Thanks to Wacky Wednesday and Manic Monday, there are a lot of top players with unscheduled time to fill. Rafa, Roger, Serena, Victoria, Maria and Co will all have expected to stay in the pastoral surrounds of London SW19 until July 7 but, since they crashed out, they have egos to nurse, spirits to cheer and limbs to heal. The question is, where are they taking solace? And how are they dealing with their enforced absence?
Some super-sleuthing from the website bunker has revealed some fascinating cameo glimpses into the down-and-outs’ whereabouts. For example Maria Sharapova, the No.3 seed humiliated in her second round match by Michelle Larcher De Brito, is visiting Stockholm as a tourist. She’s posted high-spirited tweets from the city she describes as the ‘best dressed in the world’ and reveals she is now tempted to start a fashion blog. Don't give up on the day job yet, Maria!
We needn't feel too sorry for Rafa Nadal either. The first shock casualty of the tournament is surrounded by friends as he enjoys a lads’ holiday on the island of Formentera. On 21st June he changed his Facebook cover photo to an image of the sign that hangs above the All England Lawn Tennis Club. By June 30, he had unashamedly updated it to a snap of a beautiful view of small boats bobbing in an azure sea with the caption, ‘Maravilloso! Wonderful!’
Maria Kirilenko, the No.10 seed slain by Laura Robson, hotfooted it straight back home to Moscow where, judging by her social media output, she is enjoying some down time with her boyfriend and cat in their garden – accompanied by exclamations like ‘My Boys!’ and ‘Sweet family home!’ In contrast, Caroline Wozniacki, the No.9 seed beaten in the second round, has silently retreated to her glamorous Monaco apartment with boyfriend Rory McIlroy, who also experienced unpredictable sporting disappointment when he failed to make the cut at the Irish Open.
Roger Federer is trying to move on from his disappointment by filling his diary with comforts. He’s just announced his next tournament will be the Swiss Open in Gstaad, his home tournament, and the event which gave him his first wild card entry (and once presented him with a cow as a prize in honour of his first Wimbledon success). He has also made a point of entering the German Open at Hamburg, an event of which he says he has ‘fond memories’.
The ranks of the injured are in various stages of rehabilitation. Poor Victoria Azarenka – the No.2 seed who had that horrific ‘splits’ slip-up and could not contest her second round match – has been spotted in Aspen, getting her hip checked out. Steve Darcis, who beat Rafa, is channelling the positive energy inspired by fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens to distract him from his shoulder injury while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is resting his sore knee tendons by keeping an eye on the action here and editing photos to post a lovely Wimbledon album on Facebook.
As for Serena Williams? She's at Disneyland Paris. Why not indeed.