Kate skips Royal Box for outside court


LONDON: British players are always guaranteed enthusiastic support from home fans at Wimbledon but not often do they receive royal support when playing on an outside court.

Wildcard Harriet Dart was probably surprised, therefore, when she looked up to see the Duchess of Cambridge sat in the front row of seats on Court 14 on Tuesday.

Tennis fan Kate, wife of Prince William, was due in Centre Court’s Royal Box later to watch defending champion Angelique Kerber’s opener and Wimbledon king Roger Federer in her role as patron of the All England Club. But first, she joined the rank and file without show court tickets, many of whom had queued for hours to get into the grounds, to watch British number four Dart, ranked 182 in the world, take on American Christina McHale.

Not surprisingly there were more photographers than usual for such a low-key tussle, most with their lenses trained on the Duchess, wearing an elegant white dress. She was joined by British Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong. Wimbledon’s Instagram feed said as all tennis aficionados know, a grounds pass is where the real action is in the opening days of a Grand Slam.

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