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Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 18:53 UK

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A round-up of all the day's action at the All England Club

By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon

1851: And on that bombshell, this live chat comes to an end. Fed against Safin and Rafa v the exhausted Rainer on Friday - what's not to like about that?

1849: Shock news from Court Two - Bob and Mike Bryan, top seeds in the men's doubles, are out - beaten in four by 95-year-old Jonas Bjorkman and his partner Kevin Ullyett. It's all happening.

1842: Serena's all smiles afterwards. "I'm not going to speak to Venus until after the final," she says, beaming like the cat that inherited the creamery.

Zheng 6-7 Serena
Serena's won all four of her tie-breaks this year, and she accelerates out of the blocks with two crashing serves to go to 3-0. Zheng drags herself back in at 3-2 with that zippy angled backhand but Serena's 13th ace extends the lead. A 122mph unstoppable ripper down the middle makes it 5-2; Zheng blasts a backhand down the line for 5-3. Serena spanks a forehand wide for 5-4 but is left fuming as Zheng clips the net-cord to draw level. A massive serve makes it 6-5 and match point, and Zheng capitulates with a double-fault.

Serena v Venus it is on Saturday...

Zheng 6-6 Serena
The crowd are all over a Zheng comeback here. Serena aces first but then pops a backhand volley long to impolite cheers. When she sprays a backhand long it's 30-30, and when a mis-hit forehand eats net it's set point Zheng. Serena misses her first serve, the crowd bait breath and Zheng crashes her backhand return slap onto the tape. Cries of dismay from all corners. Serena leans back onto her big serve and aces with a kicker down the middle, and it's tie-break o'clock.

1727 Hoorah! It's finally all over on Court One as Schuettler clinches an epic 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-7 8-6 victory over Clement. He now has the dubious privilege of facing Nadal in the semis. Good luck, Rainer, you'll need it.

Zheng 6-5 Serena
Trickiness from the off for Zheng, Serena blasting a service return onto the tongues of her trainers to take her to deuce. Zheng then booms a forehand long but saves what could be a crucial break point with another of those cross-court backhand anglers. Serena skims a sensational forehand return past Zheng's lunge but is forced onto the back foot by further backhand rakers, and when Zheng powers an overhead away for the game the crowd roar throatily.

1825: "I wonder if Rafa thought about racing into the locker room during the rain break to do some press ups and star jumps in front of Clement and Schuettler?"
Jo via text on 81111.

1816: Where were we again? That's right - 5-5 in the second set, Serena up by one overall, 40-30 on Zheng's serve.

1811: Serena and Zheng stroll out. If it was Beggar My Neighbour in the locker-room last time, was it Clock Patience this time?

1805: Centre Court is bathed in sunshine. Work that one out.

By Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1758: A fanfare if you please. The sun comes out, the tent over Centre Court comes down. I should add that there are some very dark clouds about - but let's hope they're going, not coming.

1754: "There are few things in life quite as annoying as a rain break at Wimbledon as there is obviously nothing anyone can do about it. Tempers start to get frayed, people are on edge, insults start being bandied around. TV can be a vicious world. To alleviate the gloom and to avoid any fist fights, I bought in a 99p cricket set from Sainsbury's on the way into work yesterday to play 'corridor cricket'. Before the captains had even entered the corridor for the toss it was made clear that roving reporter Rishi Persad had lost the bat. Typical. He has given me a pound to compensate but the damage has been done."
BBC Sport mole

John McEnroe
1747: "It's bad news for either of these guys who have got to come back tomorrow and play the fittest guy on tour. I mean, come on! But it shows how much it means to players. These are guys at the tail-end of their careers. It says something fabulous about our sport."
John McEnroe on the Schuettler-Clement epic

It's raining at Wimbledon
1745: "The news is this shower is proving a little more stubborn than expected, but we do expect it to have blown through in the next 20 minutes or so and we have been promised that it will be followed by drier weather. The message is: don't despair."
Voice of Wimbledon

1742: "I've been playing Tardis Tennis while it's raining - a great way to kill 10 minutes."
Keith, Leeds, via text on 81111
Play Tardis Tennis

1731: Tom Fordyce has just returned with the biggest salad I have ever seen. He definitely got his 8 worth. Meanwhile, Laura is still being grilled by the press. For a 14-year-old, she is incredibly composed. She's already my hero.

