In June 1999 I took the chance to visit the famous Wimbledon tennis championships in the first week of the tournament.
A certain number of tickets are always available daily at the turnstiles for people who queue for the tickets. This procedure even seems to be a local custom. Also for every person, who finally leaves for the day another person is admitted.
The cheapest tickets are the ground tickets, which are valid for all courts except the Centre Court and court number 1. These tickets get even cheaper when bought after 17:00 h, which mainly makes sense in the first week of the championships.
In June 1999 I got my ground ticket at around 16:00 h, so it was a "before 5:00 p.m." ticket and it cost 10 GBP.
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is considered the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877.
nearest tube station - Southfields
Every year at the end of June and early July sees the lawn tennis championship at Wimbledon, a little town on the outskirts of London. The tournament began in 1877 for gentlemen only and has grown exponentially since then to the world reknowned event we know today. Women were allowed to compete from 1884 and from the turn of the 20th century, participants started to come from outside the U.K. The current facility was opened in 1922 and has been expanded and refurbished.
Wimbledon is extremely popular as a spectator sport. Tickets to the event can be quite expensive but if you arrive at the gates early, you can get a chance at purchasing tickets on each day of the event, some for the outer courts, though centre court tickets may also be available. Early in the tournament, the outer courts will still feature some of the bigger name players as they work their way to the finals. Some of the best known champions have become world wide celebrities, such as John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg,Boris Becker, Billie-Jean King and Stefi Graff just to name a few.
There is also a museum on the grounds which will interest all fans.
Equipment Tickets for centre court are drawn like a lottery called "public ballot". You would have to submit your name and a computer randomly draws names for tickets. The main selection takes place in January and there are smaller selection ballots after that. Tickets are mailed out in May. Only the applicant is allowed to use the ticket and if you can't use the ticket, you must return it to the club for resale. You have to apply by the end of the year previous, but the earlier the better, really.
Having said that, there are up to 6000 tickets available on each day for standing room on the various courts, including about 500 for the centre court and No. 1 and 2 courts. These are in the standing enclosures. You generally have to queue very early for ground tickets. Chances are, some people will have been queueing overnight. Payment is cash only and the turnstiles open at 9:30 a.m.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club
London SW19 5AE
Unfortunally I had never had an opportunity to watch the top tennis playes live, but I never miss a single game on TV. If you are in London at the end of June, attending this Grand Slam is a MUST, but seats need to be reserved well in advance.
While there, spoil yourself with strawberry and cream, the most famous Wimbledon dessert eaten while tennis players are sweating :). They sell like a few tons of it every year.
Wimbledon is also a good place to see the royal family and celebrities from all over the world.
Equipment Sunglasses, hat and a seat reservation!
For tennis lovers, Wimbledon means something special. The Wimbledon stadium is a nostalgic place to visit as it has more than 100 years of history. Since getting tickets to watch the matches at Wimbledon is equivalent enough to winning the lottery, this stadium can be visited when matches are not played to get a perspective. There is a daily tour of the facility which includes a visit to all the outside courts, Court No 1, Centre Court and Henman Hill. The tour also allows you to take a quick look at the enclave where players are interviewed normally after matches. The guided tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. The Visitor Centre currently holds the trophies of both the mens and womens on display. There is a new musuem opening up in the spring of 2006 till which these trophies would be on display at the Visitor Centre.
To reach Wimbledon, take the District Line (Tube) and alight at Southfields (2 stations before Wimbledon station). Once outside the station, cross the road and walk straight for about 10-15 minutes and you will arrive at the Wimbledon stadium. You can also take Bus No 473 right outside the station which will stop right across the stadium.
Cost of the tour: 6.50 pounds
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
One of the places that have fascinated me the most! I have visited at least once on all of my 3 trips to London... Once during the championships (though i didnt have time to see any of the matches...)
The ambience- esp during the championships, is incredible. The hype begins at the tube station itself... and the platform is transformed into a tennis court of sorts!
The walk up to the grounds is worth the time too- with lots and los of tennis crazy people, souvenir shops selling wimbledon merchandise- often on sale, and usually cheaper than what you`d get in the museum shop inside.
When we made our way to the grounds on the last trip, India's Mahesh Bhupathi (former world no 1 doubles player) had just finished his match...would`ve loved to see that one. He's paired up with Todd Woodbridge this year (2005), and so i guess you`ll see a lot more of him now!
The museum too is worth spending some time on... very interesting exhibits- from Bjorn Borg's famous striped t-shirt, to Pat Cash's chequered headband. All there!
Museum timings- 10.30am to 5pm.
Everybody has heard of Wimbledon - the home of tennis, but few realise that the general public can play on some very well- kept courts in London's parks.
It will cost around seven to eight pounds to play in Hyde park , but only about half that in Holland Park and Battersea park.
The other main reason for writing this tip was the chance to include a completely gratuitous picture of Anna Kornikova.
Equipment Bring your own racket and balls
The world's most splendid tennis event - weather permitting - is as much about strawberries, cream and tradition as smashing balls.
Most tickets for the Centre and Number One courts are distributed by ballot, applications for which must be made the preceding year. Try your luck by sending a stamped addressed envelope to All England Lawn Tennis Club, PO Box 98, Church Road, Wimbledon SW19 5AE. Limited tickets go on sale on the day of play although queues are painfully long.
We were lucky enough to get Wimbledon tickets for one day during the 2004 championships.
It was always one of those things that I hoped to do whilst living in London, and I was not disappointed.
The atmosphere was fantastic, and although we did not have tickets to Centre Court, we had front row, base line tickets on Court 1. We saw mens & womens doubles quarter finals, and were excited to see Martina Navratilova win her doubles game.
Equipment To get the tickets we had to enter a ballot, via the wimbledon website. Entries had to be submitted before the end of 2003.
We were sent a letter with details of the day and seats that had been selected for us, and then we could decide if we wanted to buy the tickets, which of course we did!!
Stella Artois Championships, the event for those who want to warmup their feet on the grass before the Wimbeldon.
Held every year in June, just about a week after French Open, you get to see many of the world's top ranking male players.
Just for a fact;, until 2003;
The most wins is John McEnroe (1 double) and Boris becker.
The Youngest is Boris becker
The Oldest is Jimmy Connors
Equipment Just sit back and relax, enjoy the hot summer feel of London on this month.
First two weeks in June are Wimbledon fortnight , and i being a jammy git normally get free tickets for Wimbledon. Which is a class day out for acting like a ponce and drinking Pimms.
The centre and No1 court tickets are pre-allocated but the other courts have tickets you can queque up for- HOWEVER, these are snapped up by the two week a year tennis fanatics who camp out on the bloody pavement to watch some overpaid English player lose to to a 14 year old from Paraguay.
In fact it's a good idea to avoid matches involving Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski unless you want to be surrounded by face painted Daily Mail readers screaming. Henman Hill is a meeting ground for the really sad cases , none of whom ever know anything about the game ,but just show to display a bit of patriotic fervour.
Still the bonus when one of them is playing is that the bar empties and might get a to watch one the legion of attractive Eastern European girls. I love tennis!
Equipment Straw Hat
Plenty of Money
Wimbledon is the world's premier Grand Slam tennis championships. Thousands of tennis lover come to London just to watch that game. You could be there too, wandering around the outside courts, sitting on the fabulous new Number One court savouring those famous strawberries and cream - with perhaps a glass of champagne or Pimms - spotting those tennis celebrities and well known personalities
Equipment Book your seat well in advance.