Mention a glamorous, world-renowned and highly chic sporting event and Wimbledon is certainly a contender in your thoughts. With strawberries and cream in one hand, a glass of champagne in the other and an ultra-sophisticated pair of shades on dimming the dazzling emerald glare of Centre Court, Wimbledon is the epitome of sophisticated Englishness at its most urbane.
Naturally getting a ticket for this highly sought-after sporting event is not easy as demand is extraordinarily high, especially on the days of the finals. And if a British player manages to make his or her way through the stages and threatens to not only make it to the final but possibly win it, then the Wimbledon British entourage simply go wild.
If you cannot come by one of the ‘golden’ Wimbledon tickets, you could always join the hundreds of others and watch the action from “Henman Hill” or “Murray Mound,” where big screens are erected for tennis lovers who desire to watch the excitement unravel in a genuinely electrifying atmosphere.
Although unfortunately for us Brits, the UK has not produced a winner since Fred Perry won the men’s championship three times back in the thirties and Virginia Wade triumphed in the ladies final in 1977. Whilst Tim Henman might have let us down by getting painfully and teasingly close, will Andy Murray finally end our four-decade long British Wimbledon anguish?
The championships have taken place since 1877 in the south-western London suburb, with stars such as Bjorn Borg, Pat Cash, Ilie “nasty” Nastasie, Billie Jean King, Yvonne Goolagong and Stephanie Graf electrifying audiences with their presence, speed and dexterity.
Some of these tennis stars won the tournament so often that it was hard to get used to their absence when they finally retired – Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Bjorn Borg all had long winning spells, as has Roger Federer, who is still amongst the favourites but is being penetratingly challenged by several players including Scotland’s Andy Murray.
Many improvements have taken place at Wimbledon in recent years. There is a retractable roof over Centre Court to ensure that rain no longer stops play and the capacity of Centre Court has been increased to 15,000 seats – the seats themselves having been padded out and are now more comfortable than ever.
Regular Wimbledon visitor Jed Shorrock who travels from Cheshire every year to enjoy the tennis with his wife says: “It is a fantastic full day out and worth every penny. The facilities are spot on with plenty of bars and places to eat.”
Wimbledon is the original home of world tennis in the same way that Lords Cricket Ground is the home of world cricket and London should be very proud of this fact.