The Championships Wimbledon 2016

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I’ve never been the biggest sports fan but more recently I’ve started to get into it, I mean with an extensive summer sports program it’s kind of hard to ignore! I’ve always said I would enjoy watching sports much more if I saw it live and that’s 100% accurate. I’ve seen a couple of rugby games but that was about all, until Sunday. When it was announced that tickets were going on sale for middle Sunday, my housemate and I jumped at the chance to get hold of some. It’s only the 4th middle Sunday to be played in the 130 year history! I knew it would be a special day out and a chance to find a new found love in tennis (our hobby  of choice this summer but we haven’t played once).

With an 8am alarm set, picnic food courtesy of M&S at the ready and prosecco and strawberries we were set to go. Walking down the hill towards the entrance was incredible – the venue so pristine, green like I’ve never seen! It looked like it should be its own small contained island, almost out of place with the surroundings but just beautiful. You could feel the buzz of guests arriving dressed for the sun with their picnic baskets and champers at the ready! The queue wasn’t long at all and after a quick search we were in.

Callum bought a programme so we could carefully select the matches we wanted to watch. I say carefully but I had no idea what I was doing, luckily he did. We spent the majority of our day on court 2 where we saw two brilliant games, toured the grounds, bumped into a player or two and then ate our picnic on Henman Hill whilst watching centre court. The sheer atmosphere and buzz of the day was brilliant, it almost reminded me of being at Silverstone for the F1 racing in a strange way.

In the morning we saw the ladies’ singles: Timea Bacsinszky vs. Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova. I think I realised the excitement of tennis before they had even started playing. They were warming up, hitting the ball to each other and the power and strength involved was insane. The match was over in 1:18 which seemed to pass quickly but I guess that’s the thing with tennis games – they can fly by or last a lifetime! In contrast the second match we saw on court 2 was the gentleman’s singles: John Isner vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and this lasted 4:24 and was actually carried on from the previous day! I’m not going to lie, it was the most gripping piece of sport I have ever watched. The points went backwards and forwards backwards and forwards,  neither player backed down, they weren’t ready to give up just yet. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house, people came over from centre court when they heard about it. Callum and I by this time had made our way through a bottle of wine and the snacky foods that we could eat without making too much mess. The dilemma of needing the toilet but missing out on an integral part of the match was too much. Clearly we waited it out to the end, I wasn’t prepared to miss the end of the game it was just too exciting! I was cheering for John. It wasn’t until a little way through I realised I was the minority along with his family and friends which made me sad! The crowd cheered for Jo, chanting his name making lots of noise so I cheered John on even more. It was so so close but in the end Jo deafted John and he was a very worthy winner. Best match of the day by far!

The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring and picnic-ing (if that’s a word). We had crisps and dip, sandwiches, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes, strawberries and prosecco. It was such a lovely day we even caught the sun (perhaps a little too much)! We met a few friends who were also lucky enough to get hold of tickets and drank away the afternoon into the evening before taking one last walk around the grounds and heading home, or that was our plan. We headed for the exit and realised another match was about to begin on court 2 and we couldn’t help ourselves. We took our seats and the evening sun was blazing – the perfect time for a pimms! To our dismay by this point all of the bars were closed – fail! We went back to find a seat and watched the first 30 minutes of the doubles game before calling it a day. It had been a long weekend.

So it was a great experience and one I would definitely recommend you take if you ever get the chance. I’ll leave you with 3 tips for going to Wimbledon:

  1. Drinking pimms & champagne is a must (and water so not to dehydrate!)
  2. Take a picnic and a blanket – you won’t regret it
  3. Pack the suncream so you don’t end up a lobster

And enjoy guys and girls!

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