Wimbledon diary: Panto season in full swing with thigh slapping antics

Until the last strawberry is squashed under the boating shoe of the last gap year-bound Hooray Henrietta out of the gates at the conclusion of the tournament, Wimbledon is going to fight: no football. Not tomorrow when England resume in the World Cup. Not next Sunday should they get to the final. Not on any handily-placed TV set, or even an unhandily-placed one. Not ever.

Dominika Cibulkova annoyed Johanna Konta. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire
Dominika Cibulkova annoyed Johanna Konta. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire

Stories about the Stalinist crackdown on the decadent soccer farrago as it affected Tuesday’s England-Colombia last-16 match continued to buzz around SW19 yesterday like a beastie who was 24 hours late for Flying Ant Day. Some corporates managed to locate a TV and what they thought was a sympathetic waitress.

“I can’t actually switch over to the football for you but I’ll leave the remote here,” she said. No sooner had she disappeared, though, than the heavy brigade arrived to turn the game off.

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The hunky hero of yesterday’s programme, dashing Argentinian Guido Pella who ended No 3 seed Marin Cilic’s hopes, faces an even tougher test in the next round.

His opponent is Mackenzie McDonald who’s been Brigadoon Invitational champ for the last 100 years. The Diary knows full well that this event is only played once a century but feels that sometimes we’re too hung up on stats.

The Diary wonders what Roger Federer makes of the Not Roger Federer twitter feed.

We hope he’s just as tickled by it. To say it adopts a superior tone is putting it mildly. This was the message the other day to countryman Stan Wawrinka: “Dear Stanford would you like to come to My house for the Switzerland World Cup game? Staff have prepared snacks. You can watch it in the basement, on your phone.”

Poor Johanna Konta having to cope with an opponent, Dominika Cibulkova, who constantly slapped her thighs.

The British girl found this off-putting and complained to the umpire. And the Diary has some sympathy: who expects hoary old pantomime tropes on a sunny afternoon in July?

The Diary, by the way, thinks panto humour peaked at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, in the late 1960s with Cinderella and Stanley Baxter and Ronnie Corbett as the Ugly Sisters.

As the pair descended to the stage in the basket of a hot-air balloon, Ron was flourishing a set of antlers.

“These are for Hearts,” he said. “They could do with a few points.”