Roger Federer, the Wimbledon Mens' Singles champion for the last four years, is to play this year's tournament with a pre-arranged and self-imposed handicap, says his coach.
According to Tony Roche, Federer is so far ahead of the competition, and so confident that he will retain his crown next month, that he has entered into a wager that he can do so with one hand tied behind his back.
Federer has described his other competitors as "rubbish", and even considered playing blindfolded, but this idea was shelved when, during last week's French Open, he tried the same stunt, and walked straight into the Umpire's chair, dislodging the official from his perch.
The champion is in the same half of the draw as Britain's great hope Andy Murray, but need not fear the Scot. Murray is still recovering from an injury sustained during practice when he tried to retrieve a lob and twisted his knee when he stepped on a dog turd.
Tim Henman holds no fear for Federer either. In an interview yesterday, the Swiss star said:
"If I get to play Henman, I'll be late so that he can get a two-set start."