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Federer's 'difficult' moment with future king

Mark Hodgkinson
July 7, 2014
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched Sunday's men's singles final from the Royal Box © Getty Images

Even in defeat, Roger Federer's status at the All England Club borders on the regal, and there were a couple of actual royals on hand to console him after he stepped off Centre Court.

Shortly after the on-court choreography of men's final day was complete and Federer had disappeared from public view, he met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Federer wouldn't have been at his most chatty, "and it was a difficult moment for the three of us", Federer disclosed, "but they were very sweet".

No hangover for SW19's A-listers

Scanning the faces in the Royal Box, it was plain which of the All England Club glitterati have a great love for the sport. A number were back for the second time in the Wimbledon fortnight - not only the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but also David Beckham and Hollywood's Bradley Cooper, best known for The Hangover series.

Clearly, Prince William and Kate hadn't been put off coming to Wimbledon by what had happened on their last visit - they were in the front row of the Royal Box on the second Wednesday of the tournament for a close-up view of Andy Murray's straight-sets demise against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Samuel L Jackson, who had visited the All England Club the weekend before the Championships began, was also in attendance. Also on a return visit was another actor, Hugh Jackman, though he wasn't among the guests in the Royal Box.

Roger and Rosewall

A month from turning 33, Roger Federer has been celebrated this fortnight for showing that players in their mid-thirties can still be a force on the biggest stage. But consider Ken Rosewall, an Australian who was sitting in the Royal Box; he was almost 40 the year that he last appeared in a Wimbledon final. This summer is the 40th anniversary of Rosewall's defeat against Jimmy Connors in the title-match in 1974; unfortunately for him, despite playing in four Wimbledon finals, he never won the title.

If only Rosewall had been a few inches taller, and he would have been even more of a player: only 5ft 7in, and never a great physical presence on Centre Court, he was given the nickname 'Muscles'.

Mark Hodgkinson is the author of Lendl: The Man Who Made Murray.

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