x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Wimbledon chefs not to blame for upset stomachs

After Robin Soderling, the No 5 seed, was knocked out in the third round by 18-year-old Bernard Tomic he blamed it on "maybe something I ate".

Canteen gets all clear

Wimbledon bosses have denied that food poisoning has hit a group of players at Wimbledon. After Robin Soderling, the No 5 seed, was knocked out in the third round by 18-year-old Bernard Tomic he blamed it on "maybe something I ate".

After his Centre Court win on Monday - in sweltering temperatures and in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Andy Murray tweeted: "I think I just threw up ..." And Marion Bartoli had to call out the trainer during her match with Spain's Lourdes Dominguez because she was "on the verge of vomiting".

Concerned tournament chiefs asked environmental health officers to check the players' restaurant. They investigated and gave the area the all clear, said Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins.

He said: "There is no evidence of any food poisoning at all. There is no link between any of the players who have complained of being ill, none of them have had the same food. "

No room at the inn

It seems being a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist does not win you any favours with the London hotel Ivo Karlovic has been staying at during this year's tournament. The 6ft 10in Croatian was planning to spend a last night in London yesterday only to be told there was no room at the inn. Karlovic wrote on Twitter: "Just got kicked out of the hotel."

Put in her place

Victoria Azarenka, who takes on Petra Kvitova in today's women's semi-final, may have quit the game had it not been for a frank discussion with her family in March.

The world No 5 was growing frustrated at her inability to win at the business end of the most prestigious tournaments after losing four grand slam quarter-finals in the space of two years.

And after crashing out in the first round of an event in Doha, Qatar, she considered quitting altogether."After Doha I didn't really want to play tennis. I just wanted to go home and rest," Azarenka said. "My mum asked me, 'What are you going to do?' I said, 'I'm going to study'. She laughed out loud."

Her grandmother, who once had to work three jobs to make ends meet, delivered the most stinging rebuke to Azarenka's threat to quit. "She said I had to just shut up and stop complaining because I had a pretty good life," Azarenka said.

Packed to the Rafters

Ten years since they played out a memorable Wimbledon final of their own, Goran Ivanisevic and Pat Rafter were back at Wimbledon yesterday for a string of reunion appearances. Ivanisevic famously won that final as a wild card, and the pair spent the morning fulfilling a number of media commitments before retiring to Court One where they watched Novak Djokovic knock out Australian teenager Bernard Tomic.

Both men had a vested interest in the 18-year-old, with Rafter an Australian and Ivanisevic a Croatian - Tomic is half-Croatian. And despite losing to Djokovic, Tomic revealed Ivanisevic, his idol as a child, had told him success would find him in the future. "He said to me, 'if you don't won it this time, you'll win it one day'," Tomic said.

Greats of green watch on

After Rory McIlroy, the US Open golf champion, came to support Andy Murray on Monday, more golfing greats turned out in the Royal Box on Centre Court. Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, who have 18 and two major victories respectively, took in the action yesterday along with Sir Michael Caine, the British film legend.