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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Wimbledon diary - day 12
By Our team at Wimbledon

Serena Williams
Serena wasn't giving much away ahead of the final
Defending champion Serena Williams left journalists guessing as to whether she thinks fellow singles finalist Maria Sharapova is a real threat to her title.

The American would not discuss her preparations for Saturday's showdown because "the lion's king of the forest, but the tiger is king of the jungle."

"What?" asked a bemused reporter. "We need a translation. Which is Sharapova?"

"It's not for me to figure it," Serena laughed. "I have."

So we all know what to ponder in those rain breaks then.


The rain-induced boredom has led the Centre Court crowd to jazzing up the tired Mexican wave format.

At 1621 BST, it started with the traditional wave - which has seen far too much action over the past fortnight.

But minutes later, we were treated to the strange sight of a slow-motion wave - quickly followed by a super-fast one.

On second thoughts, perhaps the rain has finally got to your correspondents if we have resorted to laughing at the cursed Mexican wave.


The list of luminaries in the Royal Box on men's semi-finals day included two British chat show legends, Sir David Frost and Michael Parkinson.

And John McEnroe revealed that he will be hoping to get advice from the duo to prepare for when he hosts a chat show himself in the coming weeks.


With rain a continuing theme at this year's Championships, ticket-holders have had to come up with more and more ways to pass the time.

The diary team spotted the best yet, originated by a posse of teenage girls.

The group were walking around the top of the Centre Court stadium, greeting the members of the fire service who patrol each staircase.

Points are scored if the greeting is reciprocated and if it is accompanied by a smile, or even the holy grail: a kiss.


John McEnroe suggested Martina Hingis was probably enjoying a bit more of a normal life since retiring from tennis.

So when I spotted the former 'Swiss Miss' in the grounds chatting with Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood I wondered how right he was.

But Hingis gratefully declined the gravel-voiced Wood's offer of watching some action on Centre Court together.

She had 'more normal' things to do - queuing up with the public to buy souvenirs from the Wimbledon shop.


For so many of us, jetting off abroad continues to be an exciting novelty, but the world-weary Lindsay Davenport cannot wait to pack her suitcase away.

SW19's 1999 women's singles champion, defeated by Russian sensation Maria Sharapova in the semi finals this year, is set to retire at the close of 2004.

"What do you look forward to most after tennis?" the American was asked. Top of the list was "not to have to travel."

But there's a hitch - Mrs D wants kids.

Just try telling them you don't want to leave home sweet home.

Links to more Daily Diary stories


Wimbledon diary - day 11
01 Jul 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day 10
30 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day nine
29 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day eight
28 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day seven
27 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day six
26 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day five
25 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
Wimbledon diary - day four
24 Jun 04  |  Daily Diary
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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