1725: Britain's new golden girl Laura Robson is in press at the moment. I can confirm that despite being born in Melbourne, the 14-year-old has a very posh English accent. She says: "In about 18 months time, I want to be in the top 10 of the juniors and I want be in the top 500 of the seniors." Other stuff: she plays the saxophone.

1719: "Just been handed the following missive: Schuettler v Clement is already the longest match at this year's Wimbledon at five hours five minutes and it's closing in on the longest singles match ever here. That record belongs to an epic second-round match in 1989 between Americans Greg Holmes and Todd Witsken, which Holmes won after five hours, 28 minutes. That stat came courtesy of a man who looked haggard after 10 days of hard statting. He handed it to me, sighed and walked out of the room possibly to sob gently in a toilet cubicle."
BBC Sport mole

1716: "Spare a thought for the men's doubles match (Court Two)... Bjorkman and Ullyett are at match point against the Bryans and off with the rain!!!"
sparkle987 on 606
And the Bryans are the top seeds...

1713: Here's the Voice of Wimbledon and it's good news. "The referee expects this rain to last about another 20 minutes or so, then we're expecting a longer period of dry weather that should takes us into the evening."

1711: That downfall came just at the wrong time for Jo Durie and Annabel Croft, who seemed to have the momentum with them as they took Martina Navratilova to deuce on her serve. Navratilova and Helena Sukova lead 6-1 1-0.

1707: Tom has decided to brave the thunder and lightening - a braver boy than I. Well, I'm not a boy, but you see what I mean. And a horrible thought occurs to me. Will that Schuettler-Clement match finish today? If not, will Nadal's semi-final have to be held over until Saturday?! It's an epic of Henman-size proportions.

By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon

1659: Good Lord - it's belting it down. News from the chaps with pine-cones and binoculars trained on lying-down cows is that this nastiness could be overhead for at least 20 minutes. Gut-rot.

It's raining at Wimbledon
1657: Too late - down comes the rain, on come the covers. Really quite heavy too.

Zheng 5-5 Serena
Serena races to 40-0 before Zheng bites back, raking those backhands to either side. She's in with a shout at 40-30 but just misses down the line. Very dark overhead - keep things crossed.

1653 Clement and Schuettler are still out there on Court One in their never-ending quarter-final, and its now 6-6 in the final set.

Zheng 5-4 Serena
Zheng pings her flat backhand left and right. Serena chases mightily but can't cope with the double-handed power, and she now needs to serve to stay in the set. Decent match now, and the crowd are bang into it.

Zheng 4-4 Serena
A lone whoop from the crowd as Serena crashes down four biggies to draw level with ominous ease. She turns away at the conclusion and plucks at her racquet-strings with bright red fingernails.

1643: Over on Court 11, Jo Durie and Annabel Croft commence battle against Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova. Three of those players won't be taking that match very seriously. One will. Durie and Croft are already 3-0 down. On Court One, Rainer Schuettler saves a match point and on they go. It's now 5-5.

Zheng 4-3 Serena
Williams, Serena-steam coming out of her ears, tears into Zheng's serve. Two errors from the unseeded outsider give Serena a chance to break back, and when she creams a service return to Zheng's toes her opponent can only frame it away. We're back on serve.

Zheng 4-2 Serena
Zheng's a woman transformed - she crashes a double-handed backhand cross-court and slaps away the follow-up overhead, waits for Serena's second serve on break point and barrells a beautiful backhand micrometres over the net to snatch the game. Raucous applause from all corners - now can she hold that break?

Zheng 3-2 Serena
Centre Court filling up finally, and Zheng has her best game of the match - a slice lob that has Serena dashing desperately, followed by a backhand top-spin winner past the Williams heels. No question who the crowd is cheering for.

1637: Meanwhile, in the never-ending quarter-final over on Court One, it remains on serve in the fifth set, with Arnaud Clement leading 5-4. The winner - should it ever actually end - faces Nadal, remember.

Zheng 2-2 Serena
First small signs too of Zheng getting to grips with Serena's power. When she can get a rally going she can fight all the way - but when Serena serves out wide to the deuce court, she can't get a look in. Level pegs.

Zheng 2-1 Serena
Maybe Zheng won that game of Beggar My Neighbour - she's come out with confidence raised and dander up. A super backhand driller cross-court is greeted with the biggest cheer of the day so far. And the sun's shining.

Zheng 1-1 Serena
Serena holds so quickly that she appears to be serving to both sides simulaneously.

Zheng 1-0 Serena
Much better start from Zheng this set around - a race to 40-0, the slightest slip to 40-15 and a wide serve to hold.


Zheng 2-6 Serena
That didn't take long - Serena holds to love before most of the crowd have taken their pews.

1612: Here come the two players. Wonder how they've been spending their half-hour off - a game of friendly Beggar My Neighbour in the locker-room?

1606: "Does Serena put her trenchcoat on when it is raining?"
Dave via text on 81111

She did, Dave, she did, although had she been indoors the situation may have been different.

1602: Covers are coming off. Repeat - covers coming off.

1601: Brollies are being furled at pace.

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
It's raining at Wimbledon
1557: Happy news from the Voice of Wimbledon - the current shower is about to pass, and we'll have play almost immediately. Even as his words ring around Centre, the sun comes out. Although it's still raining.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1554: While patriotic patrons were celebrating Laura Robson's win with a quick burst of Rule Britannia, we almost missed Jade Curtis and Jocelyn Rae slipping through to the quarter-finals of the girls' doubles. If Jade 'n' Jocelyn's tennis career doesn't work out, Cheese reckons they'd make a fine girl group.

1547: Lots of brollies up around Centre, although those in the meterological know were claiming earlier that any showers would be intermittent.

"Tom, are you the only one at work today? Or is everyone else still pretending they're stuck on the tube and secretly stalking unsuspecting players or stockpiling tuna baguettes?"
Sally, eyeing grey skies in north London, via text on 81111

They might as well be on the Tube, Sally, for all the help I'm getting. I only asked Cheese to bring me back a low-fat snack when she popped out for a coffee, yet I received nothing on her return except an earful of abuse.

Zheng 2-5 Serena
Zheng is in danger of going under completely at 0-40, but Serena gets sleepy and flaps two forehands into the net. A wide-awake ripper down the line sets up a fourth set point before Zheng fights back with two zippy forehands to hold. Good effort.

It's raining at Wimbledon
Hold on though - it's mighty dark overhead, and as split-splats of rain land on upturned faces, play is suspended. The covers are dragged on at pace.

1538: Over on Court no.1, Clement and Schuet go into a fifth. Rafa must be chuckling into his chorizo.

Zheng 1-5 Serena
Aces no.1 and 2 of the match from Serena, and if I were allowed to use the word "ass" on the BBC I'd say that Zheng was having hers whipped. Since I'm not, I'll say that she's taking a pasting.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1535: Mixed fortunes for the British girls who had battled through to the last eight of the Girls' Singles. Fourteen-year-old Laura Robson is through to the semi-finals after a sparkling display saw her beat Serbian ninth seed Bojana Jovanovski 7-5 6-4 but Naomi Broady is out after losing 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 to Thai third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in a hard-fought three-setter.
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

Zheng 1-4 Serena
Uh-oh - Serena comes to the net to volley away a high forehand, and Zheng is broken again - this time to love. Sympathetic ahhs from the quiet patrons.

1525Schuettler and Clement go to another tie-break in the fourth set as the battle of the unseeded thirtysomethings rages on over on Court One.

Zheng 1-3 Serena
A mere 13 minutes on the clock, and Serena's cantering along with straight-faced determination. Cliff's back in the Royal Box, this time with a boater jammed on his hirsute head.

Zheng 1-2 Serena
Generous applause from the half-empty stands as Zheng nails two trademark spot-on backhands cross-court to kick-start her afternoon.

Zheng 0-2 Serena
Crash bang wallop - Serena smashes her way through her first service game, and Zheng can't get her engines fired up at the mo. The ladies in the gents claimed to be queuing for cubicles on account of the length of the wait elsewhere, but the effect on the chaps was devastating. Stage fright? You betcha.

