John McEnroe once said he believed that autographs should be for kids and that people aged over 15 should not ask and should be ashamed of themselves if they do. Now there are always exceptions to the rule – for example, occasions when an autograph is needed for a charity event or for a prize-giving.
Or, as was the case here this week, when a former French Open runner-up came asking. Andrei Medvedev, the man who led Andre Agassi by two sets to love in 1999 before the American stormed back for victory, is here playing in the Legends event and popped into the locker room on Friday to get the signatures of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on one of those big tennis balls that are so popular with the kids. Suspiciously, he said it was “for a friend” but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
We have mentioned a few times just how good the behind the scenes coverage has been by France 4 this year’s event. Somehow managing to be unobtrusive, they have shown us some really nice snippets of the players before and after their matches, including the reaction of other players to some of the victories this fortnight. On Saturday, it was amusing seeing Djokovic have to move out of the way to accommodate David Ferrer wearing nothing more than a towel.
The footage has been one of the highlights of the tournament and word is that ESPN, who for the first time this year will have live, uninterrupted coverage from Wimbledon, are working hard to see if they can do something similar. Doing it this year at Wimbledon seems unlikely, but it is understood that talks are happening to sort something out for the US Open. Good stuff.