WIMBLEDON has given a nasty shock to some unwelcome intruders electric fencing was put up to stop foxes digging up soil and urinating on the centre court.
Specialists Harry and James Ridley were called up by tournament organisers after foxes wandered in from Wimbledon Common and a nearby golf course.
Now they have declared game, set and match in the turf war after erecting electric fences that deliver a short, sharp shock but do not injure the straying foxes.
WIMBLEDON have hired a hawk named Hamish to discourage pigeons from flying on to the show courts. Now it is the turn of Hawk-Eye.
But this creature is electronic. The BBC, which beams its television coverage around the world, is introducing ball-tracking technology. Hawk-Eye is a fantastic tool which will track the flight of the ball, a BBC spokesman said of the computer-generated replay which can be viewed through 360 degrees.
But what of contentious line calls? It will not be available to umpires and not be used by the club to overrule decisions.
WIMBLEDON will just not be the same in 2003 seven times winner Pete Sampras will not be gracing the centre court this year.
Skipping the tournament for the first time since 1988, the 31-year-old hopes the undying memory for tennis fans will not be his second-round defeat last year by Swiss journeyman George Bastl.
If that's my last image at Wimbledon, my apologies to the people there and to myself, he told the New York Times. I never thought it would be like that. I hope people think what I accomplished there.
For Wimbledon will always be in his blood: I will miss the echo of the ball and I will miss walking out on centre court. I will miss it at 31, at 41, at 61, for the rest of my life.
ONE of the perks of living in SW19, the London suburb that hosts the world's biggest tennis tournament, is the opportunity to rent your home out for a tidy sum during the Wimbledon fortnight.
Family homes are in such demand that some residents even decamp to hotels for the duration of the tournament to enable them to cash in by giving over their properties to players or officials.
But this year tax authorities have promised a clampdown and a leading accountant has warned residents they could have an unexpected visit from an Inland Revenue inspector. AFP