With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer choosing not to play, Novak Djokovic decided to travel to New York for the US Open. Here was his golden opportunity to win another Slam and get closer to Federer’s record of 20.
He hadn’t lost a match this year. How could he not win this tournament?
The world of professional tennis is in chaos right now.
The US Open grand slam, held over two weeks, is due to start on August 31. It’s going to be a very strange affair. No player entourages, definitely no ballboys handling players’ towels and, most significantly, no spectators. Read More
There was some debate as to whether the tournament would actually take place this year. The air was thick with smog from the bushfires during the qualifying, causing problems with breathing and one player even withdrawing part way though her match.
Have you never heard of Claire Fahey? Well, that’s probably because she’s at the top of the somewhat obscure game of Real Tennis, the predecessor of the sport that we see today at Wimbledon.
Real Tennis was invented in around the 12th century by French monks and the rules are fiendishly complicated.
The balls are hand-made and heavy, rather like a cricket ball but covered in felt. The rackets are not entirely symmetrical and are made of wood. Graphite is banned since the game would simply be too dangerous with those heavy balls.
Jamie Oliver has recently employed his former PA, Danny McCubbin, as his Culture Manager.
But what exactly is Culture Management?
“It’s a fairly new concept in the UK,” Danny explains. “Big business used to be just about profit but employees want to feel more connected. Companies are now realising that if they just continue to base their success purely on finances, they won’t succeed. The role of the Culture Manager is to make everyone, from the receptionist to senior management, feel they’re part of the organisation.”
We played that game, two truths and a lie. We were drunk of course. Red wine rings on what had been a spotless white linen tablecloth, ash strewn where ashtrays had been missed. Someone had stabbed their fag into the butter. Lesley’s eyes flashed. No-one admitted to it. Not so funny now was it.
The big news of the fortnight was Andy Murray tearfully announcing his retirement. Exactly one year ago, he had surgery on his hip and never really recovered. He came back at Queen’s last June but was clearly not in great shape, pulling out of Wimbledon a couple of weeks later and hadn’t won any major tournaments since.
He lost in a tight five-setter against Bautista-Agut and didn’t appear to be hampered but who knows how he felt the next day. He’s hoping to make his farewell at Wimbledon but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play without too much pain in the months prior. So this may have been his finale . Read More
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