him in the interview.
“I said, ‘Try not to serve 20 double faults’.
“Then he said to me just before he went on (for the resumption of their Wimbledon first round), he said, ‘Yeah, thanks for the advice about not serving 20 double faults’.
“I said, ‘You served a few’.
“He said, ‘Yeah, I think I’m only on about 10 right now’.
“I said, ‘Well, there’s still time to get to 20’.
“But, yeah, it was just funny. It’s rare that you speak to someone, like, during a match. Just asked him how he liked Centre Court, all that stuff, yeah. Just had a little chat.”
And people still think Murray has no sense of humour!
Meanwhile, Madison Keys, who has been leading a fight against cyber-bullying, was asked by a reporter to comment on Donald Trump’s recent hateful tweets about two morning show co-hosts.
“Oh, wow, you’re going to suck me into that, really? Oh, God,” Keys said.
“I think no matter who you are, what you do, just be nice. Like, let’s just stop being bullies face to face, online, whatever. Just stop. That’s pretty much all I’m going to say on that.”
Venus Williams’ press conference was quite emotional when she was asked about the fatal car accident she was involved in. But before that, she was asked about something completely different and it wasn’t particularly to her liking.
“Q. Were you asked to change the pink bra, and did that bother you?
Venus: What pink bra? I don’t like talking about bras in press conferences. It’s weird.
Q. Undergarments, it’s in the Wimbledon rules. Were you asked to change it?
Venus: Yes, so I don’t want to talk about undergarments. It’s kind of awkward for me. I’ll leave that to you. You can talk about it with your friends. I’m going to pass.”
Yes, press conferences cover very wide-ranging topics.
Earlier in the day, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, arrived to catch Murray open the action on Centre Court. Some tennis legends got to say hello to her as well.
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