By Barry Newcombe
Wimbledon’s late, late finish, with Rafael Nadal seeing off defending champion Roger Federer in the gloom of Centre Court, meant that the media operation was still running well past midnight last night.
Nadal won at 9.16pm- as well as the longest in Wimbledon history, it was a final which is being judged in all media today as the greatest ever – and it was three and a half hours later before he arrived at the champions’ dinner in London’s Park Lane.
Both Nadal and Federer went through all of Wimbledon’s ritual media demands before they could leave the grounds – Federer always does a three-language conference in English, French and Swiss-German, and Nadal talks his way through his matches in both English and Spanish.
Coverage of Wimbledon is an ongoing operation by more than 40 countries in written media terms and television coverage goes to 185 countries.
The latest challenge to the press operation for Sarah Clarke and her team was the move up the playing scale of Andy Murray and the surprise arrival of 14-year-old Laura Robson, who lives in Wimbledon, as the first British winner of the girls’ title since 1984.
Whilst the demand for Murray was predictable and well-handled by both Wimbledon and Murray and his back-up team, Robson’s emergence came out of the blue and led to unprecedented attention on Saturday night. But yesterday morning, Robson’s advisors were saying “no more”. Until next year.