Just in

Wednesday’s sport

To the many benefits that Abbie summarised in favour of TV watching I would add the capacity to watch several sports on one day rather then being committed to the one you attend.

Yesterday was a case in point when I watched the conclusion on the reserve day of New Zealand v India, the men ‘s quarter finals at Wimbledon and the first of the two stages in The Vosges of the Tour de France.

The only person who thought that the Black Caps could beat India was our very own Pargie who backed them from the outset.

Their total of 239 seemed too low but the pre-tournament predictions of a winning score needing to be 350 plus are long gone.

I suspect though that even Pargie didn’t think India in response would be 5-3. It’s tough enough to lose Kohli and Sharma but – though Jadeja and Khoni stabilised the position – in so doing run rate was becoming a problem. This is the difficulty of losing so many wickets – can you risk losing more to make up the ground? No.

So India troop home, their fans having to dispose of their tickets they mopped up for today’s semi to cover themselves should they be in it.

I enjoy le Tour for different and not altogether sporting reasons.

For me it’s a picturesque trip round France and the Vosges stage was picture postcard.

They have to fill up 4 hours of commentary somehow and one commentator spoke of the monument to the French forced to enlist in the Wehrmacht in World War 2.

One such person was a relative of the commentator ‘s wife. He said that, faced with death to the whole family, there was no option. Maybe.

It’s also true that the French believed Hitler would successfully invade the UK and that would be that.

One French general observed that Britain would have its head wrung like a chicken. To which Churchill later retorted “Some chicken, some neck”.

This was after Operation Sealion – the name for the invasion – was abandoned but even at the time of the invasion the great man warned the Nazis “We are looking forward to the invasion, as are the fishes at the bottom of the sea”.

The stage was won by the sprinter Sagan but today there is “hors categorie “ climb and the peleton will begin to sort out the winners and losers in the general classification.

At Wimbledon men’s quarter finals much has been made of the number of big three’s semi final appearances, less of the virtuosi of the sixties – Lew Hoad, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson – who played in a professional/amateur era and therefore denied the Grand Slam opportunities of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Each of them cruised into the semis.

I enjoy the Ladies more as there is more competition. As the camera on Tuesday switched to the non victorious Lionesses in the Royal Box I received a text from Abbie “Just when you thought you were safe!”

I’m not overly keen on either Sue Barker or Boris Becker and find on the radio Russell Fuller provides the most acute insight. Oh for the days of Dan Maskell and “The smash from Ashe beats the volley from Stolle.”

And “Why Dan ?” from Jack Kramer.

I felt sorry for Johanna Konta.

She had to attend a press conference so soon after her defeat and the questioning from the Express man (my old paper when we had 48 foreign correspondents and Desmond Hackett) was too brutal.

She can now expect to join that long line of British sport men and women an who will be targeted for the rest of her career by our unforgiving press until she breaks down sobbing to be elevated to national treasure.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts