A fun day at Wimbledon 2010

AT LAST AFTER SO MANY YEARS of planning, I finally watched this much-awaited annual British lawn tennis tournament, WIMBLEDON. I started my fascination with the sport when I was in Bangkok (17 years ago) while joining with Filipino friends watching its TV live coverage. I tried to learn the game, but since I was also playing badminton regularly during that time, it was difficult to change the grip of the racket. A shoulder movement is required for tennis while in badminton is a wrist stroke, so I sticked with the latter.

It was a monumental experience to be there and witness the event unfolding. It was a frustrating day to some players and fans especially when Venus Williams lost against  the Bulgarian player, Tsvetana Pironkova; and Kim Clijsters against Vera Zvonareva and of course the unexpected defeat of defending champion, Roger Federer who lost against Tomas Berdych. As of today, aside from Zvonareva who won against Pironkova, Serena Williams, Nadal and the British top player Murray, my favourite player Novak Djokovic advanced to the semis round. It is nice to see new and unknown challengers during the final round of the tournament.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED to attend the 2011 championships slated on 20th June to 3rd July, you can apply for the PUBLIC BALLOT which allows you to watch the games at Centre Court, No.1 and No.2 courts. There are limited seats available on the eve of the day of the play for the Centre Court (on a daily basis), however it is very expensive and the queue is unbearable.  The Public Ballot is open worldwide and the application form can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope or by an International Reply Coupon for foreign applicants from 1st August 2010. Only one application per household and this public ballot does not automatically guarantee a seat or ticket. Tickets are by randomly allocated by the computer and not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts. For further information, visit the link: www.wimbledon.org/tickets.

I got a ground pass for 17 pounds, inclusive of watching games from several courts, except for Centre Court, Courts 1 and 2. I was lucky to be in the queue for less an hour and immediately entered the Wimbledon premises 2 hours away from the start of the games (12 noon). I toured around and even went inside Court No.2 and snapped some photos of the court.  I also explored the facilities/amenities of the venue, including the souvenir and food shops.

Some of the highlights of the tournament since it started its international championship in 1900.

  • American player, May Sutton was the first Ladies champion in 1905 and won again in 1907
  • Australian player, Norman Brooks was the first foreign Men’s champion in 1907
  • In 2009 (June 30), the Central Court’s retractable roof was utilised for the first time
  • In 2010, 48,949 minutes of tennis were played during the tournament before the first raindrops fell in the venue.
  • For 2010 championships, the men’s and ladies’ singles winners receives 1,000,000 million pounds prize and the total winning money for the entire competition is 13,725,000 pounds
  • Andy Roddick has the fastest serves record of 143 mph and Venus Williams of 124 mph
  • More than 54,200 Slazenger balls were used during the two weeks event
  • Hats and caps are top selling souvenirs amounting to 36,632 pieces, including 22,100 tennis towels
  • Around 28,000 kg of strawberries were consumed at Wimbledon
  • 11.2 million watched the event thru BBC One
  • 359 million page views of the official website

ANOTHER SPORTING EVENT will be explored in the future and hopefully planning to be in the US Open or French Open championships. I already watched Australian Open in 2003. Well, expect me to be one of the spectators of the 2012 Olympic Games and watch out for my journals on the various events such as badminton, volleyball, swimming/diving and of course tennis.

~ by reymos on July 1, 2010.

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