The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Wimbledon Watch: Shaquille O'Neal shows up in Royal Box; Murray pauses for fan's selfie

  • Print

LONDON - Here's a new nickname for Shaquille O'Neal: The Big Tennis Fan.

The former NBA star — who famously dubbed himself Shaq-Fu, Diesel, Superman and The Big Aristotle, among other monikers — showed up at Wimbledon on Monday.

The 7-foot-1 (2.16-meter) O'Neal sat in the Royal Box at Centre Court and joined thousands of spectators in greeting Andy Murray with a standing ovation when the 2013 champion walked out for the first match of his title defence.

After Murray's victory, he got a chance to meet Shaq and chat.

"He's a big boy, that's for sure. He was huge. He's very entertaining," Murray, a big basketball fan, said with a smile.

"He said that was the first time he'd been to the tennis before," Murray added. "He enjoyed it."

— By Howard Fendrich —


SELFIE TIME: Andy Murray found time to pause and pose for a fan's selfie before his first match Monday as Wimbledon's defending champion.

Walking across the grounds at the All England Club less than two hours ahead of his 2014 Centre Court debut, Murray passed a gate where a man and woman shouted out a request for a picture.

With a white towel draped around his neck, a racket bag on his shoulder, and a blue pair of sneakers in his hand, Murray wandered over and obliged.

Here's a photo of their photo:

Rafael Nadal also stopped to make some fan's day by appearing in a picture.

— By Howard Fendrich —


LOST IN TRANSLATION: There was unintended hilarity at Ernests Gulbis' news conference on Monday at Wimbledon, when the Latvian player misunderstood a question.

"Get rid of vampires?" Gulbis replied.

A few minutes later, Gulbis realized he had heard the question incorrectly.

"My God. Umpires? I thought something else. I thought 'vampires,' (like) the people who are surrounding and sucking the energy out of players. That's what I meant," Gulbis said.

The topic arose because three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe said over the weekend he thought umpires weren't needed in tennis and that players could call their own lines.

Eventually Gulbis let everyone know he didn't agree with that stance.

"Without umpires, it wouldn't work," said Gulbis, who beat Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 7-6 (7), 7-5, 7-6 (10).

— By Dennis Passa —


THOUGHTS ON BRAZIL: The World Cup continues to be a topic of conversation at Wimbledon, although defending champion Andy Murray would prefer that it not be included in his daily questions.

Murray was asked for the second consecutive day to comment on England not making it out of the group stage in Brazil.

"I'd appreciate it if that wasn't brought up when I was playing because I'm yet to hear Wayne Rooney talk about my matches at Wimbledon," Murray said Monday after his first-round win. "I don't think it's fair."

Victoria Azarenka had no problem commenting. Her native Belarus didn't qualify for the tournament so the former No. 1 is cheering for Argentina.

Azarenka has her fingernails painted in light blue, in honour of the South American team, although it's Lionel Messi that sweeps her off her feet.

"I love Messi. I think he's one of the greatest players of all time. He's so little, so cute," Azarenka said after advancing to the second round.

"What goes through your mind when you watch Messi?" she was asked.

"You don't want to know," Azarenka replied, laughing. "You don't want to know."

— By Samuel Petrequin —


Wimbledon Watch follows tennis' grass-court Grand Slam tournament in London as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


New Pornographers frontman says latest album is band's 'best'

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


How many wins do you think the Bombers will finish with this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google