As a kid I remember watching Wimbledon every year without fail and dreaming that one day I would get the opportunity to watch a game live as it seemed so exciting and captivating. Then the likes of Sampras and Agassi dominated the men’s game and Graf and Hingis dominated the women’s game. In recent times it’s been Federer and Nadal who have dominated the men’s category and the Williams sisters the women’s category.
On the 28th June 2012, day 4 of Wimbledon – that dream came true. We were up at the crack of dawn to get ready and catch a train to Wimbledon station. Bright and early we arrived at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet (AELTC) Club ready to begin our Wimbledon experience in the much publicised “Queue”. It didn’t help that we chose to go on a blazing hot day when many others seemed to share the same idea. Shortly thereafter we received our queue cards from one of the many stewards and we were number 6125, 6126 and 6127 – can you believe it? The queue card specifically stated that it “does not guarantee entrance to the grounds” but we were hopeful. Word on the street was that the first 8000 were most likely to get in without much fuss. After a couple of hours sitting and chatting, the gates opened and our swift movement towards the gate brought about much anticipation and excitement. I must say for a queue of that number of people the organisation was faultless and commendable.
Before midday we were in and ready to watch some world class tennis. Our tickets allowed us to watch any game on courts 3 – 19. Unfortunately, centre court and courts 1 and 2 are reserved for ticket holders who are fortunate enough to be one of a select few “people”. However, we did get lucky and managed to get into court 2 via the resale of tickets and got to see ladies #2 seed Azarenka and #4 seed and last year’s winner Kvitova annihilate their opposition. Our first stop of the day though was court 10 where we watched South African Izak Van Der Merwe in a doubles match. The other highlights for us were watching: ladies #20 seed Petrova vs Babos and ladies doubles #2 seeds Errani/Vinci vs Birnerova/Cetkovska.
All in all it was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in tennis. I agree with the words of Agassi on a banner that greets you upon arrival “Wimbledon is the place where magic can happen”. On the day we were there Rafael Nadal was magically beaten in a five setter by unseeded Lukas Rosol on centre court! Serena has won her 5th singles and doubles titles and I am currently watching Murray putting in a great display in his first final.