Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Archive for feliciano lopez

Federer v Lopez as it happened

Flushing Meadows, New York, 27 August-9 September

US Open, Flushing Meadows Fourth round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) bt F Lopez (Spa)

3-6 6-4 6-1 6-4

By Piers Newbery

Fourth set

Federer 6-4 Lopez
There we have it – Federer holds serve to 15 to complete a fine win after a very sticky start. I fancy this boy for the title, you know. Thanks for staying with it and see you all again tomorrow for a bit of Djokovic v Monaco and lots of Henin v Serena. Should be good.

Federer 5-4 Lopez
Well done Feli, who saves three match points from 0-40 to the ecstatic cheers of the now presumably well-oiled New York crowd.

Federer 5-3 Lopez
My colleague Caroline Cheese is going to a press function tomorrow that will see her face Greg Rusedski’s serve. There is more chance of her breaking Greg than Lopez breaking Federer, who holds to love again.

Federer 4-3 Lopez
Lopez holds serve to 30. I am distracted by a trailer for ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’. Anyway, Federer to serve again.

Federer 4-2 Lopez
Ace number 10 helps Federer to a sixth straight love-service game. Safe to say, there’s not much prospect of a Lopez break at the moment.

Federer 3-2 Lopez
A couple more of the flicked cross-court backhands that have been the feature shot of this match help Federer to deuce but Lopez hangs on.

Federer 3-1 Lopez
At 30-15 Federer rolls into the net, punches a sharp backhand volley behind Lopez and then leaps to put away a smash. Easy.

Federer 2-1 Lopez
Lopez stays in touch, at least on the scoreboard.

0347: “Boring – that’s what some people think of Federer’s utter dominance. I say: phenomenal. The way he dug himself out of the hole of losing the first set AGAIN. Piers, fear not you’ll have an early night. Relatively speaking.”
From anon via text (I’m quite happy to watch Federer playing like this, whatever the time. He’s been brilliant tonight against someone in top form themselves)

Federer 2-0 Lopez
I don’t know who’s struggling more to keep pace with Federer – Lopez or me. Another love-service game for the champ.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
And goodnight. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, but this one is done and dusted now. However, Federer is always worth watching for the kind of backhand winner that takes him to break point in this game. Unfortunately, Lopez then comes up with a double fault.

Third set

Federer 6-1 Lopez
And barely have I finished filling you in on the previous game when Federer wraps up the set to love. Lopez is starting to look like a beaten man.

Federer 5-1 Lopez
Lopez is not playing badly but is nowhere near the level of the first two sets and Federer breaks again with an off-forehand.

Federer 4-1 Lopez
Federer is serving beautifully and holds to love again.

0331: “I sense a gear change from Federer. My insomnia is fading… back to bed soon.”
From David, S. Wales, via text

Federer 3-1 Lopez
Lpez does well to hold on from 15-30 and remains alive in this set.

Federer 3-0 Lopez
Federer quickly holds and the world is back on its axis, thoughts of an upset are receding, and Mirka looks decidedly more chirpy.

Federer 2-0 Lopez
We’re in the middle of one of Federer’s irresistible patches of form and two stunning backhand winners help him to 0-40 and three break points. He then finds the best of the bunch to break, hooking a backhand around the Spaniard at the net and down the line. That game alone was worth staying up until 3am and beyond for. Magic.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
Federer still seems to have his head in the second set as he slips 0-40 down but the champion finds his best stuff to get out of trouble, with four first serves and a blistering forehand winner. That will be hard to take for Lopez.

Second set

0316: “I want Feliciano to win, at least that way Roddick’s got a chance in the next round. By the way, isn’t insomnia great?”
Sarah, Bucks, via text (I’ll remember that when I’m trying to sleep at 9am)

Federer 6-4 Lopez
This is more like it. At 30-30 Federer hangs on as Lopez batters him with heavy forehands before hitting back with a fizzing backhand cross-court winner. The world number one then takes the set with a lob that Lopez can only put in the net on the backhand smash.

0310: “I think that Federer could possibly be took to 5 sets by Lopez. Thrilling stuff!”
From jhono via text

Federer 5-4 Lopez
Lopez is ‘in the zone’ as they say, belting everything without a care in the world. A screamer of a backhand winner gets him to 15-30 but Federer holds on and gives it a bit of “C’mon!”

