Anorak News | Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger

by | 23rd, June 2003

‘WIMBLEDON opens its gates this morning, a guarantee, normally, of three things – rain, an outbreak of Henmania and more pictures of Anna Kournikova.

”Same old balls, please…”

This year, however, the greyest cloud over SW19 is the threat that next year’s championships will not take place with the players threatening to boycott the event in a row over money.

The Mail says a rival charity tournament would be held over Wimbledon fortnight next year unless the ATP receives a larger chunk of money from the four grand slam events.

The last time a Wimbledon boycott was held was in 1973 when Brit Roger Taylor got to the semi-finals of a tournament won by Czech Jan Kodes.

A boycott could be the only way Tim Henman manages to get further than the semi-final stage he has reached in four of the past five years.

However, enough of such dispiriting talk, particularly after a great weekend for English sport.

England’s rugby players confirmed their position as the World No.1 side with an emphatic win over Australia in Melbourne, but coach Clive Woodward is not resting on his laurels.

In the Mail, he warns that there are no guarantees the players who beat the All Blacks and Wallabies will be in the squad for the first World Cup match.

”Fifteen players have been inked in,” he says. ”That means we have 26 competing for the final 15 places. They’ll be put under severe pressure as part of the process to see how they respond.

”We’re all pretty good under pressure. We thrive on it.”

England’s cricketers also thrived on pressure yesterday, as a young side held their nerve to win the decisive one-day match against Pakistan.

Man of the match was Marcus Trescothick, whose unbeaten 108 saw England home with an over and a half to spare.

Skipper Michael Vaughan admitted to the Express that his side had had a bit of luck. ”To fight back from 1-0 down and beat this lot shows the character of the side,” he said.

”There is not a lot between the two teams and we had slightly the better of the conditions at The Oval and here.”

Another lucky British winner was Lennox Lewis, who retained his world heavyweight championship in controversial fashion after his opponent Vitali Klitschko was stopped in the sixth round.

The Ukrainian claims that a head-butt by Lewis was responsible for the cuts on the left side of his face which were the reason for the fight being stopped.

But Lewis tells the Sun that, if Klitschko wants a rematch, ”it will give me a chance to batter the other side of his face”.

Sentiments far removed from the genteel surroundings of the All England Lawn Tennis And Croquet Club, where a tiger is getting ready to roar.

Come on, Tim. Grrrrr!

Posted: 23rd, June 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink