- Wimbledon, Day Eight
Rufus gets back to business on Manic Monday
Feathers stop play
The roof may keep out the rain on Centre Court, but we learnt on Monday that it is not feather-proof. With Azarenka firmly on course for victory, the only thing that threatened to halt her progress was something else falling from the sky as a plethora of pigeon plumage precipitated onto the court. We're not entirely sure how the pigeon got into Centre Court, but we're blaming Rufus the Hawk.
Keeping your eye on the ball
No matter how miserable your Monday was, it almost certainly wasn't as bad as a certain female line judge on Court Two. Keeping her eye on the line as Mardy Fish fired down a serve against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, she failed to notice the 118mph serve fizzing towards her, taking the ball in the eye. Ouch.
Just another Manic Monday
In what is the busiest day on the tennis calendar, the weather was determined to have the last say at the All England Club. With all sixteen fourth round matches (eight men's, eight women's) scheduled, a rainy start to the day ensured play started late. Then, the rain returned later on Monday to stop play - other than under the Centre Court roof, of course, which is proving to be worth its weight in gold.
Up on the roof
Speaking of the roof, we're still a little confused as to who decides when the Centre Court roof is shut and why. It was closed all day on Friday while the sun was out, then when it started raining - forcing the players off for 40 minutes on Monday, the roof remained open. Only a downpour - with no hint of let-up - prompted the officials to shut the roof later in the afternoon.
Dancing her way to the title
The rain delay forced Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic off court while the roof was finally closed, and when the players reemerged from the locker room to resume their match, Azarenka was firmly in the zone - earphones in, dancing away to the music. We're not entirely sure what she was listening to, but judging by the bobbing and jiving, we're plumping for hip-hop. Either way, it certainly worked as she waltzed her way to a 6-1 6-0 victory in 62 minutes.
As the light drizzle arrived on Monday, Yaroslava Shvedova was locked in a battle with Serena Williams. With neither player giving an inch in the third set, the Kazakh began to struggle to see through her glasses. Making the bold decision to take her specs off, it was not long before four-time champion Williams grabbed a break to wrap up victory.
Sabine Lisicki's stunning victory over world No. 1 Maria Sharapova saw her reach the quarter-finals for a third time in four years (she missed the 2010 event with injury). Back in 2009, she saw off French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and last year she got the better of Li Na. This year she made it a French hat-trick, seeing off Roland Garros champion Sharapova in straight sets.
You would never guess, but Lisicki used to hate playing on grass - in part due to being allergic to the surface meaning she often has sneezing fits during matches. The German, who has now reached the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the third successive time, avenged her semi-final defeat last year to send Sharapova crashing out. "I have strong grass allergies and everything was against me liking grass, but at some point I just turned it around and I love it now," she said.