Zheng 0-1 Serena
Just as Sista Venus did a few hours ago, Serena comes out of the traps at pace and snatches a break before Zheng knows what's hit her. Talking of traps, standards of decorum are slipping at Wimbledon - I just dashed to the gentlemen's for a courtesy break, only to find four women in there eyeing the urinals with insouciance.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1512: Elsewhere, 14-year-old Laura Robson is still putting up a terrific battle against ninth seed Bojana Jovanovski. That's on serve in the second set after the Brit took the first. Naomi Broady is teetering on the brink against Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. She trails 5-3 in the decider. Over on Court One, Rainer Schuettler has thrown away his advantage and it's on serve in set four, with the German leading two sets to one.

1504:BBC reporter Phil Jones grabs the second pair as they bustle from the locker-room. Zheng first. "This is my first time in the semi-final - I just want to play well and keep going," says the outsider.

Serena's wrapped up in her mini-trenchcoat again. "I'm just here to enjoy myself out there today," she says, game-face very much on.

1500: It's farewell Venus, hello Serena. At least Richard Williams and former wife Oracene don't have to leave their seats.

1455: Gave Venus a decent dash for her money in the second set, Dementieva, but Champ still hasn't lost a set in this championship.

"I'm dying for S Williams to get through," Vee tells the Beeb afterwards.

Dementieva 6-7 Venus
Elena dumps a duff second serve into the net to slip 2-1 behind. She turns to Mama Vera and makes a fingery gesture that's hard to interpret. Venus then goes wonky, double-faulting herself and flapping a forehand halfway down the net. Nerves clanging like fire-engine bells out there. It's 4-3 when Demen goes wide, and she produces her biggest scream of the match - a boiling-kettle whistle - as a weary backhand falls and dies.Another tired waft can't limp over the tape, and it's all over - Champ is through to her seventh Wimbledon final.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1450: "The first shouts of 'c'mon Laura' are ringing around Court 18. Robson's in her groove now and breaks to take the first set against the ninth seed."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

1446 Schuettler looks to be on his way to a semi-final against Rafa Nadal after breaking Clement in the fourth set to lead 3-1. It seems that Clement's change of bandana to a grape purple number has not altered his luck.

Dementieva 6-6 Venus
Demen breezes into the tie-break with her most confident game of the match. We'll have a breaker - and of the three previous ones between these two, Elena's up 2-1. Hmmm.

It's bad news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1443: "Laura Robson is a bit flat compared to what I've seen of her previously. She holds but trails 4-5. Naomi Broady heads into a decider after dropping the second set 6-3."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

Dementieva 5-6 Venus
Nice time for the first love game of the match from Venus. Pressure back on the slender Dementi. Sun out again.

Dementieva 5-5 Venus
Good nerve from the up-and-down Demen - despite an early double-fault, she gutsies through with big baseline-brushing boomers to stay alive.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1434: Can anyone stop Jeremy Bates (and Anders Jarryd)? The all-conquering Bates (and Jarryd) crush Heintz Guenthardt and Balazs Taroczy 6-3 6-2 in the Gentlemen's Senior Invitational Doubles. Only a matter of days until Bates (and Jarryd) is lifting that trophy once again.

Dementieva 4-5 Venus
She'll need to hold serve to stay in this semi now - Venus canters through a rapid-fire service game and sends her opponent to the deck with a wrong-footer. Greyish clouds hove into view up above.

Dementieva 4-4 Venus
Another good hold by Demen. A couple of unforced errors have sneaked into the Venus game - no turnaround yet, but we've got a match on the table at last.

Dementieva 3-4 Venus
Demen's nowhere near one. She's now screaming on almost every point. On reflection, it's more Hattie Jacques having her rump pinched by Sid James than the Victorian lady scenario described earlier.

1420 Sensational scenes on Court One as Clement claws back a 0-6 tie-break deficit to 6-6 only for Schuettler to finally clinch the breaker 8-6 to take a 2-1 lead.

Dementieva 3-3 Venus
Demen's best hold of the match - to 30, which for her is as untroubled as it's been. Now for a pop at a break...

