© Ella Ling

Heather Watson

Olympic diary: The new craze in tennis


There is a new craze sweeping the tennis world, a specifically Olympic one. It is of course, ‘to pin.’ This does not mean pinning a fellow tennis player to the baseline, or against a wall, but rather the act of swapping Olympic pins.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams were spotted swopping pins with members of the Mixed Zone team during their post-match press, while Laura Robson has been particularly keen to get her hands on some of the more unusual pins out there. If you’re Roger Federer, you even have your own bespoke RF pin, that comes complete with red velvet RF bag. Yes indeed.

But it’s not necessarily for everyone. “I’m one of the more relaxed ones on the pins,” Heather Watson revealed. “Everyone seems to go doing it. Asking me to swap. I have a few pins, the Papua New Guinea. The smaller countries are the ones to get because they’re the rarer ones.”

Yours truly however has totally failed so far. I’ve managed to collect just one pin. So if anyone has any to spare…

Speaking of Watson, she is such a smiley, happy figure that it’s no surprise she’s fast attracking vast amounts of support around the tennis world. But today she revealed she’s got a new fan, and a pretty impressive one at that. “I just said, Are you winning? Then he said, of course. He came and he was like Hi, Heather, great job so far. I was like, What, how did you know? So that was cool that he knows what’s going on.” So that’s Roger Federer following a young Brit’s progress.

Although we are technically meant to be impartial, all journalists do share a natural inclination to look after their own, some more than others. It seems the Finns believe that willing on their players does actually work, as this exchange between Andy Murray and a Finnish journalist about Jarkko Nieminen showed…

MURRAY: He won?

JOURNALIST: Yeah, he’s going to win.

MURRAY: He’s going to win, okay (smiling).

JOURNALIST: I wonder if you are a little bit afraid to face our star.

MURRAY: Well, no, not afraid. I mean, he’s a very tough player.

JOURNALIST: He’s one set up.

MURRAY: Okay. So nowhere near winning then (smiling).

And finally. The Williams sisters have found a new sport to follow. But it’s not Ryan Lochte in the pool, or the US team on the pommel horse. No. It’s archery. “I’ve especially gotten into archery, it’s amazing,” Venus said. “Maybe get out there for recreation. I think that’s mostly what we do, is try our best to participate in the Games by supporting the rest of the US teams and celebrating everybody’s victories.”