A trip to Wimbledon to watch the tennis is a must for every summer in London, so I was very excited to have a day out on court 2 last week. The weather is such a crucial factor of any Wimbledon experience, unless you are lucky enough to have the golden ticket which gets you into the Centre Court where the roof ensures all day play. Otherwise you are at the mercy of the rain and court 2 is exposed to the elements so we were keeping our fingers crossed.
The excitement builds as soon as you arrive at Southfields tube station, where the platform has a tennis court floor – nice touch! A short bus ride takes you past the queue which has been enormous this year and so very long that the bus driver was warning people not to join it as the wait was 8.5 hours to get into the grounds! We were feeling very pleased to have tickets at that point….
|The platform at Southfields tube station is in the swing of it|
As you enter Wimbledon you are struck by the history of the place as you pass the plaque telling you that the last King opened the grand building of the Centre Court in 1922. Sadly that’s almost as long ago as the last British man to win – Fred Perry in 1936. There has of course been a British woman winner since then as Virginia Wade won in 1977 which was Wimbledon’s centenary year and the Queen’s silver jubilee year so it was a very well timed victory!
|Fred Perry gets a bigger statue than Virginia Wade!|
The famous exterior of the centre court with its ivy covered walls makes an impressive sight as does the terrace of the Royal Box as you never know who you might see there and just once it was me on the balcony on a very special visit which I will always treasure!
|The famous ivy covered centre court and Royal Box terrace|
Wimbledon is very up to date, using the latest technology on court and boasting its retractable roof on the centre court but they keep their older technologies going as well with manually updated Order of Play and Results boards.
|They keep their old fashioned boards|
|Nothing wrong with doing it all by hand!|
After a good walk round to explore the grounds, we headed for Court 2 to take our seats for Lisicki versus Vesnina. We spotted the lines people having a briefing on the way – I do wonder what they were being told… We saw a good match and we spotted Lisicki as someone who could go far with a strong serve and powerful ground strokes. She’s reached the semi-finals so we were right!
|Grounds staff secret briefing|
|Lisicki’s strong serve|
The sunshine was amazing and lots of our fellow tennis fans were getting sunburn but the players were sheltered by the umbrellas held by the ball girls and boys during their change overs. We were treated to a mens match between Berdych and Brands. Looking up I spotted the aerial camera which gives us all those great shots across the grounds and it looked like there was a cameraman up there too – what a great view if you can stand heights.
|Shady moments in the change over|
|The aerial camera, way up high|
If you don’t have a ticket for a show court, the outside courts offer an amazingly close up experience of the game and the players. Then there is the important Pimm’s and strawberries and cream to be consumed – a most important part of a day out at Wimbledon.
|Close to the action on the outside courts|
|Essential strawberries, cream and Pimm’s|
Then the rain came down, the covers came on, the umbrellas went up and that was the end of it, except for the Centre Court and they kindly put his match onto the TV screens so we could watch Novak Djokovic from our rainy seats. However, this was too annoying as we could see the centre court lights but couldn’t get in, so it was time to go home. Even more annoying was that the final match we should have seen was Laura Robson, our British hope, but she had to wait until the next day and we were sad to miss seeing her play.
|On come the covers|
|Watching Djokovic in the TV with centre court behind|
It was another great day at Wimbledon and now we all have our fingers crossed for Andy Murray’s progress to the final. Come on Andy!!
Bye for now,