wimbledon, on the d list


TSF note: Tennis Chatter’s Nick McCarvel is in London this week, doing his time as a Wimbledon fan by queueing up for tickets. He’s graciously offered report back through TSF even though he’s also writing for the New York Times’ Straight Sets blog (Mazel tov!). Read on…

The tennis was in full force yesterday at the All England Club for day one of the 2009 Championships. As play was called to start over the loud speakers just before noon, there were bright blue skies above head – an unusual sight. Maybe that roof wasn’t necessary, after all?

If you’ve never been to a professional tennis event, one of the funnest things about them is how close you can get to the players. “Oh! There’s James Blake practicing on Court 5″ and “Whoops! Sorry Maria, didn’t mean to bump into you on the way to the bathroom.” It’s like a little town and you’re all just chum-chum with each other.

But, my favorite part of being at big tourneys like this is the D-List sightings. You know what I mean. Not the Andy, Roger, Rafa and Serena sightings… more like the “Isn’t that Sesil’s mom?!” and “OMG I think that’s Jill Craybas’ hitting partner!” Here’s a few of my Monday bump-ins:

Tracy Austin in a hideous, leprechaun green get-up courtside during Michelle Larcher de Brito’s first round encounter on Court 17. Austin appeared to be doing some sideline commentating off-and-on during the match (fact check, anyone?!). But Austin was most definitely not happy when Ms. Grunty herself walked past her after the match without so much as a head nod. Inter-generational bitch fight? I sure hope so. Divas got ‘tude!

Paradorn Schrichapan and Miss Universe wife (Natalie Glebova) hanging out outside of Centre Court while wifey tried to argue her way in without a pass. Paradorn looked sexy in street clothes (a black tee and jeans), while Natalie must’ve been saying: “Look, my name totally sounds like one of these tennis phenom names. I’m an OVA! Just let me in and I’ll let you see my Miss Universe crown.”

Karolina Sprem playing out on Court 8 against Regina Spector?!? No, it was Regina Kulikova. But in any case, I got within feet of Daddy Sprem, my fav character from Wimbledon 2004 when Sprem upset Venus on Centre Court in that weird the-umpire-just-got-the-score-wrong tie-break. They kept showing Sprem’s dad like he was the King of England. Well, FYI, he and I are like BFFs now so don’t worry about it.

Daniela Hantuchova walking by me beside Court 8, right after she had beat Laura Robson. “Dani!” I wanted to run after her. “How does it feel to be relegated to an everyone-is-paying-attention-to-my-opponent media trainwreck?!” She didn’t hear me asking the question in my mind, so just kept on striding by. I wonder if she ever thinks of this anymore?

More D-List to come soon, folks!


  1. Alex says

    The delightful Ms. Austin enthrals us BBC voewers with her highly insightful,reasoned, and humerous observations. Today she is wearing a geisha pink number.

  2. Denise says

    Great blogging, Nick—really feel like I am there with you making snarky comments together. Can you hear my thoughts? Some sort of telepathic connection………


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