I love tennis and I think Wimbledon is the best of the Grand Slam competitions, even the BBC commentators agree with me.
The only problem with Wimbledon is how difficult it is to get tickets. You can apply for the ballot, you can buy some very expensive hospitality tickets or you can queue and hope to get in.
The best time to go is in the first week when there are a lot of matches being played on the outside courts. If you get there early enough, you will see some of the top players practising on the outside courts. I once saw Roger Federer up close and personal when we got in at 11am. You just never know.
How to queueing at Wimbledon
Wimbledon is the only major where there are queues of any sort. Sometimes even 2 day queues when a Brit is playing. This is unheard of at The French Open at Roland Garros where you see half empty courts on the TV.
If you don’t have a ticket, you can queue to buy a grounds ticket which gives you access to the whole grounds except for the show courts. You have to queue up to get the allocated tickets everyday. There are a limited number of show court tickets available daily, that is why people camp out in Wimbledon Park to be at the front of the queue to get one those coveted tickets.
For a chance to get a ground ticket, make sure you get there by 8am latest. You will be given a numbered queuing ticket which ensures that you will at least get in. If they run out, that is the limit of the number of people who can get in on the day. If you have the Wimbledon app, this will tell you if they have reached capacity and will tell you not to travel.
Everyone in your party needs to be there to get one of those tickets. You can’t take extras for your friends. If they are late, they miss out.
Bring some breakfast and drinks while you wait. It can take up to 11am to get in, depending on how far back in the queue you are. In the field where you queue, there are some food trucks selling tea and bacon butties. There are lots of paper boys with daily papers too, in case you get bored.
Bring an order of play so that you can plan which match you want to watch or you will end up wandering around aimlessly after you get in. Court 18 next to Henman Hill has lots of seats and usually have some very good matches playing. Try and get a seat there and you will be guarenteed a day of fab tennis. Late in the 2nd week, there are fewer matches on the outside courts.
Be prepared for the weather. It always rains and can get cold too.
Is it worth the wait?
If you have never been to Wimbledon, absolutely.
Even if you have, every year, there are serious Wimbledon fans who will queue to see their heroes play.
If you get ground tickets in the first week, you are likely to see a lot of the higher ranked players on the outside courts. There is a lot of good tennis to be had even without a show court ticket.
7 Things to do at Wimbledon
- Drink in the atmosphere, it’s unlike anywhere else
- Have some Pimms
- Eat Strawberries and Cream
- Take a walk in the Museum
- Sit on Henman Hill and be part of history there
- Hang around near the Centre Court to spot the tennis stars as they make their way around the grounds.
- Hang out at the Fan Zone to get your Wimbledon Programme autographed
More information on the official site : http://www.wimbledon.com/