Wimbledon is back, which means one thing: rain or shine, the whole country will go tennis (and strawberry) mad for a fortnight between the 3rd and the 16th July. But what does Wimbledon really mean for you?
Strawberries and cream – your Wimbledon dream! The mere mention of strawberries during Wimbledon causes sales to spike in the shops and as you savour yours, whether from the comfort of your sofa or in person, seated amid the crowds, you may well be asking yourself what goes best with your strawberries and cream: champagne or tea?
Today’s Wimbledon greats –Will Andy Murray bounce back from his shock defeat at Queen’s Club and ace the Wimbledon title for a third time? This year he’ll be facing extra-fierce competition from Roger Federer who has skipped the clay court season this year in order to concentrate on grass. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is also in fine form following his epic 10th triumph at the French Open last month. So who will it be this year scooping the big Wimbledon titles – whoever they are we’re in for a thrilling fortnight.
The Wimbledon tradition – Wimbledon is a premier world tournament and the eager fans camping outside in the street in order to be amongst the first in line to purchase tickets speak volumes for its immense popularity. It all began in 1877 with Spencer Gore’s win at the first ever Wimbledon Championship, the Gentlemen’s Singles being the only event to be held in those days. Ladies’ Singles events were introduced seven years later and subsequently saw great British winners like Virginia Wade, Annabel Croft and Laura Robson stand proud with their trophies on Centre Court.
Upping your tennis game – Whether you find yourself amid the electric atmosphere of Centre Court or reclining on the sofa at home to watch your tennis favourites, you might well feel inspired to grab a tennis racket yourself, at least for a knock up or two, once the championship is over. Not only is it a fun way to up your game, it’s a great way to keep fit too.
The health benefits of tennis are in fact numerous. Apart from the great stress relief experienced from the exercise and smashing that ball, playing tennis offers many physical benefits too. These include weight loss; improved coordination and reflex skills; increased bone density; as well as improved blood circulation, which in turn reduces your exposure to heart-related diseases.
Not got a Wimbledon ticket?
If you’d love to go to Wimbledon but haven’t got a ticket, the easiest way is to buy them online from the ticket retailer, Ticketmaster. Tickets for Centre Court and Court 3 go on sale via the site the day before each match. Other ticketing sites are options if you want to get your hands on tickets just before the tournament. Try sites like GETMEIN, viagogo and StubHub who sell on re-sale tickets for matches that have otherwise sold out.
To keep up with the latest, it’s a good idea to sign up to the Wimbledon Newsletter where information on ticket sales will also be shared.
If, for you, queuing with the lively crowds is part of the fun of Wimbledon, tickets also go on sale at the All England Lawn Tennis club on the same days of the matches. This explains the camping and queuing early for the chance of getting a ticket for matches on the show courts. Click here to download the queue map You can read more about queuing procedures on the official Wimbledon website.
Bear in mind that on the last four days of the tournament, Centre Court tickets are sold in advance. However, if getting the best court-side seats is not your main objective, there are several thousand ground passes you can pick up each day, entitling you to use any of the unreserved seating and standing places on courts 3 to 19 or you could join the crowds on Henman Hill.
Not attending in person?
No problem. The crowds aren’t for everyone and you, like many, might prefer to watch the action on TV, with the added advantage of excellent views of every game, set and match – plus replays if there are line discrepancies.
As ever, the BBC will broadcast full coverage by tennis veterans Boris Becker and Sue Barker, with programmes expected to start at 11.30am each day, in addition to a highlights show each morning and evening. Interestingly, the BBC will be celebrating 90 years of broadcasting Wimbledon at this year’s Championships.
If you’d prefer to join the action on your laptop or tablet, the official Wimbledon Live Stream enables you to watch online and without buffering.
So what are you waiting for? Get in those strawberries, pop open the champagne (or put the kettle on) and you’ll be ready for a smashing, edge-of-your-seat Wimbledon Championship this year!