• Is this the face of Wimbledon’s real top performer?

    Meet Rufus. He is the unheralded star of the 2014 Wimbledon tournament, just like he was in the last several editions.

    Rufus is a Harris Hawk used by the All England Club to keep pigeons away from their venue.

    And with Wimbledon in full swing, Rufus will be keeping his working standards as high as the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams so that the aforementioned can all do what they do best in pursuit of one of the sport's most prestigious titles.

    Described as an "important member of the Wimbledon family", Rufus has been scaring away the birds for five years, taking over

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  • Williams+Hirakawa for ESPN the magazine

    Venus Williams has been through a tremendous amount these last few years. She might not be the dominating Grand Slam champion she once was, but the 34-year-old is still keeping herself in very competitive shape.

    The five-time Wimbledon champion has battled with Sjogren's syndrome in recent years - an incurable condition that brings on muscle soreness.

    Indeed, Williams says that the condition makes her "so tired it hurts", even when she is not competing in a Grand Slam at the highest level.

    Williams will be featured in the sixth annual ESPN The Magazine Body Issue, which will be released on

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  • Novak Djokovic has the game to brush aside the painful memories of last year and recapture the Wimbledon title, former champion Goran Ivanisevic exclusively told Eurosport.

    The world number two, who begins his quest for glory with a match against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev on Monday, was comprehensively outplayed by home favourite Andy Murray in a one-sided final in 2013.

    But 2001 champion Ivanisevic believes Djokovic is the man to beat at SW19, despite the resurgence of Rafa Nadal and return to form of Murray.

    “Grass suits his [Djokovic’s] game well,” said Ivanisevic. “He moves well, he

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  • Dutch tennis player gets on-court surprise from boyfriend

    Michaella Krajicek's joy at winning on home grass was easily surpassed when her boyfriend stepped on court and dropped down on one knee straight after her Den Bosch Open first-round victory on Monday.

    The Dutchwoman, half sister to 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, hit 11 aces to beat Jana Cepelova 6-3 4-6 6-1 in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament but her heart was soon beating even faster.

    German doubles specialist Martin Emmrich stepped onto the court and got down on one knee.

    "It was a huge surprise," Krajicek told the WTA's official website. "We met here one year ago and I think

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  • When Kei Nishikori netted at match point, all Roger Federer had to do was walk to the net, shake his opponent’s hand and offer a few consolatory words.

    Instead, an oblivious Federer returned to the baseline after clinching a final spot in Halle as Nishikori awkwardly paced around the midcourt.

    It eventually dawned on the former world number one that the match was over and he apologetically raised his hands and jogged towards the net to celebrate his 6-4 7-6(4) win.

    Watch the comical ending below:

    Drôle, Federer oublie qu'il avait gagné le match! by sportbuzz

    "It was the first time in my

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  • ITV French Open ‘gaffe’ leaves viewers fuming

    All tennis fans wanted was to be able to enjoy an epic final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic without any distractions or interruptions.

    But many viewers were left furious after ITV's 'shambolic' coverage of the final at Roland Garros descended into farce.

    The 'King of clay' Nadal claimed his ninth title in Paris with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 victory over his big rival, claiming a fifth crown in succession to take his Grand Slam tally to an extraordinary 14.

    However, ITV left fans angry and outraged after suddenly switching coverage from their flagship ITV1 channel to ITV4 during the crucial

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  • History boy Nadal looks to the future

    Rafa Nadal is not ready for Roland Garros to be renamed in his honour, but he can picture a time when he might be the one handing out the trophies in Paris rather than breaking records on court.

    He bosses the French Open, defeating great rival Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 on Sunday to become the first man to win nine titles at any Grand Slam event.

    But when asked whether the stadium, named after a French aviator when it was built in 1928, should be called Nadal Garros if he won even more, he told reporters, smiling: "The name is very nice, Roland Garros, so don't need to change nothing."

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  • Djokovic fails again at mission impossible in Paris

    Beating Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros is not impossible but it requires sustaining a furious pace over five sets which, as Novak Djokovic experienced in Sunday's French Open final, is easier said than done.

    Djokovic made a brilliant start to win the first set but suffered a lapse in form by the end of the second that carried through most of the third and eventually lost 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 as Spain's world number one claimed a record-extending ninth title.

    Serbian second seed Djokovic, looking to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris, had won four of their last eight meetings on clay but had never

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  • Murray hints how he’ll vote in Scottish referendum

    Andy Murray has given the clearest hint yet that he will vote 'no' in the Scottish Independence referendum in September.

    Britain's number one tennis player caused a minor stir back in 2006 when he said he would be supporting "anyone but England" at the World Cup.

    That gave off the impression that he was a bit of Scottish nationalist but he later insisted he was joking.

    Now in a new interview with the Sunday Times he admitted that he 'didn't like it' when Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond unfurled a Scottish flag in the royal box when Murray won Wimbledon last year.

    When asked by the paper

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  • Queen of endurance Sharapova stays true to her word

    French Open - Sharapova beats Halep in epic Paris final

    Maria Sharapova had given warning that she was ready for a three hour French Open final - and she was true to her word, stopping the clock at three hours two minutes to lift the trophy.

    "It's the most emotional victory for me. The toughest one physically that I've come across in a final, especially a grand slam. There is not too many finals that you get past three hours," she told reporters after beating Halep 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4.

    Showing her never-say-die attitude, she has now won 27 of her last 28 matches on clay decided in three sets, including 20 straight wins. Her last three set loss came at

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