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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
Thursday's Queen's diary
Simon Austin and Mark Jolly
With all the pre-Wimbledon gossip from Queen's Club

Roddick could not come up with a quick retort for coach Brad Gilbert

If the cap doesn't fit...

American powerhouse Andy Roddick has recently started working with Andre Agassi's former coach Brad Gilbert.

And the 20-year-old reveals that Gilbert has already forced him into a big change - jettisoning the distinctive visor he had taken to wearing at tournaments.

As you might have seen, Roddick's hair used to sprout from the visor making him look like a human pineapple. Gilbert said it had to go.

"He just told me it wasn't very intimidating and I couldn't come up with a good one liner in my defence, so it's gone," Roddick says.

Gilbert has been walking round Queen's wearing a baseball cap adorned with the logo of heavy metal group Metallica.

And Roddick is forced to admit: "He wears his butt-kick cap - I guess that beats the visor."


Hewitt hits out - again

Angry young man Lleyton Hewitt, who berated tennis journalists on Wednesday, directed his ire at an unfortunate ball girl on Thursday.

At one vital point in the third set, Hewitt asked the girl for his towel.

She was a bit too slow for him, so he yelled "Towel!" at her in much the same way he screams "come on", before striking a ball into the back netting.


Agassi learns his lesson

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Andre Agassi refused to be drawn on whether he still plans to play doubles with wife Steffi Graf at a Grand Slam.

As you might remember, the bald-pated American bet Graf that if he won the Australian Open singles she would have to play mixed doubles with him at Roland Garros.

He duly completed his part of the bargain, but Graf was unable to fulfil hers when she fell pregnant.

"I've learnt once not to make promises to you that I can't keep," Agassi joked to the press. "It's amazing the lengths she will go to not to play with me."


From grunt to quack

Fans could have been forgiven for thinking a duck had somehow managed to find its way on Court One during the warm-up for a doubles match.

The Bryan brothers won the French Open men's doubles
The Bryan brothers won the French Open men's doubles
A quacking noise could certainly be heard, but anyone who grabbed for their shotgun would have been disappointed.

The explanation was simple.

One of the Bryan brothers, Mike or Bob, has developed a distinctly duck-like grunt, or quack, when he serves.

Which particular brother was impossible to say, they look so alike.

But unlike Maria Sharapova, who was ordered to tone down her own exhalations in Birmingham on Wednesday, the Bryan quack was not remarked upon by opponent or umpire.

Plenty of people wonder why anyone needs to grunt, quack or squeak when they hit a tennis ball, but there is actually logic behind it.

Breathing out when you hit the ball helps timing and forces you to breathe regularly, something often forgotten in the heat of battle.

How an exhalation can turn into a quack is another question.




SEE ALSO
Wednesday's Queen's diary
11 Jun 03  |  Tennis
Tuesday's Queen's diary
10 Jun 03  |  Tennis
Monday's Queen's diary
09 Jun 03  |  Tennis

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