Now that you have got your tickets for The Championships, here are some suggestions and tips to make the most of your time at Wimbledon.
Accommodation and reaching the venue
London has one of the extensive public transport systems in the world and you could practically stay in any part of the city and make it to SW19. That said, if you have the choice and would like to limit your commuting effort, then I would recommend staying either in a more central area like Knightsbridge or even Wimbledon itself.
Like most other visitors, I took the Tube to get to the venue. You should take the District Line heading towards Wimbledon; the nearest stop to the AELTC is the Southfields Station from where you can either walk down or take a five-minute bus ride.
Schedule and timing
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Play is scheduled to begin at 1pm on days one-11, and at 2pm on the final Saturday and Sunday. If you've a ticket for one of the Show Courts then you are free to go and watch matches on any of the outside courts. Not only can some of these encounters be more engrossing, but also the sheer intimacy of sitting in a small venue where you and the players can literally look each other in the eye is quite an experience. Also, in the earlier rounds, there's a fairly good chance that you will get to see some really high ranked players in action on these courts. Therefore, once you're inside, the first thing I would suggest is checking out the schedule board for the day to see if there're any interesting matches lined up on the outside courts that you should watch.
"The Championships provide a great opportunity to watch the world's best players from up close during their practice court sessions."
Centre Court has a roof and matches there can run up till 11pm. For other courts, play continues until 9pm or as long as there's adequate light.
What to bring inside
Whatever else you might bring or not bring inside, ensure that you definitely carry an umbrella! While some editions of The Championships have gone by without a drop, there's a far higher probability of a couple of rain showers. Yes, you're allowed to bring in some alcohol -- one bottle of wine or two 500ml cans of beer per person.
What else to do
The sport, incidentally, is not the sole attraction to look forward to when you are in the Mecca of Tennis! I would recommend checking out the following side highlights.
Strawberries and cream: Digging into a tub/bowl/cup of strawberries and cream, while watching tennis gladiators in white go toe-to-toe on the green rye grass, is as quintessential a Wimbledon experience that you'll get. Personally, I found that strawberries and cream look a lot better than they taste. And they are a mite bit pricey. But hey, you're at Wimbledon, go the whole hog!
Henman Hill /Murray Mound: Officially known as the Aorangi Terrace, this open area outside Court No.1 is more popularly known as Henman Hill, and more recently Murray Mound. This mostly grassed banked area usually has a very festive atmosphere with spectators picnicking while enjoying the tennis on a giant screen. But bring on the local favorite on the court and the fiercely partisan crowd will make you feel like you're in a football stadium!
Catch the players from up close: The Championships provide a great opportunity to watch the world's best players from up close during their practice court sessions. There are also interviews and signing sessions with top players near the Aorangi Pavilion.
Celebrity spotting: Wimbledon attracts the who's who of the world -- from British royalty to Hollywood celebrities. Your trip to The Championships could potentially lead to that unforgettable selfie moment!
In conclusion, all I would recommend is that you use your visit to soak in the experience of being there. Because as the day's play ends and you walk across the grounds with the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" playing in the background, you are in tennis paradise.
Inside the venue - AELTC
Inside the venue - Order of Play
Meeting Players - Murray
Rains and covers
Side court action
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