© Ella Ling

Mardy Fish

Wimbledon diary - Mardy Fish still swinging


Mardy Fish has been having a real struggle with his health lately so it’s good to see the American back on court at Wimbledon, even if he will be the villain with the locals on Thursday when he plays James Ward. Hopefully Fish will be back to 100 percent soon. On a side note, it was interesting to see Sergio Garcia, the Spanish golfer, sitting in his players’ box this week. As revealed by the respected New York Times journalist, Chris Clarey, Garcia is staying with Fish and James Blake in a house near the All England Club.

Now Garcia is a handy tennis player – I saw him hit with Daniela Hantuchova last year at the US Open and he has a nice game. Good mover, nice one-handed backhand and a decent serve, as Hantuchova will attest to, having been aced by the Spaniard, much to her annoyance. But Fish is also a very, very good golfer – almost certainly the best tennis-playing golfer at the moment. I’m sure they’re sharing a few tips at what is a big time of year for both men.

The cost-cutting that the BBC has been forced into has seen some of the most loved services have to cut their output – I am thinking of the world service in particular here – and many jobs have gone as a result. Sport has been particularly badly hit, with Royal Ascot the latest high-profile event to leave the channel. The Olympics remains on the state broadcaster but even Jacques Rogge now believes it could be time for commercial television to get involved.

It is all very sad and it seems like the cost-cutting may have filtered (if you’ll forgive the pun), down to Today at Wimbledon, BBC’s nightly highlights programme, hosted by John Inverdale and boasting guests like John McEnroe and Boris Becker. In previous years, the nice coffee table between them has been adorned by a few glasses of Pimm’s but watching it last night I could not work out what was different until it hit me. The Pimm’s has been replaced by water. Probably bottled mineral water, but still, it’s a sad day.

Wimbledon is a massive event in the world of sport but also in the world of corporate entertainment as big business vies for the best pitches to hitch their tents. Millions of pounds is spent on pampering existing clients and wooing potential ones but this year, the Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to cancel its hospitality for the rest of the fortnight. The reason – that it would be “inappropriate” in the wake of the computer glitch that left millions of people unable to withdraw money from cashpoints around the country and worse still, people unable to complete house purchases or other financial deals.

The cancellation will cost the company a lot of money, it seems, since they will surely have paid up front for the right to host throughout the fortnight. Let’s hope they got plenty of business done in the first two days.