Saturday's star-studded lineup
Saturday's lineup at Wimbledon is star-studded, highlighted by what could be Andre Agassi's final match at the All England Club.
WIMBLEDON, England -- With England gripped by World Cup fever, attendance at Wimbledon has been down by more than 4 percent in the first week of the tournament after a rain-soaked start turned to blazing sunshine. But organizers do not blame soccer, believing instead that office workers have not been tempted down after work to catch evening tennis as they have in past years.
After a long drought, the opening day on Monday was a washout with only 30 minutes of play possible. Tournament officials gave out $1.83 million in refunds.
Since then, the sun has beamed but the attendance figures have not soared accordingly.
"The numbers have ranged from about 32,000 on Monday to 40,000 on Thursday but we are on average down about 1,700 a day. A lot of things have gone into the mix," said a spokeswoman for the organizers. "Much of our increased capacity is when people come down after work to get three or four hours of tennis in the evening."
Taking rain-drenched Monday out of the equation, the combined attendance for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was 118,837, compared with 124,013 over the same three days last year.
Organizers have decided they will not allow England's quarterfinal World Cup match with Portugal to be televised on the big screen outside Court One on Saturday.
Watching the tennis on the giant screen in warm sunshine on Friday, Wimbledon fan James Daly had no doubt about the attendances.
"It is down because of the World Cup. People are staying at home to watch the World Cup," he said.
Jamie Barton agreed: "Football matters more to most people."
World Cup fever has hit the tennis players too -- Argentina's David Nalbandian asked to play his match early so he could be off court in plenty of time to watch the Argentina-Germany match on television. Organizers agreed and he lost to Fernando Verdasco in plenty of time for the kickoff.
|PHOTO OF THE DAY|
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
A pigeon struts its stuff on Centre Court while Andy Murray (background) played Julien Benneteau.
|STAT OF THE DAY|
|5 -- Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska became the fifth wild card to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon, joining Zina Garrison (1982), Anne Sith (1985), Sam Smith (1998) and Maria Sharapova (2003).|
Each day, ESPN roving reporter Luke Jensen will give his daily picks for the notable matches of the day. Jensen, once again, is picking against No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, going with the sentimental pick and taking Andre Agassi. After four days, Jensen is 148-57 with his picks. |
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|QUOTE OF THE DAY|
When asked if there's any reason why he's 0-9 during his career in five-set matches, James Blake said: "There's no one thing that I'm doing wrong in fifth sets, I don't think. But if anyone can figure out one thing, I'd love to hear it." |