At just after 5.30pm, after four hours on a No2 court flooded with sunlight, Lleyton Hewitt drew on what minimal reserves of energy he had left to wave his warmest ever wave to the Wimbledon crowd.
Nearly every player who came in this weekend for pre-tournament media obligations at Wimbledon was asked about Serena Williams, and her chances of sweeping all four grand slam events in one year.
When Andy Murray was crushed 6-0, 6-1 by Roger Federer at the World Tour Finals in London last November, the omens looked bad for his coach, Amélie Mauresmo.
Andy Murray smiles when asked if he thinks it’s true – or not – that Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, “don’t particularly like each other”, as the Serb’s coach, Boris Becker, asserts in a new book that has already disturbed the rhododendrons in SW19.
Andy Murray and Viktor Troicki have history, not much of it light reading.
Rafael Nadal, who won his first grass-court title at Queen’s in 2008, went out in the first round on Tuesday after an absence of four years but said the defeat had not dented his self‑belief for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday week.
While drama spread elsewhere, Andy Murray moved with encouraging dexterity on his return to grass on Tuesday and progressed serenely into the second round at Queen’s.
Andy Murray occasionally likes to dwell on memorable victories, especially at Wimbledon which he regards as his sanctuary – yet he says he rarely looks back at his finest achievement there, winning the title in 2013.
Halfway through Novak Djokovic’s first match of this tournament, against Londoner James Ward on Monday afternoon, a fan shouted: “He’s only human, James!” It brought the usual guffaws.
An already chippy third-round affair between Juan Martín del Potro and Lucas Pouille boiled over on Saturday evening as the players exchanged angry words moments before play was suspended for darkness with Pouille leading 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.
Rarely can so many disbelieving eyes have been trained on Novak Djokovic. The whole of tennis was watching the best player in the world lose the plot, the match and – however briefly – his aura on No1 Court here on Saturday, and it was not an altogether pretty spectacle.