Interesting / Possibly previously unheard of Stuff
Even Cats dig Roger Federer
During the Australian Open in 2017, this little cat called Rémy, who lives near New York couldn't help but urge Roger on - after all his 'mom' is a Swiss Miss.
A heartwarming story involving tennis balls and field mice.
A natural harvest mouse nest and one fashioned from a tennis ball. Photos by Alasdair Grubb
Tennis balls provide perfect penthouses for harvest mice
You might not think there’s much to celebrate about a grubby old tennis ball, but these seemingly uninspiring objects are being put to use in an unusual way by one of our country’s cutest critters.This autumn (2015), wardens at the RSPB’s Dee Estuary nature reserve discovered an empty harvest mouse nest, alerting the team that these tiny creatures – not usually found so far north – had moved into their Cheshire site. Since then, the team have come up with a creative way of providing more homes for their resident rodents: by using old tennis balls.
Alasdair Grubb, warden at Dee Estuary nature reserve, said: “Sadly harvest mice numbers are falling in the UK due to changing farming practices and other pressures on our countryside, so we were delighted to discover they had made a home at Burton Mere Wetlands and were eager to find out how many and whereabouts they were living.”
Game, set, match!
The RSPB got in touch with a local tennis club to help deliver more of these unusual homes which, as well as an excellent recycling solution, will also allow harvest mice numbers to be more closely monitored. Alasdair continued: “Tennis balls might seem like an odd solution, but it’s actually a trick that’s been used with balls from Wimbledon for years. So, I contacted the tennis section at Neston Cricket Club and enquired if they would consider donating any of their used balls.
“The club coach, Dan Stickland, was more than happy to help and provided 35 old tennis balls for me to drill a hole in and put around the reserve in suitable locations; which means next summer I’ll be able to revisit each tennis ball and see whether it has been used as a nest. “As well as allowing us a means of surveying the numbers, the tennis balls also protect the mice from predation and bad weather, and provide extra homes by giving them chance to nest in areas where there might be ample food, but not quite the right conditions.”
"Next summer I’ll be able to revisit each tennis ball and see whether it has been used as a nest”
Here's hoping the mice enjoyed their new homes to read more visit the RSPB here
Roland Garros goes Pink
Court no.1 was given a special makeover this year. In honour of Women’s Day at Roland Garros, the court was covered in bright fuchsia-coloured clay. Chris Evert, former world no.1 and seven-time French Open champion, and FFT president Jean Gachassin led the inauguration ceremony.
Evert was moved to reminisce about about her French Open days: “When I see the courts here, it makes me want to play again,” she said with a big smile, “but you’ll have to ask Martina if the colour changes the game.”
Two Perrier Legends Tournament semi-final matches were played on the new pink surface today: American Martina Navratilova and Czech Jana Novotna faced off against Frenchwomen Nathalie Tauziat and Sandrine Testud, followed by the Spanish-Croatian team Conchita Martinez and Iva Majoli versus the German-Austrian pairing of Anke Huber and Barbara Schett.
For the ladies out there who needed a little break from tennis-watching, a Women’s Village was set up on Court No.4. They could get a new hairdo, try out a wild new shade on their nails, or go work out those knots incurred from cheering on their favourite players with a quick massage.
From l to r : Natalie Tauziat, Sandrine Testud, Jana Novotna, FFT president Jean Gachassin, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova photo courtesy of Getty Images
Thanks to the Roland Garros website and Getty Images for these remarkable pictures.
2012 is a year for anniversaries all over the world and the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic also brings forth a tennis story - two young men, in addition to being survivors of one of the most infamous marine tragedies, also made their names in the world of tennis. Meet Richard Williams and Karl Behr.
Titanic survivors Dick Williams (second from left) and Karl Behr (third from left) appear in this photograph from July 1914. (Credit: Underwood & Underwood/Corbis)
First of all I will admit to not knowing that any tennis players had survived the Titanic disaster, let alone that any were travelling and secondly - there is a lot of information available on the internet which can be found here, in addition to the information below.
Tennis stars among Titanic survivors
It’s a little-known fact that two future International Tennis Hall of Famers were among 713 survivors of the Titanic disaster that claimed 1,516 lives in the sinking of the world’s largest ship during its maiden voyage from Southhampton to New York City on April 14, 1912. The tragedy struck about 1,000 miles east of Boston at 11:40 p.m. as the vessel crashed into an iceberg. By 2:45 a.m. on April 15, the ship had sunk to the bottom of the sea.
L. Jon Wertheim, writing in Sports Illustrated (April 2, 2012), identified the tennis players as Dick Williams of Philadelphia and Karl Behr of New York City. Williams was 21 and Behr 27 at the time of the mishap. Williams was born in Geneva where his father Charles had moved and became a European junior champion. Behr, a US Davis Cup mainstay, had advanced to the Wimbledon doubles finals with Beals Wright in 1907.
Another little-known fact about the Titanic that Wertheim disclosed was it had a squash court. On the two days that the ship sailed in luxury, Williams played squash to keep fit. The squash court and the boiler rooms were supposedly among the first places to flood when water began to gush into the ship after the crash.
Wertheim said Behr and his future wife Helen Newsom, 19, were accommodated in a lifeboat during evacuation proceedings by J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the Titanic owner White Star Lines. Women and children were given priority in the lifeboats but Behr jumped in because “Ismay allegedly told Behr and (Richard) Beckwith (Newsom’s stepfather) to get in the boat, too, because men were needed to help with the rowing.” Behr later claimed there were 45 to 50 passengers in the lifeboat which could’ve accommodated 15 or 20 more. The lifeboat was the second to leave the ship.
Williams wasn’t as lucky in finding space in a lifeboat. Wrapped in a fur coat, he jumped into the freezing water to abandon the sinking ship. Williams frantically swam towards a floating collapsible boat that had not been assembled and held on for dear life with some 30 others. Battling hypothermia, he was fished out after a three-hour wait by the crew of the steamer Carpathia that responded to a distress call. The fur coat was later recovered and given to Williams as a memento.
Believe it or not, three months later, Williams and Behr faced each other on the tennis court at the Longwood Bowl in Boston. Behr won, 0-6, 7-9, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, in a classic match of titanic proportions. Two years later, Williams got back at Behr to carve out a 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 victory in the quarterfinals of the US Nationals – now known as the US Open – in Newport. They were teammates on the US Davis Cup squad in 1914.
Wertheim noted that Williams reigned as the US men’s singles champion in 1914 and 1916 and was on the 1920 Wimbledon doubles champion team. Williams saw action on the US squad that won the Davis Cup in 1925 and 1926. At the 1924 Olympics, Williams played on the champion mixed doubles pair. Williams, a decorated World War I hero with the US Army, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1957 and Behr posthumously in 1969.
Williams died in 1968 at the age of 77 and Behr in 1949 at the age of 64. They were both successful professionals in their post-tennis years. Williams became an investment banker while Behr a lawyer, banker and Board member of companies such as Goodyear and NCR.
To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Titanic disaster, James Cameron reworked his Oscar-winning 1997 blockbuster movie, this time in 3-D, and the remake will open in Manila theaters on Saturday. The original version grossed about $1.8 Billion all over the world. There’s no telling if as many fans will pay to watch a replay of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in a more gripping and intimate portrayal of the tragedy but the betting is moviegoers won’t pass up the chance of reliving the epic experience. “Titanic” is in the record books as the second highest grossing movie of all time, behind Cameron’s other hit “Avatar” and the remake might just bring it over the top.
Williams inspired a scene in the movie. In the actual tragedy, he broke a door to save a trapped passenger and a liner official had the temerity to threaten a fine for destroying ship property. The incident is immortalized in the film.
Wertheim’s piece in Sports Illustrated was entitled “Unsinkable” and appeared in a six-page layout with this inviting introduction: “A century ago, more than 1,500 people died in the most famous shipwreck in history... two of the world’s best tennis players, Richard Williams and Karl Behr, survived the disaster – in very different ways.”
RUMBLED - the man in the Black Hat!
We've also now discovered the identity of the man in the black hat always visible in the Players box - whom the Wimbledon web-site describes as 'The AELTC's longest-serving honorary steward David Spearing, with 38 years of service behind him.'
Thanks to an exhibition devoted to tennis ("Court On Canvas: Tennis In Art" which ran from May 27 to September 18, 2011 at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham), Fiona Walker, then Butler, has been reunited with the image to promote what organisers are billing as "the first exhibition on lawn tennis as a subject in art."
Apparently, more than two million copies of the "sexy" poster, which will appear in the exhibition, have been sold worldwide.
Just for fun, a clothed version of Fiona is shown on the sidebar. To read the full article as it appeared in the Daily Mail click here
That Calendar parody!
Never one to miss out on an opportunity it seems, Pippa Middleton promoted Wimbledon 2013 in her own very special way with the help of Vanity Fair. A spoof article which appeared in the Daily Mail followed as a result of Vanity Fair keeping their version unavailable for general viewing.
The spoof features a lookalike in a modern reproduction of the iconic Athena Poster shot immortalised by Fiona Walker in the 1970s. However, whereas Fiona retained her anonimity for many years, the spoof has made no such concession (except to the body lookalike). Pippa, doomed forever to being affectionately known as 'Her Royal Hotness' following global admiration of her bridesmaids (rear) duties at the wedding of her sister, Catherine to Prince William of Wales is a prime target for featuring in a (not so very original) take on the Calendar shot.
For a reproduction of the article as it appeared in the Daily Mail click here
WTA - Strong is Beautiful Campaign
The WTA unveiled a new global ad campaign with the tag line "Strong is Beautiful", featuring 38 current and next generation stars of the sport.
Drawing upon athleticism and grace - a unique combination that has turned the stars of the WTA into the most recognizable and followed female athletes on the planet - the campaign places the personal stories, pressures and dreams of the players front of stage. The creative is designed to support the WTA's efforts to establish a deeper engagement with fans around the world and to promote both the sport's next generation of players along with current established names.
As I'm an avid follower of tennis I have been struck at how similar some of the tennis players are to other well-known celebrities or public figures and in my youth Chris Evert and I were dead ringers for each other - so I'm devoting the sidebar to this fascinating aspect.
Australian Open Logo
Have you ever wondered who's silhouette was used to represent the perfect service motion? Today I found out - the silhoutte belongs to Stefan Edberg who has also been the latest addition to my lookalikes section.
Not to diminish Stefan in any way here is a short version of his major achievements:
MAJOR TITLES (8) - Australian singles, 1985, 1987; Wimbledon singles, 1988, 1990; US. singles, 1991, 1992, Australian doubles, 1987; US. doubles, 1987.
DAVIS CUP - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996; record: 34-14 in singles, 12-8 in doubles, 6 finals, 4 Cups.
SINGLES RECORD IN THE MAJORS - Australian (56-11), French (30-13), Wimbledon (49-12), US. (39-11).
Mentoring and Coaching Roger Federe (2014-)
Extolling the virtues of Players cigarettes.
Selling popular magazines.
Helen Wills Moody on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1932
Present Day Advertising
The London Transport Museum is reproducing its original artwork on a variety of popular memorabilia.
I particularly like these coasters based on the original poster by a 1930 Charles Burton
Page updated : 15th March 2017