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The Moodie Report was fortunate enough to be at Wimbledon yesterday, courtesy of the tennis championships’ official wine, Jacob’s Creek. Alongside our old friend, highly respected IWSR editor and giant of American literature Alec Smith, we were Centre Court guests of Pernod Ricard Travel Retail’s John Smailes and his colleagues Ian Williams, Charles Raciti, Neil Sharp and Ashley Truscott, representing Jacob’s Creek. The wine was plentiful and excellent, the weather mostly dry and the tennis at times spectacular.
You wouldn’t normally find me cheering on an Australian on the sports field (it is a sacking offence here, as well as a moral issue) but in the circumstances, it was impossible not to side with Lleyton Hewitt in his losing five-set battle with Robin Soderling. Partly this was out of solidarity with our hosts: John and Ashley are proud Aussies and Jacob’s Creek is, of course, one of the country’s finest exports. Mostly, though, it was a pleasure to see a former champion play so well following a succession of injuries, and his performance was full of the bloody mindedness you would associate with Hewitt and his compatriots.
The closing game on Centre was less tennis match, more execution by firing squad, with Roger Federer seemingly playing a different sport to his opponent. A real pleasure to watch perhaps the second greatest sportsman of all time at work (click here to view footage of the greatest; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hzEDuHvwYA).
As always, the Pernod team were highly convivial company, and the full range of Jacob’s Creek wines were deployed and dispatched. Here’s hoping Britain’s Andy Murray will be celebrating his first Grand Slam with a glass of sparkling Shiraz in a week or so’s time (unless he loses, in which case he’ll be lucky to get Irn Bru).