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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Wimbledon diary - day four
By Nick Crowther, Caroline Cheese and Alistair Watkins
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Mary Pierce might have paid for keeping  the crowd on Court Two waiting after a rain delay.
Pierce did not enjoy a very good day at the office
Mary Pierce might have paid for keeping the crowd on Court Two waiting after a rain delay.

A short shower had only briefly halted play and, while most players had made their way back onto court after the covers were removed, Pierce was absent.

The impatient crowd first resorted to a Mexican wave but then started a slow hand-clap.

Her opponent Virginia Ruana Pascual was left to side-step to stay warm and play air shots to an imaginary opponent.

Pierce eventually arrived to a chorus of boos but lost the next game and the match.

The Court Two crowd were soon cheering again, though, with the arrival of the ever-popular Goran Ivanisevic.

FEELING FOR THE UNDERDOG

The crowd love an underdog at Wimbledon and were clearly feeling for Colombian Alejandro Falla on Court One.

The qualifier had been given a tennis masterclass by defending champion Roger Federer, who was two sets and 5-0 up and serving for the match at 40-15.

"Come on Roger," shouted one gentleman, "give him a chance!"

And there was another ironic "Come on Roger!" when a rare error from Federer made it 40-30.

But it was a momentary lapse and Falla sent his next return of serve wide.

CASH INCENTIVES

Hastings Direct probably thought their 100,000 offer to any British woman who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon was a bit of risk-free publicity.

But with four British girls two wins away from the last 16, the insurance company is in grave danger of actually having to pay out.

Meanwhile, American Express is donating 25 to Sport Relief for each ace served on Centre Court during the tournament.

Andy Roddick boosted the total with 18 in his first-round match.

RODDICK REGRETS QUIZ APPEARANCE

Andy Roddick proved to be a good sport off the court when he faced a grilling from the press following his feeble display on The Weakest Link quiz show.

Roddick was ridiculed for his lack of knowledge, his unironed shirt and scruffy hair by host Anne Robinson.

"I couldn't understand her accent half the time. She talks fast and I was thinking she was going to make fun of me," the American tried to explain.

"I was very nervous. You would be shocked at the stuff I don't know!"

CELEBRITY SPOTTING

As regular readers will no doubt have realised, there is nothing your correspondents love more than spotting random celebrities in the Royal Box on Centre Court.

And it is hard to beat Thursday's offering whose white beard was unmissable among the dignitaries: one Richard Stilgoe.

BRIGHTENING UP

Things were looking considerably brighter - and windier - in SW19 on Thursday morning.

After a washout on Wednesday, the queue down Church Road was encouragingly huge and inside the All England Club players were hurrying to the practice courts.

A well wrapped-up Igor Andreev and a surprisingly tanned Thomas Enqvist were among them, while Jonny Marray and Lee Childs were deep in discussion behind.

And cutting an ominously relaxed figure was Childs' opponent, Sjeng Schalken.



Links to more Daily Diary stories


 

SEE ALSO
Wimbledon diary - day three
23 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day two
22 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day one
21 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary


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