Maurice and I love to watch professional tennis. We have been to three of the big tennis opens-the French Open, Australian Open and American Open-so Wimbledon was on our list. Last December we signed up for a lottery for two tickets. You couldn’t pick the day or the court but you could get into one of three large, ticket only courts. We actually managed to get two tickets this way-you buy them of course, they aren’t free. I know many people aren’t successful in the lottery after many tries so we considered ourselves lucky. So off we went via the Eurostar to London to a hotel in a suburb of London one metro stop from Wimbledon. It was a great experience. We only got rained on twice briefly, and I got sunburned despite sun screen, and had a great time.
The first day we went, we didn’t have tickets but entered a queue where we had to wait in a very long line for two hours. We discovered once in line that the tickets were cash only so I stayed in line while Maurice went searching for an ATM. The tickets were for the grounds only and you could watch games on smaller outside courts. I was surprised they had a handout on queueing. Apparently, many people spend the night in tents as they can get tickets to the three main courts then they roll up their tents and there is a place for storage.
This is an American player, Melanie Oudin, playing on a small outer court. It’s really great to be so close to the game and I almost got hit by a ball a couple of times during a men’s game. With serves over 120 miles an hour, that ball is really moving fast and sometimes flies out of the court. The grass is so perfect seen up close that it doesn’t look real-except on the baseline which becomes brown as the two weeks move on.
The colors for Wimbledon are purple and green. These waiters were wearing the purple color in a restaurant overhead. There were places all over the grounds to eat, many places selling food to go, champagne bars, beer bars, strawberry bars, etc. There was never a need to go hungry.
Wimbledon is famous for its strawberries and cream so we had to try it. I also had a Pimms, a drink of an English liquor and limonaide which was refreshing on a hot day, and we had an English cream tea too with scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam and that strong English tea which I always have to add milk too. I’m one of those weak tea drinkers.
Seats are hard to come by on the outer courts but I managed to get one. It was so nice to sit down after standing in line for two hours and then standing and watching games. As I said, so nice to see tennis so close.