The Wimbledon Tennis tournament is a pretty big event of the London Summer calender, it is a worldwide tennis phenomena and I saw it on TV long before I moved to London to live here. Wimbledon is an area in South London and the tennis has given it worldwide recognition. I have been to Wimbledon six times already starting from 1996 and this was my seventh year of going to Wimbledon, this time I went with my sister who was going for her very first time.
It was day 2 of the tournament. I have always gone on the first week of Wimbledon, purely because there are more matches to watch in the first week. In previous years I went and joined the queue from 7am onwards but recently I have been going in the afternoon to get in for around 6pm. That is enough time for evening tennis as thanks to the British Summer and long daylight hours you can still watch matches until around 9pm.
I arrived with my sister at the queue at around 1:30pm, we were given a queue card by one of the stewards and were told it was going to be until around 6pm that we’d actually get in, so that would be a 4 and a half hour wait! That’s pretty normal for Wimbledon (although in 2011 I queued for 1 hour) and the queue was very friendly. There are cut outs of players etc., to look at and some speakers with live commentary to hear as well along the way. You can sit down on the floor during the queue so you can get a rest every now and then. And waiting so long in the queue you get to chat to people around you, which is quite nice and friendly. They give some freebies out too, and this year we got some Lavazza coffee, both to drink and a little packet to take away 🙂
We got in at around 6pm and paid £14 (approx USD 21), which is a very good price indeed. We had a grounds only ticket, i.e we could watch any match in any court, except for centre court, court 1 and 2. We saw a match between two pretty ladies Klára Zakopalová of the Czech Republic beating Daniela Hantuchová of Slovakia 6-4 6-3. And we also saw Timea Babos of Hungary beat Mathilde Johansson of France 6-4 1-6 3-6. They were both entertaining matches right until the end. The referees and linesmen are very attentive and I love their colorful green and cream uniforms with stripes.
There’s a lot more than just the tennis, including quite a bit of food and drink. Strawberries and Cream and Pimms Lemonade can’t be missed. Although at £7.50 for a pint of Pimms and Lemonade it isn’t cheap. We also walked around checking out Henman Hill, which is surreal around the sunset in the late evening. There are some small lake like things there and calm flowing water, which gives the whole place a beautiful nature feel.
So if you live in London then you absolutely have to check out the tennis, the queue is long but as soon as you are inside you forget about how long you were in the queue and it is well worth it. The atmosphere both inside and outside the courts is amazing. The tennis courts are much bigger than you’d imagine seeing them from TV, and the atmosphere is truly electric. What you see on TV is merely an approximation of the atmosphere which is actually there on the day during a match. All well worth it!