I started my day off at 5AM to get the tube to Wimbledon but the tube didn’t open till 6AM. So I killed an hour with work. After alighting at the tube stop, I caught a bus as instructed. The bus’s 2nd stop was Wimbledon Stadium. I was watching everyone on the bus but no one got off. I was too embarrassed to ask anyone so I hopped off and went to the stadium. The stadium was old, run down and looked like something out of the south akin to a rodeo. I asked a guy who was cleaning up the parking lot who didn’t speak English. I did my best tennis charades and he laughed, and said no and he did his best race dog charades. It ended up being a race dog stadium.
So I hopped back on the bus and this time asked the driver. He chuckled and says its a few more stops. After arriving I was directed to the queue which is where everyone lined up to get a ticket. In British fashion, it was very orderly, polite, and well organized. I was #6237. The open air green grass field was very nice with a burger and drink stand. I met an older married couple from Canada, Malcolm and Ceri. We spent the next 5 hours talking, laughing, joking, and the like. It was good talk.
Everyone in the queue received a ticket and had to wait until the line moved. What was noticeable of the area was the sheer beauty and greenery of the Wimbledon. There was a nice golf course, lush greenery, beautiful trees, and large houses surrounding the area. After about 5 hours of waiting, we got in. The tickets were only GBP20.
The atmosphere in Wimbledon was festive and exciting. However, after I walked in, I immediately lost my new friends who bee-lined to get food while I was taking pictures. Oh well… There are 19 courts with tennis being played everywhere. It was very fun to walk into the courts and just sit down anywhere. Tennis players are walking around to their courts and it’s easy to say hi or get an autograph. I took a picture of the sign ‘no seats reserved’, at least outside of Centre Court, court 1, and court 2. Behind Centre court, there is a Henman Hill (which they were renaming Murray Hill). But some doesn’t think he deserves the honor just yet. The hill faces a jumbo tron on the back of Centre court. Everyone sits there drinks PIMMS and watches the games. I also had strawberries and cream which is apparently a favorite of the fans.
I watched a bunch of junior matches, ladies doubles, and other matches. There were college scouts, notably Duke and Tennessee, at the junior matches. I then watched the Murray match for a bit on jumbo tron. After about 4 hours of tennis, I departed.
The day was fantastic as the weather was nice and the atmosphere festive. People were friendly and all excited to watch the matches, especially Andy Murray. I, now, understand the aura of Wimbledon and why it is such a big event. Not only are the best tennis players in the world present but also the atmosphere, excitement, and interest from the fans are completely consuming. It definitely ranks up with some of the best sporting events I’ve seen like NCAA March Madness and World Cup.