By Lisa-Marie Burrows
This week has been the opening week at Wimbledon and I have been very lucky to have enjoyed several matches, beautiful weather and of course strawberries and cream! It has been lovely to be back at the All England Lawn Tennis Club again and see the quick paced matches with the players dressed in their all whites at SW19 once more. There are so many wonderful aspects about the third Grand Slam tournament of the year, but here are five of the greatest things about Wimbledon during the first week:
Wimbledon has always kept its tradition of the ballot system to allocate tickets to spectators and for those who were unfortunate enough not to get any tickets there is always the possibility to camp overnight or queue from the early hours of the morning. I decided to take a look at the queuing system this week and expected to see tired eyes, sleepy people and glum faces, but to my surprise it was completely the opposite. Many of the fans of our beloved sport enjoyed camping or arriving at 5am in the morning in the prospect of obtaining a ticket for one of the show courts or a ground pass for the outside courts.
The Outside Courts
During the opening days of Wimbledon the outside courts are a great place to be. Many of the ATP and WTA top players will be showcased on Centre Court or Court No.1, but the outside courts offer the opportunity for you to see many of your other favourite players too. During the opening days this week at Wimbledon, Ana Ivanovic, John Isner, Fernando Verdasco, Sabine Lisicki, Ryan Sweeting, Andreas Seppi, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Mardy Fish were a few of many players who were featured on the outside courts. Spectators with ground passes were able to sit courtside and be up close next to all of the tennis action – with the best views possible.
After the noisy bustle of the clay court season where many of the spectators often chatter amongst themselves whilst watching the tennis, Wimbledon is a far cry different during play. Many of the fans watch quietly during a game, with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ during special moments and the silent mutter when things are going wrong for a certain player. Particularly on the show courts, there is such respect for the players during a game that the sound of a pin dropping could most likely be heard.
The grounds and amenities
Wimbledon is a very special tournament, one of my favourites and after seeing the red clay (and this year blue) for a while; it was nice to see the green, green grass of Wimbledon. The surface is so perfect that it looks more like a green velvet carpet than grass. There is so much to see and do at the venue where you may have the opportunity to have an autograph signed by a player at the Aorangi stand, the practice courts are always bustling with the players warming up and chatting to each other and the food available is of a great variety – you can have pizza, stir fry, salads and many other dishes to quench your hunger between matches.
Strawberries and cream
Strawberries and cream are infamous at Wimbledon and you cannot go to SW19 without sampling that delight. The weather so far has been beautiful, sunny and warm at the tournament and strawberries are the perfect accompaniment to match a perfect day.
If Wimbledon is on your must-see list, you should fulfil this wish soon as it really is one of the most prestigious and traditional tournaments that should be added to any tennis fans calendar to experience at least once in their lifetime.