Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerFirst Lady Michelle Obama
By Chris Archer
It was a busy day for celeb spotters on the opening day of the Olympic Tennis Event as a host of famous faces passed through The All England Club to watch the tennis.
Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama, was on Centre Court to watch Serena Williams get her Olympic campaign under way with an impressive win over Jelena Jankovic, a performance that got the thumbs up from the First Lady.
Professional golfer Rory McIlroy was another Centre Court onlooker as he watched his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki come from a set down to defeat Anne Keothavong, while giving the day a Royal touch were Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and The Douchess of Gloucester.
Little and Large
By Chris Archer
Olivier Rochus faced a ‘big’ challenge on No. 2 Court today!
Not only was the diminutive Belgian facing the No. 10 seed in the shape of John Isner, but his opponent also stood a whopping 15 inches taller.
Rochus, at 5’ 6”, is the smallest player in the Top 100, while Isner, at 6’ 9”, is one of the tallest.
The two players shared a laugh when they met at the net for the usual pre-match photo, but they were soon down to business when play got under way.
After 1 hour 14 minutes on court, it was Isner who had the last laugh as he emerged victorious 76(1) 64.
And predictably, Rochus was unable to break the giant American’s serve!
The Hill is alive, with the sound of music!
By Craig Gabriel
The Olympic Tennis Event was brought to life on Henman Hill – or maybe it will be Murray Mound this week! – as the crowd that had taken their place there were entertained to the hilt.
Just when they least expected it before play started this morning the music started and flash mobs jumped up and began dancing to “You’ve Got the Love”.
Smiles began to cut across bemused faces and within a second the fans were having the time of their life.
Just as that song died down up came Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” and the entertainment was really rocking. The applause was ringing out, the cheers were getting louder as Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out of my Head” began and then it was “Twist and Shout”.
What a great start to the tennis. But it didn’t stop there. On a giant stage in front of the massive video screen the Pet Shop Boys began to perform, starting with their global No. 1 hit “You Are Always on my Mind”, they then sang “What Have I Done to Deserve This” and it ended with the song they wrote especially for the Olympics, “Winner”.
On a day with wonderful sunshine and perfect temperatures, it could not have been a better way – or a less traditionally Wimbledon way! – to get the action started at The All England Club.
Tennis among ‘most searched’
By Craig Gabriel
Tennis, which was one of the original sports in Athens at the first modern Olympics in 1896, has been gradually building up a major profile in the Games since returning as a full medal sport at Seoul 1988.
Yahoo! has released a list of the 20 most searched Olympic athletes and three tennis players feature among them. Venus Williams is at No. 5 behind Lindsey Vonn, Muhammad Ali, Shawn Johnson and Greg Louganis. Venus is playing her fourth Olympics at London 2012. In her first at Sydney 2000, she took gold in the singles and doubles (with sister Serena).
Joining Venus on the list is Andre Agassi at No. 15, who won gold in Atlanta, and coming in at No. 18 is Agassi’s wife, Stefanie Graf. The prolific Graf won singles gold in Seoul which ultimately gave her what no other player, male or female, before or since has achieved, the calendar year “Golden Slam”.