What We Learned at Wimbledon
June 26, 2010 – AELTC
After spending two days at Wimbledon, we’re now pros — We know the system and how to work it! And make no mistake, you need a strategy.
Just wandering the grounds of the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club) hoping to see a great match won’t work.
Here’s what we learned:
Published “Order of Play” schedules are unreliable.
We checked out who’s playing on what court in the paper that morning, and then re-checked again on the daily printed program (£8). Neither were right, which is a problem because you need to commit to a court early to ensure you get seats.
For instance, we were surprised when we scored courtside seats on Court 12 to cheer for Sam Querrey, only to find we Xavier Malisse and Julian Reister (who they?) duke it out instead.
Turned out to be an excellent match, but flexibility is key.
See above. Once you start changing your mind, you’re screwed. Say, you want to see the record-breaking Isner match, you’d need to line up outside the courts for 2.5 hours to snag a seat. If you’re lucky you can see the preceding matches through the flower beds while you wait in line.
Designate one person to wait in line (see above) and the other becomes the runner – for a refreshing Pimm’s (£6.70), oily Chinese take-away (£8), bathroom break relief. A relay system is essential. BTW, Pimm’s is some sort of aperitif + lemonade = yummy!
If you want to watch the matches on TV, stay home. The hill is a bit of a mad house – lot’s of rowdy Brits, which sounds like it could be fun, but isn’t. Even after getting coveted spots at one of the few picnic tables, I still just put my head down to go to sleep. I blamed jet lag, but I think it was just all the ruckus around me.
When we decided to go to Wimbledon, people asked if we had tickets, and the answer is “Why, No.” We had heard about “The Queue,” where spectators wait outside on the lawn each morning for the release of 6,000 daily ground-only passes (£20). That was our grand plan.
Which worked great the first day. We arrived about 9:15 am and assumed our place in the very orderly line, and settled down to wait until about noon. We sat on our maps, read the paper for the daily line-up, and chatted up the people next to us. Not bad at all.
The second day as were emerging from the tube at the Southfield stop (Note: you don’t actually disembark at the Wimbledon stop), an announcer told us the wait in The Queue was now 11 hours and there were more people, then tickets, available.
Which meant we had to get lucky to get tickets for Day 2. ‘Cause we didn’t just fly all that way across the pond to go to Wimbledon for 1 day, did we? Oy.
Good thing I’m the luckiest girl in the world. Stay tuned for the next post on Wimbledon Day 2!
This entry was posted on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 and is filed under Europe.