Wimbledon diary: no rackets, no problem as Humbert dispatches Ruud

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<span>Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Murray and Williams – take two

Anyone who saw Andy Murray and Serena Williams charm their way through two rounds of the mixed doubles in 2019, with actual visible smiles no less, would have agreed that it was the kind of Wimbledon moment that couldn’t really be bettered. Anyone, that is, bar Venus Williams and Jamie Murray who watched it and thought: look at the state of those two, we can do better than that. And so it is that the pair – no less famous and successful in their own way and loved just as much by their parents – have announced themselves as competitors in the mixed doubles this year. Of course, Venus and Jamie between them have won more doubles matches than Serena and Andy (48-26), and if there’s one way to outdo a feelgood memory it’s to go out and win more silverware. Sibling rivalry, ain’t it sweet.

No strings attached for Humbert

Wallet, keys, phone, massive big bag of tennis rackets. That’s the mantra memorised by every professional tennis player. All of them except – it appears – the world No 112 Ugo Humbert who turned up for his match against Casper Ruud without anything with which to hit a speeding yellow ball. “I don’t have any rackets – sorry for that,” he told the umpire, sounding like a tennis version of Cousin Greg from Succession, and this despite having had a 90-minute rain delay to get his act together. But no matter, rackets were eventually found and the Frenchman went on to dispatch the No 3 seed in four sets. Maybe he’d had someone making the strings extra bouncy.

Related: Emma Raducanu out of Wimbledon after defeat by Caroline Garcia

Fans watch the tennis on Henman Hill
Henman Hill will soon be coming to Brooklyn for the end of the tournament. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Taking Henman Hill across the pond

This year is all about innovation at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. From experimenting with synthetic grass courts to adding the “power ranking” ticker on the corner of Centre Court that goes up and down like a Dow Jones of tennis players. New York is indeed where the innovato-thon is heading next with plans to expand interest in Wimbledon across the pond by building a new Henman Hill in Brooklyn. Of course it won’t use the word “Henman” as no one would know what that means, but The Hill in New York (as it will be called) will be open for the final three days of Wimbledon fortnight, screening the tennis to 1,000 ticket holders a day. According to the AELTC’s Alexandra Willis, the Hill will appeal “not only to existing tennis fans, but to sports fans and experience lovers”. And who here doesn’t like an experience?

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