The First Weekend

Wimbledon Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 28 › view all entries
Posers in the Queue
It's Thursday evening...and I'm playing soccer on Oxford's playing fields.  This really feels like a dream...

If it didn't then, then it wouldn't for the next day and a half.  Mostly because I didn't get much sleep...but that still leaves the possibility of stumbling upon another dream.  It happened at 1:45 Friday morning.  I, along with 10 other people, boarded the Oxford Express, a bus service that takes travelers straight from London to Oxford...pretty much all 24 hours of the day.  We were on a quest to see the greatest tennis players...and for 2 weeks only, they resided at a little town southwest of London called Wimbledon.
Doubles action
  I don't recall much of the way there, only that after the bus ride, we had to take two double decker buses to finally wind up in the middle-of-nowhere Wimbledon.  We didn't have a clue how to get there, so we asked the locals.  Finally, we arrived at The Queue.  I capitalize it because it is a big deal.  So big of a deal that they have Queue Cards each person gets letting them know just how much earlier they should've gotten up to be #1 in line....I mean queue.  I was #599 in one queue...x2 brings that to about 1200 people sitting outside the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at 5:30 in the morning.  Impressive.  Awe-inspiring.  Completely insane!

The line picked up around 8:30, security gave us the once over, and we were all let in by 10 am.  I immediately hurried over to Court No.
Stepanek wins
13, where I would witness one of the finest matches of the day.  David Nalbandian and Fernando Verdasco battle it out for 3 hours!  In only 3 sets!  Verdasco won...stomping on paper, yet edging in person, his way past Nalbandian  7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (11-9), 6-2.  After I saw great like Ferrero, Stepanek, Mauresmo, Clijsters play beautiful tennis.  The whole aura at tennis was special.  Strawberries and cream were the dessert of choice, tennis, the game of choice.  I've never seen such great displays of athleticism all in one place.  My grounds ticket cost £17, which gave me access to about...18 or so courts to watch tennis.  It was amazing.  However, I did get to go to Court No. 1 and watch Tommy Haas and Tomas Byrdych battle it out.  This ticket was £47, but luckily, I had some nice friends who let me join them for a little bit.  This atmosphere felt more like a televised match...a lot of hype and electrifying tennis right in front of me...me being from the 4th row. 

When it was all over (the tennis, I mean), I headed back to Oxford, having been a part of something special.  One weekend down, 5 more to go.  :)
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Posers in the Queue
Posers in the Queue
Doubles action
Doubles action
Stepanek wins
Stepanek wins
Thats fast..and it was Mauresmos…
That's fast..and it was Mauresmo'…
Centre Court
Centre Court
Early morning queue-goers
Early morning queue-goers
Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo
Didnt get much sleep...
Didn't get much sleep...
Main entrance to Centre Court
Main entrance to Centre Court
Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero
The handshake
The handshake
Wimbledon
photo by: brettjayhawk