Tennis is my favourite spectator sport. In truth it is the only sport that I can watch for hours on end. I hate Football. It annoys me and I hate all the posing and WAGery that surrounds it. Rugby is tolerable as long as the action is fierce. Golf is like watching paint dry. But a good long tennis match can provide edge of the seat excitement.
My earliest memories of tennis are watching Wimbledon finals as a child. I remember the five set marathon between Bjorn Borg and huge American ace serving Roscoe Tanner, and the “You cannot be serious” ranting outbursts of John McEnroe. Over the years I’ve followed Lendl, Becker, Sampras and shared the futile desire to see Henman and now Murray struggle to get their hands on the championships title.
But I’ve never ventured off the sofa and into a proper tournament until recently. I recent went to Wimbledon in week one to entertain some journalists and we enjoyed lunch and afternoon tea at the “Wimbledon Tennis Experience” before taking a wander around the courts.
Henman Hill is not as big as I thought. There are many restaurants and bars and everyone was dressed smartly for the occasion. Including the incredibly polite members of staff. What a contrast Wimbledon is to grubby football stadiums with their aggressive and unfriendly bouncers.
Sitting on a sweltering Number One Court we caught the end of an exciting match between Sharapova and Pironkova. My goodness doesn’t Sharapova make a noise when she hits the ball? What a racket!
As my skin began to tan, Brit James Ward came onto court to take on the American with the great name, Mardy Fish. And take him on he did. Ward hung on for 5 sets much to the approval of the crowd who always like to cheer for the British underdog. There were some real tense moments and everyone roared for more.
Other things I loved about Wimbledon:
- The ball boys and girls choreographed moves are great to see. You miss this on TV. They obviously receive quite regimented training.
- PIMS , the must have drink, is like weakly alcoholic coke but refreshing and welcome in the blazing heat.
- The feeling that you are in a posh little village rather than a soulless stadium.
- The slow hand clapping when a player challenges a line call.
- The strawberries, naturally, but I put black pepper rather than cream on mine.
- Lansons Black Label Champagne.
Check out my three minute Wimbledon Tennis Experience video which I think captures the atmosphere and thrill of this amazing competition.
What a great day out, and a flight delay on the way home meant that I watched Nadal getting slaughtered on a TV in the BA lounge. I fully intend to venture off my sofa another time. I should never have waited so long.
Over to you: Have you been to Wimbledon? What did you think? Who did you see play? Did you capture any interesting photos or video? Please leave a comment below and share your links and stories.