Guy McCrea’s Wimbledon Diary: Day 4
‘You learn something new every day’ the saying goes and I must admit I didn’t know Maria Sharapova was naturally left-handed until she mentioned it today. Someone more eagle-eyed than me noticed she played a shot with her left hand during victory over Tsvetana Pironkova: ‘I played left-handed for a year in my junior year and then I also played two hands on both sides.’ Sharapova as Marion Bartoli or Peng Shuai? Imagine that.
More controversial thoughts from Gilles Simon who certainly didn’t back off when asked to clarify his comments on equal prize money. The Frenchman seemed to be arguing that it should be directly linked to the level of ‘interest’ in and entertainment value of the ATP or WTA. Let’s just say that I am not sure how workable this would be and frankly, there is also no way that the Grand Slam tournaments will now decide to change away from equal prize money however much Simon decides to try and make an issue of it.
The thing about a Grand Slam press conference is that unlike a WTA event where nearly all media are bonafide tennis writers, the majors attract all sorts of people. It often leads to the most bizarre questions and this first week has proven to be no exception. Today’s ‘favourite’: Serena Williams was asked which flowers she likes: ‘I love red roses. I love white roses. I love pink roses. Pink is my favourite colour. Anything with a rose.’ Yes, really.
It was fantastic to be able to meet ‘The Boiled Egg’ in the grounds today. Many of you will know about his outstanding WTA live rankings thread – a go-to reference point for tennis fans and media alike. I discovered that ‘Eggy’ (before you ask, former Brazilian footballer Ronaldo is the inspiration behind the name) has been doing his sterling – unpaid – work for over a decade now. It is all carried out with nothing more than a simple excel spreadsheet and he doesn’t have any special statistical expertise either. It is ‘just a hobby’ because he loves women’s tennis. I was amazed to hear that – I had always presumed he would be a WTA insider – how wrong I was!
Guy McCrea commentates on WTA tennis for television and radio. Follow Guy on twitter: @GuyMcCreaTennis