Wimbledon diary: Burrage saves the day while Djokovic makes history

Burrage to the rescue
Day one of the Championships and we already have a strong contender for the inaugural Big Heart of Wimbledon award: Britain’s Jodie Burrage. The 23-year-old lost her first-round match with Lesia Tsurenko but more memorably went to the aid of a stricken ballboy after he suffered what appeared to be a fainting fit during the first set. Burrage, who says she has had similar experiences herself, first fed the lad some of her own energy gel, then requested sweets from the crowd. A bag of popular gummy chews were provided (without advertising brands other than the Diary’s official sponsors*, let’s just say they rhymed with Dercy Dig) and Burrage sat with the boy as he recuperated. The All England Club later confirmed: “He’s fine.”

Rain’s early break
Day one and the records are falling too. Monday’s first rain delay was timed at 10.45am, just three-quarters of an hour into the competition and the earliest in the history of the tournament. Well, strictly speaking, that cannot be confirmed as nobody keeps records on rain breaks and Wimbledon will say only that the first Monday has been washed out altogether on five occasions. But in the absence of information to the contrary, we’ll take it as a win and just more evidence of Britain competing effectively on the world stage.

Djokovic exhausts Kwon
Another record! Novak Djokovic became the first male player to win 80 matches across all four grand slams with his four-set victory over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo. The Serb may be favourite to retain his singles title a week on Sunday, but has he ever dressed up as a little red car with cloud of exhaust fumes for a mouth? The answer to that is no (at least, it’s not on his Wikipedia). Kwon can make that claim however, after he appeared on South Korean TV’s King of the Masked Singer last year. Losing out in a duet duel with a long-distance truck, Kwon “the beginner driver” gave a brief moving performance then went home. A bit like his showing on Centre Court, then, bar the truck bit.

Queuing crosses borders
Welcome back The Queue! Not just a longstanding tradition which requires capital letters, this patient wait for Wimbledon tickets is also a peculiarly British thing to do. Or is it? There are enough overseas visitors to suggest that the appeal of standing in line for hours with no guarantee of satisfaction is something that crosses borders. The Neville family had arrived from Dublin having already familiarised themselves with lengthy queuing after enduring a trial known as “going through passport control”. Alfonso Rodriguez, from Broward County in Florida, also insisted “waiting in line” was a popular pastime for Americans. “Oh yeah, we queue all the time,” he said. “At Disney you queue two hours to get on a ride.”. At this point the laughter of recognition broke out elsewhere in The Queue and Rodriguez made an important clarification: “It’s two hours waiting, for five minutes of joy.”

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