1422: "I'm back, and there's Brit interest on Court 18 in the shape of Linda Robson of Birds of a Feather fame. Of course I jest, it's 14-year-old Laura Robson, the new Virginia Wade. She was actually born in Australia which explains why she's a real prospect, looks in good athletic shape and thrashed the number one seed yesterday. But hang on she's 0-3 down to Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski already, defo a Brit then."
BBC Sport mole

Dementieva 2-3 Venus
Tiniest hint of a change in momentum; Elena seems to have realised that she'll have to go for her big guns if she's to have a chance, and a gambler's forehand sends Venus scrambling fruitlessly. She has a roll of the dice at deuce but puts her chips on a forehand wide and sees the ball drop the wrong side of the line. Venus holds, and Demen produces a drawn-out scream of the sort you might expect from a Victorian lady shocked in her boudoir by a rakish manservant.

Dementieva 2-2 Venus
With poetic timing, Venus gets lucky with a net-corder of her own to wobble Demen at 15-40. Sir Clive Woodward peels off his jacket and folds it across his knees. Demen hammers a big forehand right onto the baseline to go to 30-40 and whips her racquet out of the way of a sizzling pass to watch it go long - deuce. A fierce forehand finally sees her draw level. Nervy.

1411 The battle between the piratical bandana (Clement) and the back-to-front baseball cap (Schuettler) goes to a tie-break in the third set.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1409: "A real ding-dong battle on Court 19. Broady is broken as she serves for the set, then drops serve twice - prompting her to smash a ball into the ground which nearly hits me. She then saves a set point as she breaks back to force the tiebreak and survives another set point in that before eventually clinching it."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

Dementieva 1-2 Venus
Strange things afoot at the Circle K - Venus makes consecutive forehand errors to hand Demen her first break-points. Venus smashes a 125mph ace to save one and then watches in shock as a Demen driller hits the tape, wipes its feet and then falls onto the champ's side. She's broken back! Up in the posh seats, the patricians rattle their jewellry.

Dementieva 0-2 Venus
"Nyet nyet nyet!" squeals Demen as she spanks a hasty backhand into the divider. When a weak mid-court floater sits up and asks to be creamed away, Venus obliges with lip-smacking relish to snatch yet another break. Big trouble at Elena Towers.

Dementieva 0-1 Venus
Finally a little pluck and spunk from Demen, fighting back from 40-0 to 40-30 before Venus polishes her off with dead-eyed ruthlessness. Needs to hold serve on this next game, Elena, or she'll be in a taxi to the airport before Cliff pops off for his first strawberries of the afternoon.

It's bad news for a Briton at Wimbledon

1352: "Oh dear. Broady serves for the first set at 5-3 but doesn't get a single first serve in and two double faults see her broken easily. A real shame after all that hard work."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan


Dementieva 1-6 Venus
It's a horrow-show for Elena - Venus dismantles her to love, crashing away an overhead into the TV cameras to steam-roller the first set. An almost embarrassed silence out on Centre Court.

1348: Over on Court no.1, Schuettler breaks back against Clement to trail 3-4 in the third set, with one set apiece. There's life yet in the oldest man left in the men's singles.

Dementieva 1-5 Venus
FA chief executive Brian Barwick leans forward in the Royal Box, a pair of very feminine sunglasses wedged on his face, as Venus clatters two big thumpers down at her listing opponent. Demen wafts a backhand wide and squeaks with annoyance like a riled mouse.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1340: "Broady's struggling with her serve on Court 19 but she has got the power to trouble Noppo, the third seed, and has made a decent start. After dropping her opening service game, she's now a break up."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

Dementieva 1-4 Venus
Trouble again for the Monaco-based Russian - a marginal double-fault and a Venus volley right onto the line give Champ a chance of 5-0. A better first serve keeps her from the workhouse and a zipper cross-court opens an advantage, only for a Venus driller to fizz down the line and take them back to deuce. Demen then hits two crashing forehands to force Venus to over-hit, and she's on the board at last. In the VIP seats, Mama Vera applauds with fierce enthusiasm.

Dementieva 0-4 Venus
A 125mph Venus boomer almost chops Demen in half, and she's all over the shop here. Up in the Royal Box, an unruffled Cliff Richard watches on cream-coloured jacket with black shirt and white tie. The lady behind him is wearing a bright yellow jacket of a hue so gaudy it would make a camp parrot blush.

Dementieva 0-3 Venus
Mighty forehand slap from Champ, a ripper down the line scorching the turf as she gets so aggressive on the Demen serve that she's virtually got her nose on the tape. Demen crumbles like a stale biscuit and that's a second break. Oohs of sympathy around the half-full Centre.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1324: Britain's Naomi Broady is in action over on Court 19 against third seed Noppowan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand. Let's call her Noppo shall we? They've exchanged breaks and are 1-1 in the first set. Broady, you will remember, got into a bit of bother last year with the LTA but it's all forgotten now...

Dementieva 0-2 Venus
Bright sunshine floods the court as Demen drills a meaty forehand past Venus. Champ then lofts long to ship two break points, saved as Demen tightens up and spanks long herself. Venus is left reeling as a backhand sizzles past her lunge but hangs tough like the New Kids to force a netted error and hold. Only been broken five times all tournament, Venus.

Dementieva 0-1 Venus
Oh dear - woeful start for the always-nervy Russian, a desperate forehand going long to set up three break points. Venus crouches well inside the baseline and creams a monstrous forehand cross-court to whistle into an early lead.

1305: Down to my right, Sue Barker and Tracy Austin are deep in conversation - Sue in a relatively sober checked trouser-suit, Tracy in a jacket so bright orange that those in the seats around her are clutching their scorched retinas.

1303: These pearls from Elena just before she strides onto court: "I just have to play well, I hope to enjoy the moment. I'm playing such a big champion."

And this from Venus: "This is what I've prepared for all my life. I'm very focused on this match, and I'm ready to play well."

1300: Centre Court no more than a fifth full at the mo - those Tube horrors clearly still in full effect.

1255: Thank you Cheese - dash off and grab us a brace of tuna baguettes, will you?

By Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon

1247: Right then, not long to go until Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva arrive on Centre Court, which is drenched in sunshine as I type. Tom Fordyce will be right here imminently to take you through that match so stay tuned...

1244: "Was at Wimbo on Tuesday. Great day partly spoiled by a couple of bankers - yes, bankers - on a corporate day out both half blotto trying to outdo each other with stories of hedge funds and fanciful salaries which grew ever larger as the sun got hotter and the champers took effect."
Ian in Northern Ireland, via text on 81111

1241: Oh right. You want to know what's actually going on in the tennis. Well, in the big junior boys' clash on Court 18, Bernie Tomic and Brazilian Henrique Cunha are on serve in the first set. Slovenian fifth seed Polona Hercog is struggling against Slovakian Romana Tabakova. Finland's Henri Kontinen is hammering Dane Propoggia. And some other things.

1237: "Watching Jamie Murray in the mixed doubles yesterday, it seemed the only tactic was to hit it at the female team member! Am I missing something?"
Andy, London, via text on 81111

1233: "Re 0954: The 'new darling of British tennis' is of course an Aussie."
Anon via text on 81111
She may have been born in Melbourne but with a name like Robson, she's got to be a true Brit right?

1226: Mansour Bahrami and Henri Leconte are warming up on Court 16. Those two jokers are inseparable. They spent the whole of yesterday sat together in the Royal Box, no doubt plotting some hilarious practical jokes for their match against Vijay Amritraj and Gene Mayer later. I can hardly wait.

1220: "Much excitement over on court 18 as Aussie wonderkid Bernard Tomic arrives. The 15-year-old is playing Queen's junior champion Henrique Cunha so it should be a great game. However, Aussies + court 18 = frantic Mexican waves. I'm going down to the basement. Somebody let me know when it's finished."
BBC Sport mole

1213: If it seems a bit quiet around the grounds - which it does - it's probably because most people are living a London Transport nightmare. BBC Sport's Chris Bevan arrives an hour and a half after getting to Earls Court. Just to update you: no Circle Line and severe delays on the District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines. Splendid.

A celeb has been spotted at Wimbledon
1207: As the players head for the courts under threatening clouds, let's have a little look at the Royal Box invites shall we? Ex-England coach Sir Clive Woodward, ex-England cricketer Alan Mullally, Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks. Not exactly glittering is it? But wait... Sir Cliff returns! And he's joined by Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

1159: "Re 1146: Surely they're ball kids! That's what they say in the US or is that not PC? BTW I predict Venus to win in three and Zheng to thrash Serena in two."
Toby, Holborn, via text on 81111

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1150: Terrific news from the Voice of Wimbledon. They are expecting "one or two showers and some sunshine in between - with the possibility that those showers could bypass Wimbledon altogether."

1146: With 15 minutes until play begins (and the sun shining), BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce arrives with a burning question. What is the collective noun for ball boys and ball girls? A scuttle? A scamper?

1141: "What are my chances of getting in on Saturday, should I queue from Friday evening?"
Leonard via text on 81111
There are no tickets available for Centre Court on the last four days of Wimbledon.

1133: "Dementieva to shock Venus Williams today."
icecool_kk on 606
Join the debate on 606

1128: "Re 1043: As I alluded to last week the Hoff was allegedly ejected from Wimbledon in 2006 for being 'drunk' and giving it large with the 'Do you know who I am? I'm the Hoff' treatment. All denied, I hasten to add. During that ill-fated trip to London he had an accident with a chandelier. How do you have an accident with a chandelier? My favourite Hoff fact (and there are many): Two years ago the Baywatch star, who has sold millions of records in Germany over the years, expressed his disappointment that he was not recognized as having helped end the Cold War through his music. Dates have just been released for the Hoff's next world tour, called World Peace. Check out his website as he gigs himself around the world's hot spots, it starts in Baghdad in January."
BBC Sport mole
Hoff's adventures at Wimbledon

1115: "How will Murray reaching the quarter-finals affect his world ranking?"
Lynne, wishing he'd made the semis, Cambridge, via text on 81111
Back in the top 10.

1108: "Re 1043: The Hoff is definitely coming to Wimbledon tomorrow with his daughters. It was on Radio 1 this morning. He's also just recently single too apparently. Your luck could be in Caroline."
James the geophysicist, via text on 81111

1049: "From Paris to Berlin, and every disco I get in, my heart is pumping for love..." So blares out Radio Wimbledon's latest incongruous choice of record. Time for me to get a coffee. Back in 10.

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1045: I have a feeling the sun and rain graphics are going to be busy today. The covers are off on Centre Court - along with what looked like white plastic bags covering the bare patches on the baseline.

1043: "The celeb of all celebs has said he wants to visit Wimbledon tomorrow. That is David Hasselhoff of course. Keep an eye out and ask him to sing a song on Centre Court if it rains."
Jon, Swindon, via text on 81111
I have no idea if this is true. But I'm excited anyway.

1039: Judy Murray tells Radio Wimbledon of Andy's plans... "He's supposed to be playing in Indianapolis so I think he'll have a few days off and then head to the States." So there we are.

1033: What more horrors has this day in store for us? BBC Sport's Chris Bevan phones in with news that the District and Circle Lines are suspended "due to faulty communications equipment". Who's going to get my refreshments now?????!

1030: "Are they still playing tennis? Isn't a wake more appropriate?"
Dave in The City, via text on 81111
It does feel a bit like one at the moment... (see Mole at 1020)

1025: They're about to open the gates. "For your own and others' safety, please do not run," says Mrs Voice of Wimbledon. The only place they'll be running is for shelter. Still raining.

1020: "Feel lower than a snake's belly today. There's a bad vibe around Wimbledon, glum faces, dark clouds, not a single freebie on offer. To be honest I'm still reeling from paying six pounds for chips and beans in the canteen last night. When you order a meal suitable for an eight year-old you don't expect to pay such ludicrous sums. While in there I was witness to the ugly sight of BBC Sport's Ben Dirs ordering four stir fries. It's highly likely they were all for him. Comfort eating at its very worst."
BBC Sport mole

It's raining at Wimbledon
1011: Lorks. It's absolutely tipping down. So glad I brought my waterproof in today.

