Tramlines

  • Wimbledon began this year the day after England were dumped out of Euro 2012 after a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals to Italy.

    The Sun ran a knowing headline that day — 'ANYONE FOR TENNIS?'

    Two weeks have passed, and in that time we have witnessed Andy Murray go as close as any Brit has in 74 years of winning at the All England Club by becoming the first man from these shores to reach the final since Bunny Austin in 1938.

    "I'm getting closer," joked Murray after harrying Roger Federer into playing his best tennis to defeat him — and he was right.

    Murray was closer to reaching his

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  • Wimbledon’s pigeon-scaring hawk stolen

    This file photo shows the type of Hawk used at Wimbledon

    Rufus the Harris hawk which patrols the skies above Wimbledon to deter pigeons has been stolen, police have said.

    The bird was taken, along with his cage, from a car parked in a private drive in Wimbledon with the rear window open for ventilation.

    Rufus, a four-and-a-half-year-old hawk, is environmentally friendly because he scares off pigeons, which can distract players, purely by his presence.

    His distressed owners are appealing for help in getting the bird of prey back so he can resume his role of turning the world's most prestigious tennis tournament into a pigeon-free zone.

    Text:

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  • Yaroslava Shvedova celebrates her 'Golden Set'

    Yaroslava Shvedova has become the first player to win a Grand Slam set without dropping a single point, during her 6-0 6-4 win over Sara Errani at Wimbledon.

    Shvedova wrapped up a 'Golden Set' inside 15 minutes on court three, as the 10th seeded Errani dropped 24 consecutive points.

    Although she only committed one unforced error and got 75 per cent of her first serves in, Errani was blasted off the court by the big-hitting Kazakh Shvedova.

    The second set proved slightly more competitive, but Errani went out in straight sets to Shvedova, who plays Serena Williams in the fourth round.

    Shvedova

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  • Things going swimmingly for Fish after heart op

    Mardy FishSix weeks ago Mardy Fish was going to bed wired to a heart monitor. Now, he is preparing for his a second-round clash at Wimbledon trying to regain the confidence that helped him reach the world's top 10.

    The American beat Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo on Tuesday to set up a second-round clash with Britain's James Ward, an impressive turnaround considering that he was forced to pull out of the French Open last month after undergoing a heart procedure.

    The 30-year-old had not played a competitive match in the last two and a half months after taking time off with an accelerated heartbeat.

    "I remember a

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  • Hours after slowly rising in temperature at the All England club following a tepid pre-heat, Rafael Nadal brought his legions of fans an insight into his cooking habits on the road.

    It took the world number two a little while to get started in his opening round contest at Wimbledon, eventually seeing off 80th-ranked Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 6-2 6-3.

    After an early double-break left the seven-time Roland Garros king 4-0 down in the first set, Rafa bounced back with four straight games of his own before finding his full flavour and cooking up a smooth advancement to the next round.

    And in

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  • Bollettieri explains why the USA’s talent pool has dried up

    If an American prodigy harbours any hopes of winning a grand slam, they will need to have the build of Lebron James, the speed of Chris Johnson, the deep pockets of Donald Trump and a coach with the brains of Richard Williams.

    Well, according to famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, that is.

    As a man a month shy of his 81st birthday, Bollettieri has been around long enough to see the good of American tennis (Don Budge winning the Grand Slam in 1938), the bad (a barren spell for the men that is now into its ninth year) and the ugly (the countless Connors-McEnroe on-court spats).

    As the

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  • Tennis to act on grunting…but you’ll have to wait

    Victoria Azarenka is one of the louder players on tour

    The WTA wants the headline to read "Tennis to get tough on grunting." It's actually doing nothing of the sort.

    USA Today's Doug Robson wrote a fascinating piece on Monday detailing an umbrella plan to rid the sport of grunting. It was recently approved by representatives from the four majors, the International Tennis Federation and the WTA's player's council.

    The plan would give umpires a "grunt-o-meter" to measure decibel levels of on-court shrieks. That, coupled with a rule that would set a specific level of excessive grunting and earlier education for players, is to help curb the shrieks

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  • Nadal’s £241,000 watch stolen while he was winning title

    A Richard Mille watch (Nadal's actual stolen watch not pictured)When Rafael Nadal stormed to the French Open crown on Monday, he should have been enjoying one of the sweetest days of his life. Not only had he just won a record seventh title at Roland Garros, but in doing so he also ended a run of three consecutive Grand Slam final defeats at the hands of arch-rival Novak Djokovic.

    Yet even for megastars, life has a way of kicking you in the teeth when you least expect it: while the Mallorcan was finishing off his rain-delayed match, a thief was busy in his hotel room stealing his watch.

    A watch, furthermore, that was worth an incredible £241,000 - that is

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  • Every time one thinks that the records broken by Rafael Nadal have all been duly noted, another one inevitably follows. It's an unrelenting stream of brilliance.

    When the great Spaniard clinched his seventh French Open title after a gruelling four-set victory over world number one Novak Djokovic, what followed was a barrage of stats regarding his achievements.

    But one consistent question followed each impressive statistic: 'How many French Open titles will Nadal win?'

    The 'prince of clay' has now won a measly 52 matches at Roland Garros and lost just one, becoming the greatest player the

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  • Nadal wins point after sitting down

    As if reaching a fourth consecutive Grand Slam final, and seventh French Open final, was not enough of a sign of how good a tennis player Rafael Nadal is, he even managed to win a point sitting down during his semi-final at Roland Garros.

    Already leading compatriot and friend David Ferrer by a set, Nadal slipped on the service line and was forced to sit down to dink a backhand drop shot over the net during a 30-plus stroke rally on the Phillippe Chatrier court.

    Ferrer got to the ball but Nadal got back up on to his feet before continuing the rally and going on to earn himself two break points

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