Our new column highlights the off-court news and chat from Wimbledon 2018.
WTA Networks
July 6, 2018

Challenging times

Women players have so far been more successful than the men at challenging line-calls using the Hawk-Eye electronic replay. Four days into The Championships, and female players have been correct with 29% of their challenges, while the men have been right 26% of the time. What is more, women have been questioning the calls more often than the men, with 1.78 challenges per set compared to 1.70. 

No woman has used Hawk-Eye more than former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who has made seven challenges over the course of her two matches, getting two of them right, which equates to a 28.6% success rate. Lucie Safarova, a former French Open finalist, is among the small group of players with a 100% success rate - though the Czech has made just one challenge. 

Strawberry savings

Since the summer of 2010, the prize money for the singles champions at Wimbledon has more than doubled, rising from £1 million to £2.25m this year. Over the same period, the price of a bowl of strawberries and cream has not risen by one penny, keeping steady at £2.50. This could be the only snack in London unaffected by inflationary pressures. And nor have the All England Club reduced the number of strawberries per serving - you're guaranteed a minimum ten pieces of fruit, while you can have as much cream as you wish.  

Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon (Getty)
Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon (Getty)

In contrast, Eugenie Bouchard's new coach, Robert Lansdorp, provides a sense of how much things have changed at the All England Club. "My first Wimbledon was in 1977 when I was working with a 14-year-old Tracy Austin, and I was the only coach at the tournament. Just imagine that," the 80-year-old, who is back here for the first time in 20 years, told wtatennis.com. 

READ: 'I feel I can help her get better,' says Lansdorp

Title case

While Serena is now addressed by the umpires as "Mrs Williams" - reflecting that this is her first Wimbledon as a married woman - her older sister Venus likes being "Miss Williams". The five-time Wimbledon champion thinks the 'Miss' before her surname gives her a certain class.

"I remember Janet Jackson had that song and she said, 'Miss Jackson', and I like that. I am Miss Williams," said Venus.

The song she was referencing was 'Nasty', which contained this lyric: "My first name isn't baby, it's Janet - Miss Jackson if you're nasty."

Williams, who has a pop-up store for her clothing range EleVen in central London this summer, has also been suggesting that she might be thinking about a future role marketing tennis players.

"I believe in tennis we can try to find a way to market our players better because that grows the sport," she said. "I happen to love branding. Perhaps I see myself in that sort of position after I'm done, or even now I think is maybe a good time to put into practice what I've learned from my businesses into tennis." 

Maria Sharapova (Getty)

Talking of shops, one piece of good news for Maria Sharapova, who lost to a qualifier in the first round, is that her Sugarpova candy pop-up store in Wimbledon Village appeared to be doing good business when wtatennis.com visited this week.