1006: We'll obviously be on the look-out for celebrities again today, but frankly nothing is going to beat the bumper truck-load we had in yesterday. Light entertainment heavyweights Forsyth, Tarbuck and Titchmarsh were in the Royal Box - while prowling the grounds was the one and only Jay-Z. I didn't see him, which is a source of some regret for him and me after my hard-hitting interview with uber-producer and N.E.R.D. singer Pharrell Williams a couple of years ago at Wimbledon. Me: "So who's your favourite player?" Pharrell: "Oh I don't know anything about tennis." Me: "Oh OK. Have a nice day then."

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
0954: And you won't look out of place in your Union Jack jester hat and face paint today - providing you're actually at Wimbledon, not just sitting at your office desk or out shopping or something. On Court 18, the new darling of British tennis Laura Robson is in quarter-final action against Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski. And on Court 19, Naomi Broady tackles Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. Good luck to her. I had a hard enough time tackling that name.

0943: And so on to today's action. Venus and Serena Williams will meet at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2005, and the first major final since Wimbledon in 2003, if they can get past Elena Dementieva and Jie Zheng respectively. After winning their doubles match yesterday, the sisters were given a grilling by the press. Here's Serena on their favourite take-away food: "This year we've been eating a lot of Chinese food. Just lots of, you know, chicken and rice, so..."

0937: "It's not all glamour in the women's game. On way to work just saw Jill Craybas heading onto the Tube at West Brompton. Don't think she's still in anything but she was in her tracksuit! Let's hope the District Line is not delayed."
Andy, Balham, via text on 81111

0923: Rafa Nadal doesn't yet know his opponent in Friday's semi-finals. Arnaud Clement and Rainer Schuettler were locked at one set all when bad light stopped play. They're due to return at 1300 BST on Court One, but if they caught a replay of Nadal's destruction of Andy Murray, I wouldn't blame either of them if they were on the first flight out of London. But then I'm not a professional sportsperson.

0917: Amid all the Murray-related kerfuffle yesterday, I don't think we gave Marat Safin his proper dues did we? The raging Russian came back from a disastrous first set to beat grass-court expert Feliciano Lopez and book a semi-final against Roger Federer. Safin beat Federer in his last Grand Slam semi-final so he must think he's in with a chance on Friday, right? Wrong... "I'm playing semi-finals, but that doesn't mean that I have a chance, because the guy has won how many times already here? To beat Federer you need to be Nadal and run around like a rabbit and hit winners from all over the place. I think it's just a little bit too difficult it would be for me to beat him."

0911: Yesterday, chirpy BBC weatherwoman Carol Kirkwood was wearing a fabulous hot pink trench coat, today she's sporting a bright yellow one. Oh, how I wish I had that woman's wardrobe... and her permanently sunny demeanour for that matter. Maybe another coffee will help.

0906: And there's more from the Don. "You need to remember that in tennis right now, we have perhaps the best number one and two in the history of the game. Those are the facts, " says Nick. "Now find me a solution. Guys like Andy have to put themselves in a position to beat one of those guys. He has the type of game, but he has to add to it. His first serve percentage wasn't good enough yesterday."

0900: Still feeling sad about our Andy? Time for some perspective from the legend that is Nick Bollettieri. "I don't think there should be one negative thing said about Andy Murray this morning," the Don tells Radio Wimbledon. "All of you get your ass out on court with Rafa Nadal and you'll be running to the bathroom. You'll be scared to death. He's like a man from Mars."

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
It's raining at Wimbledon
0847: As I wandered out for a much-needed caffeine fix, it was sunny and raining! This country... Today's forecast is, basically, sunshine and showers.

0840: Morning. Wiped away the tears yet? Andymonium may have faded away, but don't go thinking that's British interest done and dusted. No, no, no. Our mixed doubles and girls' singles dreams remain very much alive. Failing that, there's always the Gentlemen's Invitational Doubles. Hurrah! Oh, and it's women's semi-finals day.

- We'll be here throughout the day to bring you the latest news from around the All England Club, both on the courts and off, so whether you're settling down at home, stuck in the office or queuing on Church Road, send us your thoughts.

see also
Men's singles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Live scores
Order of play
23 May 08 |  Tennis

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