Every year, over 100,000 visitors arrive at Wimbledon to witness what is one of the oldest and most prestigious tennis championships in the world. Since I moved to London, I developed a passion in tennis as I watched the tournaments with top seeds such as Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Murray, Williams sisters, Sharapova battling out for the grand slam titles.
I always wondered what is the atmosphere like live at the games and imagined myself playing on the courts one day, in front of the cheering crowds of thousands.
This year, I decided that I want to be there, and my wishes were granted when I was able to secure two tickets at Centre Court, the main court of the Championship. The tickets will also allow entry to the grounds, which usually require a separate ticket, as well as Courts 3-19. Court 1 and 2 will require specific tickets individually.
With a nick name of “lawn tennis”, Wimbledon will forever be the only tennis major championship still played on grass, the original playing surface of the courts. It had a list of strict rules for its competitors, the most important of which was that all players must wear white colours.
One of the tips given by another friend who visited Wimbledon every year, it is best to visit the practice courts first where you will catch the likes of Andy Murray, Serena Williams practicing ahead of their games. Then, grab your chance to get those autographs you always wanted. Handy tip indeed!
Random fact: did you know that the Slazenger tennis balls used at Wimbledon traveled over 50,000 miles around the world from factories in Philippines before they land in the hands of these famous tennis players?
Just one of these interesting facts I learned while walking around the Wimbledon official shop on the tennis grounds. Alternatively, other visitors queued up outside Centre Court to buy used tennis balls from previous championships for £1 each, for £2 extra, you can buy the official unopened tennis balls from the current championship.
Where were the pigeons? With a natural dislike of pigeons, (coming from the common New Yorker instinct that they are “rats in cuter outfits”), I happily found out that Wimbledon is a pigeon free zone. Thank goodness!
The atmosphere on the courts and off the courts were equally incredible. At one point, two passionate Australian supporters started chanting across various points within the courts and the crowds replied with laughter and enthusiasm.
Overall, it was a wonderful day out and a sneak peek into the traditional Wimbledon tennis grounds where many of the top names in tennis battled out for the Grand Slam title over the years. If you are ever planning to be London for this exciting time, make sure you plan ahead and grab your tickets early as the prices sky-rocket a few weeks ahead of the games!