| LONDON, June 21
LONDON, June 21 (Reuters Life!) - Andy Murray is not sure
whether to bow or not but Serena Williams is taking no chances
-- she is busy practising her curtsy.
For Queen Elizabeth, whose favourite sport has always been
horse racing, is coming to the world's most famous tennis
tournament for the first time in 33 years.
She never misses Royal Ascot's annual festival of top-class
racing. But she has not been to Wimbledon since her Silver
Jubilee year in 1977 when Britain's Virginia Wade won the
Current titleholder Serena Williams. who hopes to be playing
in front of the Queen on Thursday if the draw works out, said
"Wow, this is really, really cool".
"I've been working on my curtsy. It's a little extreme so I
am going to have to tone it down," she said.
Murray is not quite sure what the etiquette will be.
"I don't want to be bowing and the person I'm playing with
walks straight past or the other way round. You obviously need
to have an agreement before you go on," he said.
Wade reckons the royal presence will help to energise the
Scot and really fire up his game which has tapered off since he
reached the Australian Grand Slam final in January.
Last year, when Murray became the first Briton in 71 years
to land the pre-Wimbledon tournament at Queens, the monarch sent
him a note of congratulations.
Britain, which invented the game of tennis and hosts its
most glamorous tournament, has not enjoyed success at Wimbledon
in the men's singles since the glory days of Fred Perry way back
in the 1930s.
BBC commentator Max Robertson was beside himself with
excitement after Wade's victory: "Virginia Wade has won the
centenary title with the Queen watching her. Virginia will be
taking tea with the Queen."
Organisers are hoping -- shocks permitting -- that Queen
Elizabeth will get to watch both Murray and Williams when she
takes her seat in the royal box on Thursday.
But if Murray fulfils the sporting dreams of a nation, she
will not be able to return next week for the final -- she and
Prince Philip will be on a state visit to Canada.
Records show that the first royal visit to Wimbledon came in
1895 when Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria came to watch the
Before his accession, George VI even competed in the men's
doubles at the 1926 championships. He and Commander Louis Greig
were easily defeated in the first round. Their opponents were
spared a trip to the Tower of London.
Princess Diana was lucky enough to attend the nail-biting
1981 final between arch rivals John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
But perhaps the most memorable royal moment was offered by
the Duchess of Kent in 1993. At the prize-giving, she comforted
losing finalist Jana Novotna who broke down and sobbed on her
shoulders after her defeat.
(Editing by Paul Casciato)