0306: “Everyone go to bed. Fed without question will move into 3rd gear on the big points to go through in 4.”
From Shane in Armagh via text

Federer 4-4 Lopez
Federer gets a sniff of a break when a foray to the net takes him to 30-30 but the Swiss then falls victim to a desperately tight Hawkeye decision. He looks less than chuffed but at deuce produces his first magical moment of the day with a backhand pass down the line. Lopez saves the break point with a heavy second serve and manages to hold.

Federer 4-3 Lopez
A swift love hold for Federer and already a tie-break looks likely.

Federer 3-3 Lopez
Lopez wallops three massive serves on his way to another hold, although Federer does make one move to the net and plays a decent forehand volley.

Federer 3-2 Lopez
Federer is pushed a little more on serve but at 40-30 finds a service winner. Despite the very real possibility of the biggest shock since Kevin Curran beat John McEnroe, this match hasn’t really got going. Lopez is succeeding through big serving and Federer has yet to find any magic.

0245: “Is anon a gal? I am trying to sleep downstairs knowing the match is on TV upstairs. Have to work in a hospital no less, sigh!”
From SRM via text on 81111 (We’ve got two anons so far, no idea of their gender I’m afraid, but if they’re on the internet at 3am I’m guessing male)

Federer 2-2 Lopez
Another regulation service game looks on the way when Lopez goes 30-0 up but Federer claws his way back to 30-30 in a couple of long rallies. Feli’s best bet is finding a big first serve, and two in a row seal the game.

Federer 2-1 Lopez
Federer looks very comfortable on serve, holding to 15 this time.

0245: “I’ve never been published either and figure 3am is probably as good a time as any to try. Fed to play badly but win anyway in 4.”
From anon mk2 via text

Federer 1-1 Lopez
A sloppy forehand into the net lets Lopez down and the pressure is on at 30-30. Another Lopez error hands Federer a break point but he saves it with a big second serve and goes on to hold. Federer’s grlfriend, Mirka, does not look too happy in the stands.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
Federer holds serve to love – can Lopez maintain his form on his own serve?

First set

0238: “With this form Federer can’t win.”
From anon via text

Federer 3-6 Lopez
Well, I say. ‘Feli’ takes the first set after one false alarm. He looks to have wrapped things up at 40-15 but Federer goes to Hawkeye and is successful. The Swiss then wins the following point to put more pressure on Lopez, but the Spaniard finds yet another big serve to wrap up the set in 24 minutes.

Federer 3-5 Lopez
Federer holds to love, and history tells us that he will now break serve. Meanwhile, a small child is dragged out of the stadium by his father to the boos of the locals. Heartwarming stuff.

Federer 2-5 Lopez
Lopez is looking pretty fresh at the moment and races through another love-service game. It’s possible, just possible, he might win this set.

0228: “Good morning. I want to be the first message posted. I’ve never been posted! Pleease? Feli to take it to 5 sets but not as fresh as you so fed in 3.”
From anon via text (Extraordinary, I’m touched)

Federer 2-4 Lopez
Another wayward forehand spoils a good game for Federer.

Federer 1-4 Lopez
Federer sends Lopez a warning with one looping forehand pass down the line and a chipped return gets him to break point, but the Spaniard holds on with a big serve. Federer’s timing remains dodgy and Lopez extends his lead. Don’t get too excited though. I’m telling you now, he’s not going to win.

Federer 1-3 Lopez
Some swashbuckling stuff from Lopez, who gets to the net and swats away a high backhand volley for 15-30. He then hammers a forehand winner and has two break points. And the Spaniard converts with a majestic return backed up by a superb volley. Incredible stuff. Of course, it will never last.

Federer 1-2 Lopez
Lopez is all over the net and it works for the moment as he holds to love. Federer hasn’t found any sort of rhythm yet.

Federer 1-1 Lopez
A straightforward hold for Federer, as Lopez’s coach Albert Costa looks on from the stands. I wonder what game plan the former French Open champion has coooked up for this match.

Federer 0-1 Lopez
Lopez has a big serve and likes to volley so could pose a problem or two for the champion. He opens with a double fault and an ace and comes through to 15.

0205: Federer arrives on Arthur Ashe Stadium sticking with his all-black outfit, while Lopez is wearing a tracksuit. The stadium PA plays the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars, presumably in honour of Federer’s sinister new look.

