Roger Federer’s match with Mikhail Youzhny (I say match, but it really wasn’t much of a contest) was the first ever Wimbledon match to be shown live in 3D to US audiences on ESPN. The US channel has been doing a great job in its first year broadcasting the Championships and watching Federer in full flow was a good way to begin. In fairness to Youzhny, his wife had just given birth to their second child the night before so perhaps his mind was elsewhere. Congratulations to him.
A few days before Wimbledon began, Arnaud Clement was officially unveiled as France’s new Davis Cup captain, replacing Guy Forget, who stepped down after 10 very successful years at the helm. Forget is the new tournament director at Bercy for the indoor event in late October and he will be a tough act to follow. But Clement is well liked by all his players and is in close touch having only just hung up his racket.
The former Australian Open runner-up played doubles here with Michael Llodra and the pair took the Bryan brothers to five sets on Wednesday before finally yielding. It was a great performance and it got me wondering whether Clement could be that rare thing – a player-captain. A quick chat with some of the well-respected French press soon shot me down, although they did say that Clement could certainly practice with his players if need be.
And he would be a great emergency stand-in should someone get injured at the last minute. Though it is rare for a captain to play, it’s not unheard of. Leander Paes was the last to do it, for India in 2008, while Ivan Ljubicic did it a couple of times for Croatia in 2006. So if he wants to, he certainly could.