Cliff Richard singing in the rain, a valiant Brit almost making it to the final, Sue Barker’s haggard face as she describes Ana Ivanovic losing in the early rounds… yes Wimbledon is traditionally one long disappointment after another for us Brits. Yet we still get our hopes up every year thinking this time it might be different. At least Maria Sharapova’s frilly skirts and grunts offer some form of compensation.
Well this year’s tournament looks set to be even more of a let down than usual for the Brit brigade with perennial also-ran Andy Murray struggling with back knack.
So who else can us Brits cheer on? Well there’s British No.2 James Ward, who actually reached the semi-finals of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last year. Unfortunately, the Queens tournament isn’t exactly a great gauge of Wimbledon form and Ward was bundled out in the first round of the big one last year. Being Britain’s second best men’s player doesn’t exactly put him up there with the world’s best either. He’s actually ranked 272nd. Still, he’s better than former Wimbledon champion and all-round knob jockey Lleyton Hewitt, who won at Queen’s in 2000, 2001, 2002 – the same year he won Wimbledon – and 2006.
Both Hewitt and Ward have been given wildcards for this year’s Queens tournament because they’re both shit and couldn’t get through on ranking points alone.
“It’s been one of my favourite tournaments throughout my career and to be alongside John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Andy Roddick in having won the title four times is a thrill,” said Hewitt.
“It’s going to be great to come back after my injury and go straight out onto the best grass courts in the world and then hopefully have Wimbledon to look forward to after that. I can’t wait.”
Expect Hewitt’s body to fall apart like a rusty tin man some time between now and the start of the competition.