Put the footie on: Wimbledon glued to the Euros as much as the tennis

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Wimbledon or Euros? It is a choice sports fans may have agonised over this summer but for those actually taking part in the tennis tournament, the answer is clear: put the footie on.

In the All England Club’s player building, the football has been screened non-stop throughout the tournament.

According to the former British No 1 Laura Robson, who is due to play invitation doubles on Wednesday, players have even been “double-screening” the two events.

“In the player building, that’s been the request on all the TVs for the last few weeks: ‘Can we get the football on?’ We’ll have tennis on one screen, football on the other,” Robson told reporters on Tuesday.

Wimbledon legends old and in the making have also had their attention diverted from the tennis. “[Defending champion Carlos] Alcaraz is a die-hard Spain fan. [Roger] Federer was watching the Switzerland game in his house up the street and he was devastated. Everyone is invested,” Robson added.

After his win on Tuesday night, Alcaraz arrived at the postgame press conference late to watch Spain’s Euros kickoff. He said: “After I finished, I did everything in a rush just to be in time to watch a bit of Spain.”

Once he felt he was “dominating” in his match against Tommy Paul, he said he thought he might be able to catch the game. Smiling, he said: “I thought about it. I thought a little bit I was on time. I wasn’t.”

Alcaraz said Álvaro Morata, Spain’s football captain,was equally keen to watch him play despite their respective matches running close to each other. “When I finished, [Morata] sent me some photos that he was watching the match before their match,” said Alcaraz.

The two competitions have clashed repeatedly since Wimbledon, in south-west London, began last Monday, causing consternation for fans and even the BBC.

The broadcaster is said to have held high-level talks with Wimbledon organisers over Andy Murray’s final farewell at the tournament because of fears they could have coincided with coverage of Euro 2024 and the general election.

Murray’s mixed doubles match with Emma Raducanu was initially scheduled for Saturday evening while England faced Switzerland in the Euros quarter-finals. Raducanu pulled out on Saturday afternoon, avoiding a potential clash between two blockbuster sporting events.

On Wednesday evening, England will be facing the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 semi-final. No major matches in the Wimbledon show courts are expected to clash with the highly anticipated football game.

While the Euros are shown in the player’s quarters, tennis fans hoping to watch the Euros between matches are out of luck. Wimbledon organisers have confirmed they would not be showing the football anywhere on the grounds.

“When you come to Wimbledon, you come to watch the tennis. We think that’s really important. That’s what people have purchased a ticket for,” said Michelle Dite, the tournament’s director of operations, last Tuesday.

For those crushed by England’s previous losses at the Euros and hesitant to dare hope once more, Dite said they were more than welcome at Wimbledon. “If people are still willing to go through the pain of supporting England, they might need a break to come and watch some tennis,” she said.

Source: theguardian.com

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