Our new column highlights the news and talk away from the action on court.
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July 10, 2018

Scorched turf

The unrelenting London sunshine changes everything at the All England Club. The hot weather is exacerbating the difference in speed between where the players practise and where they compete, with the Aorangi Park grass considerably faster than the Championship courts. 

That means that, after finding their range and rhythm in training, players then have to make adjustments in their matches to a slower surface. "There's a big difference going from Aorangi Park to the Championship courts. Aorangi Park is faster than the Championships courts. The grass feels denser and thicker on the Championship courts," Naomi Osaka's coach, Sascha Bajin, told wtatennis.com

"At Aorangi, the courts have been played on more than the Championship courts, so they've been worn down and there's a little dirt at the back. It's been so hot that the earth has got a little drier underneath. As the tournament goes on, there will be an even bigger difference between the practice courts and the Championship courts."  

Hummm that looks yummy #wimbledon go Mommy

A post shared by Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. (@olympiaohanian) on

Baby steps for Serena

Olympia Ohanian only took her first steps at the weekend, but Serena Williams' 10-month-old daughter already has around 400,000 followers on Instagram. 

At the time of writing, a post of Olympia sitting on the Wimbledon grass had more than 100,000 likes, while a picture of her holding a mini racket bag and wearing her mother's All England Club member badge had been liked over 140,000 times. Williams, whose husband Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit, is more than happy to share some of her personal moments on social media. "It's 2018, I'm so modern," she said. "For me, it was just so natural. She's so fun. I just want to share those moments with everyone. We don't share a lot on her page, but we do share enough. It's just so natural." 

Using her own social media the other day, Williams disclosed how she had cried after missing her daughter's first steps while training. "I feel really glad that I posted that. I instantly felt better from all the moms and dads that were posting that it's normal. Then they were posting that I shouldn't be hard on myself. They shared all their moments. I loved that," said Williams. 

Murray takes the mic

Andy Murray will join the BBC's team of analysts on Tuesday, which is when the women's quarterfinals will be played, so it is likely that the former men's Wimbledon champion will be offering his views on WTA players. Murray, who follows the women's game, is due to be live in the BBC studio on Tuesday, before starting commentary duties later in the week.

Space oddity

Currently in orbit: the coin that will be used for the toss before the women's final at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. That coin is in the possession of American astronaut Andrew Feustel, as is the coin that will be used for the men's final. "It was quite a journey to get them here. But they are here now and we look forward to returning them to the All England Club," said Feustel.

Daria Kasatkina - Wimbledon 2018 - Getty
Daria Kasatkina in action at Wimbledon 2018 during her fourth-round win over Alison Van Uytvanck (Getty)

Kasatkina's tween spirit

Daria Kasatkina's liking for the tweener can be traced back to an empty room in her family home. She was 12 years old at the time and she thought the room, which had no furniture, would be ideal for practising the shot.

"Every day, two hours per day, I come to this room, lobbing myself, playing tweener, lobbing myself, playing tweener. One-and-a-half, two hours per day, every day," said Kasatkina, who taught Naomi Osaka the trick shot at Indian Wells. "Yeah, sometimes I'm weird."