0202: While we wait for the players to turn up, I’ve been enjoying Lopez’s official website where I am told, among other things, that “Feli passed the early years of his childhood on a normal way”. Excellent. Federer’s website is an altogether more clinical affair. Apparently, Roger’s hair colour is “dark brown”.

0155: Not surprisingly, Federer has a pretty handy 4-0 record against Lopez, although they haven’t played for two years and the Spaniard has got a couple of sets against the world number one.

0149: Well, I don’t know about you but I’m feeling as fresh as a daisy and up for seeing something special from Federer. And Lopez too, I suppose, although the chances of him springing a surprise tonight are minimal, it’s fair to say.

Story from BBC SPORT


Henman v Lopez as it happened

All England Club, 25 June-8 July

Wimbledon second round result:

T Henman (GB) v F Lopez (Spa)

6-7 6-7 6-3 6-2 1-6

By Tom Fordyce


Henman 1-6 Lopez
Alas – that’s it. Lopez holds without a sniff of a problem, and the Henman dream is over. Lopez screams a celebration; Tim slumps. Sorry I couldn’t bring you the result you probably wanted. Wasn’t it ever thus?

Henman 1-5 Lopez
Forget the effigies – we now need live sacrifices. Lopez breaks again in an epic game, and the end is now perilously near.

Henman 1-4 Lopez
Right – get the horse-shoes out, the rabbits’ feet, the four-leaf clovers. If you’ve got a spare effigy knocking around, now’s the time to throw it on the pyre. Lopez careers through his service game, and somehow he’s now the man parked in the driving-seat with his foot pressing pedal to the metal.

Henman 1-3 Lopez
Finally he’s on the board, but is it ever a mighty struggle… Lopez pings hm back to deuce twice, his confidence running fresh again, and the noisy patroits fall silent again. A crisp volley wins the day as the game-clock clicks round past the three-hour mark.

Henman 0-3 Lopez
Ouch – Lopez, benefiting from the new, faster balls, barrels in three firecracker first serves to leap into a three-game lead. Henman’s suddenly angry, snapping at the umpire when a ball-boy struggles to pick up a stray ball and shaking his head angrily when the German official fails to simper an apology.

Henman 0-2 Lopez
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Lopez is back – he whistles a backhand pass down the line to get to 15-40 and then watches Henman double-fault meekly at break point. It’s never easy, is it?

Henman 0-1 Lopez
After a long breather for a Henman courtesy break, the players rise from their seats to tumultuous applause. Lopez is out of the blocks quickly, driving Henman back with whipped forehands to hold serve. Nervous gulps all round.


Henman 6-2 Lopez
Ding-dong – we’re level! An ace opens the game up, two driving forehands right onto the baseline extend the lead and a Lopez lofter seals it. Extraordinary scenes. Ready for the final-set showdown?

Henman 5-2 Lopez
Lopez wins his first game in six, but he has to burst every rivet to do so. Albert Costa, so content a set and a half ago, now has his chin in his hands.

Henman 5-1 Lopez
It’s become a canter. Tim holds to love, and middle-aged women in the crowd are hugging.

Henman 4-1 Lopez
Lopez is falling apart like an old sofa – he plonks a mid-court forehand into the net to give away a break point and double-faults spectacularly to capitulate once again. Henman is now reading his serve as easily as Einstein flicking through the Beano, and the match has been turned on its head.

Henman 3-1 Lopez
The Henman fist-pump, so conspicious by its absence earlier, is now coming out on almost every point. He holds with iron-wristed confidence and waves the F-P at Lucy in the VIP box, who flashes a thin-lipped yet encouraging smile.

Henman 2-1 Lopez
Have we just witnessed the turning-point? Lopez is wobbling like a freshly-made jelly – Henman eases away another volley to set up three break points, and as Lopez’s forehand flies long he runs to the net, stares his opponent right in the snout and points to his own eyes. Break of serve, and that was the most aggressive thing I’ve ever seen Tim do. It was vaguely shocking, like hearing your mother use the f-word while in conversation with her friend Dorothy Freshwater.

Henman 1-1 Lopez
The pegs are level again, but Lopez’s body language has changed completely – where once he loped like a lion, he’s now slumped like a ticked-off teenager.

Henman 0-1 Lopez
In bright sunshine, Lopez gets himself going again with a much more solid service display. Metre-long shadows across the court, and every point is now being cheered like a Lottery scratchcard win.


Henman 6-3 Lopez
He’s right back in this, just 20 minutes after being two sets and a break down – Henman holds to 15, punching away a high backhand volley on the run, and the crowd rise to him. Excellent horse-shoe action earlier, it would appear.

Henman 5-3 Lopez
Now it’s Lopez who’s having to fight like a jam-jarred wasp to hold his own serve. Henman pushes him to 40-30 and leaves a big dent in the Iberian confidence as he does so. Time to serve for the set.

Henman 5-2 Lopez
There’s a bite and bounce on the Henman serve that just wasn’t there before. Whatever he put in his water four games ago should be made available on the NHS. The results are in too from the vote we’ve had running on the website – of the 18,000 who got involved, 4.5% predicted an easy Tim victory, 32.7% Tim through in a thriller, 29.2% Tim beaten in an epic and 33.5% Tim crushed. 4.5% – what were you thinking?

Henman 4-2 Lopez
Could this be the start of something? Could it? A new Henman has appeared, a man with the touch of an angel at the net and a devil at the baseline, and Lopez can’t handle it – he’s broken again. The crowd, slumped in slumber for so long, are in rampant voice.

Henman 3-2 Lopez
Suddenly, and from nowhere, Henman’s dander is up. He produces his best service game of the day, booming in ripper after ripper, and holds to love. Delicate green shoots of hope begin to nudge through the topsoil.

Henman 2-2 Lopez
Hold on a second – could there be a glimmer of light at the end of this dismal tunnel? Lopez’s serve wobbles for the very first time, and a double fault gives Tim a break point. He dances around like S Club 7’s Bradley while waiting for the serve, steps up and creams a backhand into Lopez’s toes. He’s broken back!

Henman 1-2 Lopez
Tim digs deep to stem the flow of games, but the stench of panic is in the air. Something needs to change here and fast – the Lopez serve has been almost impregnable so far.

Henman 0-2 Lopez
Lopez accelerates through his service game, and he looks in complete control. Coach Costa, a straight-faced mannequin earlier on, is now beaming openly.

Henman 0-1 Lopez
With the dust still settling on that horror, Lopez goes for all-out attack on the Henman serve. It’s an inspired tactic – Henman’s mind is all over the shop, and he puts yet another volley into the net to go another break down. Complete silence on Centre.


Henman 6-7 Lopez
Calamity for Henman – Lopez comes to the net to put away an Edbergesque volley and then watches happily as a half-hit Henman backhand loft drifts into the tramlines. He fights back from 5-0 down to 6-5 as Lopez gets wobbly-legged in sight of the tape, only for Lopez to seal a two-set lead with a overhead backhand volley that Henman just can’t reach. It’s looking grim now – it’ll take another epic five-set sensation to keep British interest in the tournament alive…

Henman 6-6 Lopez
Hold onto your seats – it’s tie-break time once again as Henman survives a missed overhead smash to keep the smooth-moving Spaniard at bay. For now.

Henman 5-6 Lopez
Lopez piles on the pressure with another big service game, and Henman duffs two more mystifying mis-hits into the net. He needs to hold serve to stay in the set, but things are worryingly flat out there. Reach for your lucky horse-shoe and get rubbing.

Henman 5-5 Lopez
Roars of approval and relief as a Henman ace polishes off a rock-solid service game to love. The sun’s out on Centre Court and the corporate types finally in their courtside seats, and the atmosphere is beginning to build.

Henman 4-5 Lopez
The constrast is impossible to ignore – after that see-saw epic in the last game, Lopez holds to love as Henman’s groundstroke radar goes awol once again. Only one man looks capable of breaking here, and he wasn’t brought up in Oxfordshire.

Henman 4-4 Lopez
Red lights flash and sirens wail as Henman mis-hits a volley into the net to teeter at 0-40. He shows nerves of titanium to crash in three successive sizzlers of first serves to draw level, only to leave a simple volley at the net and watch aghast as it falls in by a metre. Lopez eyes him like a hyena watching a limping goat and sets up two more break points with raking forehands, only for Henman to hang on with another brace of boomers. At last Lopez goes long from the baseline and Henman holds – but that was a mighty close-run thing.

Henman 3-4 Lopez
A frame-it-and-put-it-on-the-wall of a backhand pass from Henman gets him to 30-30, the first time he’s been within racquet-length of a break all day. Lopez stands on the service line, looks down, bounce-bounces the ball and hammers in an unstoppable first serve to snuff out the danger in half an instant. Where’s the break going to come from today?

Henman 3-3 Lopez
Knees knock and teeth chatter as Henman slips to 0-30 on his own serve. With Lopez clambering all over his serve, he holds his nerve to dink a life-saving volley past the Spaniard at the net and then comes up with a fizzer of a first serve to take the game.

Henman 2-3 Lopez
Anything you can do, says Lopez, and holds to love himself with minimum fuss. He strolls over to his chair, wipes the handle of his racquet on a towel and stares into space with the placid expression of a man completing his most satisfying clear-out of the day.

Henman 2-2 Lopez
Relief all around as Henman holds to love. Our umpire for today intones the score with a Germanic drawl: “Two gamesch all.”

Henman 1-2 Lopez
If Lopez had any fans in here, they’d now be standing up and singing, “It’s all gone quiet over there,” while pointing all around Centre Court. But since his coach Albert Costa is the only pro-Lopez face in the entire crowd, an eerie silence descends over SW19 instead.

Henman 1-1 Lopez
Lopez gets close at 30-30, but he mis-hits a backhand to give Tim a precious slice of daylight. Update on Thumbgate: he’s still fiddling with it like a mangy cur scratching at a flea bite.

Henman 0-1 Lopez
Tim’s in a certain depth of trouble here. Felithiano’s first serve is firing on all available cylinders, and Henman just can’t get involved. Coach Paul Annacone watches with only the merest flicker of concern on his chops.


Henman 6-7 Lopez
Yells of anguish around Centre as Henman duffs a simple volley at 3-1 and then falls apart completely on the next four points. He double-faults at 3-5, and even a plaintive scream from a chubby-faced lady in an ill-fitting jester’s hat cannot prevent him lofting a forehand long to concede the set. Lopez yells with happiness to a background of desultory appluase.

Henman 6-6 Lopez
Lopez holds with another slinging first serve, and the match rolls into tie-break town. Where’s your money? No sniffs of breaks of serve today, so the next few points could be key to the whole shaboodle.

Henman 6-5 Lopez
Easy peas for the home-town hero – he holds to love, and the first Cub scout-style outbreak of “Henman! (clap-clap-clap)” rings around Centre. The Duke of Kent, sporting his usual magnificent facial hair-furniture, strokes his glistening pate reflectively.

Henman 5-5 Lopez
Tim tries to monkey with the Lopez head by bouncing around like a lightweight Sumo as he waits for the serve, but the floppy-haired Iberian is made of stern stuff. He leans back and blasts in the first ace of the day to edge us closer to the tie-break.

Henman 5-4 Lopez
Henman’s tucked into his groove nicely now – he steams into the net and dictates the chat from there, popping away two soft-touch volleys to edge ahead.

Henman 4-4 Lopez
Henman gets a little nibble at 30-30 when Lopez booms a forehand long, only for his Spanish foe to close out the game with a cheeky exchange of bish-bosh volleys at the net. More of that cut on Henman’s right thumb – perhaps Garry Richardson was right to be concerned, because Tim keeps looking down suspiciously down at the plaster he’s got covering it. It’s clearly smarting.

Henman 4-3 Lopez
That’s a little more like it – Henman serve-volleys for the first time today and immediately looks more comfortable. Lucy H is wearing a large pendant that seems to be made from jade – a Maori good luck charm, perhaps.

Henman 3-3 Lopez
Big serving from Feliciano, and Henman fails to get a point on the board. Standards sloppy at the mo, and the match hasn’t really got going again. Team Henman are here once again in the same order as Wednesday – (from left to right) coach Paul Annacone, physio Johan de Beer, Mrs Henman, Mrs H Snr and Mr H Snr.

Henman 3-2 Lopez
Henman holds to love as Lopez returns like a man holding a racquet in the wrong hand. The umpire takes advantage of the changeover to make a telephone call from the comfort of his lofty perch.

Henman 2-2 Lopez
Three mis-hit returns in a row from Tim, and Lopez draws level easy-style. Huge grey clouds overhead, but sunshine too. We’re still going.

Henman 2-1 Lopez
After the hiccup of a double fault – greeted by a shout of “No worries, Tim!” from a plum-voiced worrier in the crowd, Henman polishes off the game with a big serve down the middle which Lopez blocks wide.

1305 BST: Rishi Persad does his usual rabble-rousing on Henman Hill, where various half-cut public schoolboys in polo shirts shout “Go on Tim!” obligingly for the cameras.

