Wimbledon diary: Henman defends Konta while Navratilova trolls Trump | Paul MacInnes

Johanna Konta’s spat with a journalist divided opinion but Martina Navratilova’s cap had an unequivocal message for the president

Konta consternation

It may have been men’s quarter‑finals day but the hot topic was still Johanna Konta. The British No 1 had claimed she was patronised by a journalist following her quarter-final defeat by Barbora Strycova and their press conference exchange went viral. The next day it appeared there were roughly two camps on the affair. The first were those who said the questioning was harsh but fair, that Konta has crumbled in the past and is reluctant to admit to it or explain why. The second were those who felt that, while her game may not be perfect and her attitude towards the media consistently stony, the questions – which suggested she “could have done better” and might “have to have a look at herself” – were not appropriate.

Roughly speaking, athletes and fellow pros appeared to be of the latter position. Marion Bartoli gave an extensive interview on the topic and suggested Konta had been “bullied”. Meanwhile, at a press conference to tee up the Open, Rory McIlroy chipped in to agree Konta had been patronised and that “media expectations often exceed players’”. Finally, when approached by the Diary while dashing to the referees’ office, Tim Henman suggested the entire line of questioning was redundant. “When you give 100% on the court, how can you be expected to give any more?” he said. So that’s where we are at the end of day two. It is anticipated that an antagonistic relationship between the media and the sportsmen and women they report on may continue for a while.

Hats off to Navratilova

Giving no hoots this Wimbledon is Martina Navratilova. During the invitational doubles on Tuesday eagle-eyed officials spotted she was wearing a baseball cap bearing the legend “impeach” and was told to take it off. Political messages are banned at Wimbledon. “Sorry about that‚” Martina said, “I forgot I had it on.” Despite this apology, some observers wondered whether this longstanding and vocal opponent of Donald Trump might have accidentally worn the cap on purpose. Their suspicions appear to have been confirmed after Martina tweeted a news report of the incident with the caption: “Oops. Not really:)”

Great entertweeners

Novak Djokovic’s straight-sets cruise past David Goffin in the quarter-finals did at least create one memorable moment, when first the Belgian then the Serb played the ball between their legs. This was the first instance of consecutive tweeners in Wimbledon history. Well, we say that, but we’re still waiting for the stats guys to firm that up, so maybe fans of self-indulgent tennis should not get too carried away.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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