As I sat comfortably on aptly named Murray Mount, I had the perfect spot to watch all the spectators go by and enjoy the ladies’ tense doubles final on the big screen. A perfect place to lay out your picnic and soak up the afternoon rays, in the midst of the most quality tennis in the world. It wasn’t the warmest day of the week, yet the grounds were still crowded with Wimbledon fans and tourists on the penultimate day of the championships. Bars lined the bottom of the hill, with Pimms so appropriately on tap, and although it’s a rather costly drink (£7.80 a glass) it’s the refreshment that everyone craves at such a British occasion.
As most can expect, a day at Wimbledon can be expensive, however there are a few things you can do to keep the cost down. Firstly, bring your own picnic and make the most of Murray mount and the sunshine. Each person is able to take in up to two beers or one bottle of wine into the grounds through security, after that it’s only the bar that will be providing the alcohol. If you just want a nice day out but don’t want to pay for expensive tickets, then simply buy a ticket to use the grounds and watch the big screen. You’ll still get to peruse the other smaller courts and practice courts for some awesome tennis warm ups! Alternatively, you can make an evening of it and buy a resale ticket at just £10 for a centre court seat from around 4pm, all proceeds going to charity.
We were lucky enough to get tickets through our local tennis club ballot. Centre court tickets to watch the Ladies Final on Saturday 5th July. We took up our seats nice and early to experience the build up. It’s incredibly thrilling to be there in the flesh, watching Sue Barker and Lindsay Davenport courtside presenting for the BBC. The match started promptly at 2pm and Canadian player Eugenie Bouchard was set to compete against Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic. With Bouchard being seeded at 13th she was the underdog and everyone loves an underdog! She had not dropped a set throughout the whole tournament and was clearly on a high. The crowd only encouraged her with huge applause at her every move, it was clear that Bouchard had the support of the British public. Kvitova, on the other hand, is a Wimbledon final regular and had the experience under her belt.
It may have been the shortest final game of Wimbledon I have ever seen but the play was still amazing to watch. From the off Kvitova was serving and playing hard, Bouchard had her work cut out for her even just to return a serve let alone win the point in doing so. However, every point won from the 20 year old Canadian blew the roof off centre court with screams erupting from the whole audience. Unfortunately, the consistent support of the crowd wasn’t enough to carry Bouchard to victory. The match was over in less than 1 hour with Kvitova completely dominating the game and winning both sets 6-3 and 6-0.
The best game of the day for me was the mens doubles final on centre court. What an incredible, fast paced, powerful game of four extremely athletic men, battling it out to claim the championship trophy. We spent the entire game on the edge of our seats as Sock and Pospisil faced the Bryon brothers. Service was rarely less than 130mph and rallies were quick and impressive. Sock and Pospisil went on to win the final trophy and celebrations were underway, with Sue Barker commentating and prizes awarded by the Duke of Kent. It was well worth staying later to catch that last incredible game of tennis and it saw us walking back through Wimbledon at sunset.
Throughout the day we were able to explore the impressive grounds and found that there is plenty to see and do, aside from just tennis. Opportunities to buy souvenirs, savour the traditional strawberries and cream, or grab an autograph from the stand near the practice courts, were around every corner. With the beautiful British summer sunshine and the old traditions of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, it’s clear that Wimbledon truly is the ultimate tennis grand slam on the planet!
Best advice I can give is to plan ahead! Firstly, you can drive all the way into Wimbledon and pay £30 for day parking at the Tennis club official parking. Or, watch out for local churches and residents close by offering parking for as little as £20 for the day. Apart from being more expensive the other downside is that you should expect traffic heading into Wimbledon in the morning so leave plenty of time.
Another option is to get the train to Wimbledon; most trains will change at Clapham Common if they don’t go directly to Wimbledon. Some spectators drive as far as Woking or Richmond and leave their cars there with all day parking at around £10. Once at the train station, Wimbledon goers can either get an expensive taxi to the grounds, or for £5 return you can catch the official Wimbledon bus. If you have the legs that can hack it, then it’s a simple 15 minute walk to the gates, so follow the crowds heading up the hill!