Wimbledon 2012: Tennis is a ratings hit for BBC and ITV
Tennis continues to deliver TV viewing figures that would be the envy of most sports bar football.
While Wimbledon clearly represents a two-week ‘spike’ it is worth noting that ITV were ecstatic with the audiences brought by its first major foray into tennis at the French Open, with even the lesser-seen ITV4 getting 1.2 million watchers for Andy Murray.
Nadal is credit to game
What did Rafael Nadal do after his Thursday night defeat? He walked home the few hundred yards to his base nearby the All England and signed autographs all the way.
When he got to the gate of his house he invited eight or nine autograph hunters into the garden of his house and posed for pictures. Gracious as ever.
Jack’s the lad for Lendl
Ivan Lendl was pleased to catch up with Jack Nicklaus on Saturday before Andy Murray’s match. The two of them have been tennis and golf buddies since the early eighties.
‘I once wrecked Jack’s grass court at his home,’ recounts Lendl. That’s not as bad as it sounds – Nicklaus has no less four tennis courts in his back garden.
Mind your manners
Fourteen players have been fined for misbehaviour at Wimbledon so far, eleven men and three women.
Australian Bernard Tomic was docked $2,500 (£1,590) for racket abuse and Belgian Dick Norman the same for unsportsmanlike conduct. Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova is the women’s biggest offender, paying $2,000 (£1,270) for being illegally coached.
Blame it on the weatherman
Back in April it was soberly announced that due to the drought there would be less ornate hanging baskets at the All England Club and more cactus-style plants that do not require much-watering.
That prefaced what has been a tennis summer of inaccurate forecasting: weather people both at the French Open and this fortnight so far have been on surprisingly poor form.
Saturday’s play fails to bring in the punters
While Wimbledon’s queues have been as long as ever a strange fact has been that the smallest attendance came on Saturday. At under 41,000 it was nearly 3,000 fewer than Thursday, the most popular.
Monday’s play, with its bumper programme, is traditionally the most in-demand, with last year just shy of 45,000 getting in.
SW19 flop Boggo in Florida
Remember Alex Bogdanovic, the talented Londoner whose eight wildcards into the singles event failed to yield a win?
This week the 28-year-old now ranked 363 has been playing in the $10,000 Futures event at Innisbrook in Florida, where he got to the semi-finals before being beaten.