Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Queuing for Wimbledon 2006

Some of you probably know that I was at Wimbledon today due to an over-enthusiastic text message I sent out.

I have always wanted to attend Wimbledon but due to freakish weather of sorts (and general laziness in obtaining the tickets) I have never. But this 'heatwave' (that apparently can kill you) started hitting London last weekend and that was it. Surely this 'nice' weather can't last forever, so it was now or never.

We started queuing at about 6pm on Monday. There were already 11 people in front of us. These are the queue cards that you will receive from the stewards on your arrival if you decide to queue for a next day ticket:

During queue time our address was 'Queue no xx, North side, Church Road' in case we wanted deliveries from the local takeaways.

Tuesday morning and we all have to pack our stuff by 6:45am to move the queue into the golf course...

...where we had to wait until 8:30am to go through an airport style security check. Some people caught up with sleep while some, like Jennifer, played with Nintendo DS (no actually there was just the two of us - no wonder kids were pointing at us to their mothers).

Another queue for the ticket gate which opened at 9:15am. A bunch of Americans eyeing for centre court tickets broke up and went into three separate ticket booths asking about the tickets while pissing the rest of us. They couldn't make up their mind that they had to let us go first. The ringleader (the mum) even had the cheek to ask me to climb over to the next ticket booth so it would be easier for us to go through.

We were in at 9:20am!

And here are our tickets. We weren't as fussy as the Americans. We just asked for closest to the court please and we got just that. Entrance A, row A, Seat 005/006 - that is as close as you can get to the court AND the player's entrance/exit.

Centre Court play begins at 1pm so we wasted time sampling overpriced canteen food and getting rehydrated due to the famous London heatwave.

We headed to the training ground when the rest of Wimbledon opened at 10:30am. Here we saw Russia's Elena Dementieva training for her (then) afternoon match with Maria Sharapova.

Last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist Amelie Mauresmo was also practicing for today's No 1 Court quarter final ladies match.

We saw Sharapova heading towards the training ground...

...where we followed her to see what she was up to. Unfortunately the access to the training ground is restricted so we had to just wait for her quarter final match later in the afternoon.

12:30pm Centre Court. This was our view. The royal box was to our right (out of shot) as was the player's entrance/exit.

That's it for now. I will try to post the pictures (different camera) I took during the Maria Sharapova/Elena Dementieva (pretty dull - and yes their on-site grunting match proved to be popular entertainment to us) and Kim Clijsters/Na Li (more exciting) quarter final matches. That includes the nude streaker that interrupted the Sharapova/Dementieva match.

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elb said...

you camped overnight to get tickets to watch tennis??!?

elb said...

anyhow, hope you enjoyed it :) definitely more fun than my twisted ankle.

abe said...

omg!! you saw sharapova!!! awesome!!

boo_licious said...

Wow! You camped overnite. I did the queue thing once since I was staying in Wimbledon but it was in the daytime but still managed to get in.

Jon said...
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Jon said...
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Bankman said...

I queued up once at Wimbledon starting from 3AM. It was bloody tiring and I didn't last the full day's play.

The sponsors were kind enough to hand out many bottles of the official drink for Wimbledon: "Robinson's Barley Sugar Water" :D

QUIK! said...

I don't believe it, you got Centre Court tickets!!! Freakingly good seats too! And OMG Sharapova!

Thanks for the info, will definitely queue up for next year maybe...3pm!

Anonymous said...

Those are freakingly expensive tickets but man must it be worth it. I would to! Sharapova!

Jon said...

@Boo, We left Wimbledon at 5 something and the queue for the next day's mens quarter final has already attracted around 200 overnight queuers on the north side (note that getting the ground tickets are easy but show courts are high in demand and usually require overnight queueing).

For first week matches I won't bother to queue overnight but for quarter finals (since those are the only tickets available for purchase at the tills) the trend is if you don't queue you won't get good tickets for show courts.

Plus the kids on the front of the north queue were already queuing at 9am!

@Patrick, I have problems with my angle as well. Bloody painful. And it isn't just tennis. It's Wimbledon.

@Bankman, we didn't. But we enjoyed whatever time we had. When we left the grounds around 5 something the queue for the next day's (Gentlemen quarter finals) has already attracted around 100 overnight queuers!

@Quik, see you next year then!

@Anon, the matches were quick. But we had two sets of Sharapova and Kim Clijsters autographs so I guess it was worth it.