Meghan Markle ‘treading a fine line’ says Palmer
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Ons Jabeur, 27, and Elena Rybakina, 23, will battle it out for the title of Wimbledon champion this afternoon. Both women are aiming for the first Grand Slam title of their careers, with neither player having made it past the quarter-final of a major before these championships. Jabeur booked her place in the historic SW19 final after beating Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the semi-final on Thursday. Victory for the Tunisian third seed would make her the first woman from an Arab country and from Africa to win a Slam.
However, she has a tough match on her hands in Rybakina, who stunned Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 in her semi-final.
The Russian-born Kazakh’s straight sets victory over the former world number one saw her serve get up to speeds of 120mph.
This year’s ladies singles draw has seen huge stars crash out of the tournament, including Serena Williams who was defeated in the first round by Harmony Tan.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has been one of Wimbledon’s top stars over the years, and in 2019 was supported by her friend Meghan Markle.
The Duchess of Sussex, who now lives in California with Prince Harry, watched Williams during her second-round match against Kaja Juvan.
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However, the royal’s visit proved controversial as one Wimbledon fan hit out at her “control freak” security, which she said left her “puzzled”.
Media consultant and journalist Sally Jones claimed one of Meghan’s security guards told her to stop taking pictures of the royal because she was attending Wimbledon in a “private capacity”.
Ms Jones, who sat in the same row as Meghan, claimed she had been unaware the Duchess was there and was trying to photograph Williams.
In a column for The Daily Telegraph about her experience, she wrote: “This puzzlingly random control freakery is in direct contravention of royal practice.
“Most of the Queen’s extended family appearing in public, whether in a public or private capacity, are generally neither surprised nor affronted to be surveyed or photographed by a predominantly sympathetic public, delighted at a chance encounter with even lesser royal lights.
“As a journalist, I have covered scores of ‘royal rotas’ over the years, from the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and Prince Edward’s first appearance as a Cambridge undergraduate on an archaeological dig at the Roman city of Wroxeter to his own wedding at Windsor Castle.
“I have often witnessed the sheer joy created among ordinary citizens by proximity to royalty.”
Ms Jones said she was happily watching the action on Wimbledon’s Court One when she received a “tap on her shoulder”.
The journalist claimed that a royal protection officer in a “suspiciously bulgy blazer and highly-polished shoes” told her not to take pictures of Meghan, despite her only trying to get snaps of the tennis.
His orders were “bonkers”, she said, not least because of the other people in the crowd taking pictures of Meghan.
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She told the Telegraph: “I think this royal protection officer was quite embarrassed.
“He appeared a bit mystified as to why he was being asked to make such a request.
“I told him it was bonkers and that even if I had been trying to snap the Duchess I’d have got a blurry picture of her right ear.
“Apart from anything else, there were hundreds of people clicking away.
“I said to him; have you thought about having a word with any of those television cameras? He looked a little uncomfortable.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement at the time that Meghan attended Wimbledon.
Williams told reporters after her match that she was not aware “there was negative media out there” in relation to Meghan’s visit.
The All England Club also said in a statement to The Times: “Any suggestion that the Duchess’s visit was anything other than a privilege for the club is categorically not the view of the club and she is always welcome to attend the championships.”
Coverage of Jabeur vs Rybakina will be shown live on BBC One from 1pm today.
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