ANGELA GREGORY: Wimbledon wipeout

Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki

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THE tragedy (maybe a bit strong) of writing a newspaper column is that, unlike news stories which are usually finished at the last minute, their deadlines are a few days in advance of publication.

In the case of this column, it means I can’t write about Andy Murray’s stunning victory or otherwise at Wimbledon.

My guess is, he’ll have put on a ‘brave performance’ against Rafael Nadal, who around about now will probably be lying in bed with a hangover scrolling through the pictures his Uncle Tony took from the Centre Court players box of him doing his comedy ‘bite the trophy to check it’s real’ pose.

If I’m wrong and Andy got to the final against Tsonga/Djokovic, I reckon Andy will be celebrating his win too. Not with a hangover and some wonky digital snaps but with a clear head and a stern debriefing from his frightening mum about where he went wrong on the few points he did lose.

Poor Andy looks a bit scared of his mum, and I don’t blame him. Have you seen her roar?

On the other side of the Wimbledon coin, I predict that no one will know who won the women’s tournament unless it was Maria Sharapova. Even then, I bet a few people will need reminding about who she is – she hasn’t done well at SW19 since she lifted the dish in 2004 before being engulfed in a whirl of Williamses.

If any of the other three have won – Kvitova, Azarenka or Lisicki – the only memorable thing about it will be the fun of hearing non-plussed commentators try to find something interesting to say about them.

Maybe a drinking game in which you down a shot every time someone mis-pronounces their name might liven things up a bit?

You may as well add in wistful references to Venus and Serena to that game. Oh how we’ve all changed our tune now. Too dominant were they? Well what would the organisers give now to have at least one of them there to dominate a bit of news coverage for them?

Much of the women’s coverage this year in the latter (dying?) stages of the tournament has focussed on what famous people are sitting in the crowd.

So far Wills and Kate have been spotted, as has Sir Cliff (naturally), Mark Webber, Princess Michael of Kent (who only leaves the house during these two weeks of the year), Billie Jean King and Rory McIlroy.

I’m pretty good at pointlessly spotting famous people and a recent trip to London confirmed what I have always known. I could single-handedly run the Spotted! pages in Heat Magazine.

My first spot of the weekend was my favourite. It was in Leicester Square after a few cocktails and a trip to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

I was giddy. I saw a strange man approaching me in the crowd, pouting and wearing an unecessarily tight 007 T-shirt. Behind him was Andrew Stone.

Andrew Stone! Off Pineapple Dance Studios/Louis Spence’s Showbusiness. Possibly the most deluded man to ever grace the small screen and, in my opinion, utterly hilarious. I wasn’t cool or calm, I just yelled his name out a few times in surprise and he turned around, bewildered, before carrying on walking. Not a fine moment, my friends were very embarrassed.

Not as embarrassed as they were when they woke up the next morning with huge bags from the newly opened M&Ms Store obtained after a bit of ‘tipsy shopping’.

I really don’t know when a bright green M&M shaped handbag would be an appropriate accessory, but I guess we’ll see....

The next spot was made while sitting in a restaurant opposite the Palladium, where I’d just seen The Wizard of Oz. Frankie Boyle walked past the window. That was it really.

On the walk back to the hotel, I then saw Keith off The Office standing outside a bar. He’d lost weight and I pointed him out to my friends. Again, not much more to it than that.

Finally, while at London City Airport, we saw Miss Dynamite (she of the song containing the immortal line ‘Miss Dynamite-ee-ee’ and not to be confused with Creek legend Little Miss Dynamite) in duty free (ee-ee).

First she did a bit of texting and then she tried to buy some duty free cigarettes only to be told she couldn’t because she was only going to Ibiza.

She sang a little tune as she put the boxes back on the shelves, I suspect because she knew my friend and I had spotted her and were having a good old look.

The weekend wasn’t all drunken campery. At one stage we could be found having afternoon tea at The Ritz.

We were very refined. We drank Earl Grey with our little fingers outstretched and I didn’t use my disposable camera once. We didn’t even spot anyone famous. Just like the Wimbledon women’s final then really.

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