24 JUNE 2008

Even in these early stages a British win at Wimbledon is front page news. But when Elena Baltacha, the UK's number four, made it through to the second round she ended up sharing the headlines with Serena Williams, who arrived under cloudless skies at the All England Club wearing a white raincoat.

Serena, one of the game's noted style devotees, admitted that the mac was unusual garb for a tennis court. "It's not athletic attire," conceded the American player after dispatching her opponent in straight sets. "But it's ladylike and I'm very ladylike."

She was matched for eccentricity by Swiss champion Roger Federer, who sported a Twenties-style gents' cardigan in the SW19 sun.

None of this emphasis on sartorial details was of any concern to the British player, however. Elena, who was born in Ukraine and came to Britain at the age of five, collapsed to her knees and sobbed with joy after her gruelling three-set match.

The 24-year-old's emotional display came after a battle back to fitness – she had keyhole surgery on her back in 2006 - in the run-up to this year's tournament. Her only gripe about the day was not being allowed to take one of the towels provided on court as a keepsake.

Otherwise it was a perfect day. "I was very emotional as this does mean a lot to me. I love playing tennis," she enthused.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Elena, Britain's number four, is overcome with emotion after battling through to the second round of the famous tournament Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Almost as much of a talking point at Wimbledon was Serena's white raincoat on a sun-splashed day in London Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Fellow champ Roger also suprised spectators with his Twenties-style cardi Photo: © Getty Images
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