1258 BST: Centre Court is surprisingly empty as Henman pads out. Sue Barker, wearing a trademark lilac jacket and skirt combo, stands courtside and chews the fat with a grey-suited John McEnroe. Mac has plumped for the sort of dull brown tie that a headmaster might have worn in 1983.

1251 BST: Weather update: it should be OK for the next three hours at least. Not particularly warm, but non-wet at least.

1237 BST: Just like that, it’s now Thursday afternoon. Tim’s been out practising, and despite a small cut appearing on his thumb overnight – which gets BBC roving reporter Garry Richardson very excited – he looks in prime shape.

1946 BST: Play has been officially abandoned for the night. I repeat: sack it off and go home. We’ll be back with Tim and Feliciano sometime on Thursday afternoon. Probably for the best, to be honest.

1940 BST: I don’t know why they bothered – it’s raining again. Sigh. That surely will be it for the day. Surely.

1929 BST: It has stopped raining, it’s true. And there are whispers that we could still squeeze in 45-odd minutes of tennis. In fact – could it be – the covers are coming off!

1802 BST: Three bedraggled teenagers stand in the rain outside Sue’s studio, waving soggy pieces of paper on which are written the words “We heart Sue”. At least they’re not smoking, or getting each other pregnant.

1747 BST: Optimistic? Which fool said optimistic? It’s belting it down again, and Sue Barker has just started a link by saying, “Well, we’ve beeen hearing about the success of tennis in Belgium…”

1730 BST: Covers update: they’re coming off Centre. I’m making no predictions about re-starts after the glaring whoopsie earlier, but be optimistic.

1715 BST: For those concerned about Sue B after the earlier comment, rest easy – she’s been chatting to Jimmy Connors and is now giggling like a schoolgirl. He gave her some chat about the unofficial competition he used to have with John McEnroe over who could wear the tightest shorts on court, and she was pacified in an instant.

1709 BST: It’s now whacking it down. Official. Those foolish enough to turn up without brollies are now fashioning makeshift covers from anything thay can lay their hands on – plastic bags, coats, over-priced official programmes.

1703 BST: Groans from the crowd – the covers are going to be kept on for a while, as the Wimbledon radar indicates that another shower is on its way. Even as the stadium announcer solemnly intones the words, the moisture begins to fall from the skies. He signs off with only the slightest hint of smugness creeping into his voice.

1656 BST: Better news from SW19 – the rain has stopped. The covers remain on, but we shouldn’t be too long. The impatient ones in the crowd try to get a slow hand-clap going, only for their efforts to founder on the politeness of the majority.

1649 BST: I thought I was disappointed – you should have seen Sue Barker’s face. She looked like she was about to burst into tears.

While we wait for the clouds to scud off, website users can amuse themselves by downloading their very own Tim Henman masks. And Nadal masks, for that matter. There’s people on Centre Court wearing them, you know.

1644 BST: Uh-oh – brollies begin to pop up all around, and a gruff bark from the umpire calls the players off. The BBC weather crew did predict this, but the disappoinment still stings – it’s like walking into a country boozer on a hot summer’s day, thirst raging, only to be told that they’ve stopped serving.

Henman 1-1 Lopez
Early sniff of a break for the home-town hero, only for Lopez to volley like a grass-court legend and see off the danger. Just to run through the official Henman support team court-side, we’ve got (from left to right) coach Paul Annacone, physio Johan de Beer, Mrs Henman, Mrs H Snr and Mr H Snr. Lucy is a woman transformed from yesterday – she’s sharing a joke with Johan and flicking her blonde locks around happily as she does so.

Henman 1-0 Lopez
Delight all around as Tim holds to love with three crunching serves and a crisp volley. Henman could fall over his shoelaces and still get a round of applause out here.

1631 BST: Cheeky fact before we get going: Lopez is staying in the same house as Rafael Nadal this fortnight. The pair are old pals – they play doubles together – although apparently they failed to breakfast together this morning. Rafa got up early to go off and practise, while Feliciano enjoyed a lie-in. One of them is world number two, the other 78. Work that one out.

1627 BST: Here come the brave musketeers, striding onto Centre Court to excited applause from the assembled throng. The grey-blazered committee member who leads them out then pats them both nervously on the shoulder before scurrying off to his ringside seat.
Story from BBC SPORT