One of the hottest tickets in town this summer has to be a seat on centre court. So to increase your chances of being invited into the royal box, here are your Wimbledon aces, lets and double faults.
- Getting there early: Funnily enough, it won’t be only you and Roger Federer turning up at the turnstiles come June. So make sure you arrive well before the marauding masses. This is a day to remember: make it a full, not half day.
- Bringing a brolly: Yes we would all love two weeks of sunshine. But the grey clouds of reality are never too far away. An umbrella will keep you protected whatever the weather. If the sun does shine, then you can always use it as a parasol. However, if you are a vampire. It is recommended to bring sun cream as well. No over rulings on that one.
- Pack a pre-picnic picnic: Queueing is an inevitability at the ALL England Club. Bringing a pre-picnic picnic will allow you to munch in the queue without running out of lunch options. Plus you can make some new friends by offering them a sausage roll.
- Take some cash for teatime: What would Wimbledon be without strawberries and cream? Well, it would still be a tennis tournament, though all the poorer for it. Yes, you may be paying the equivalent of £20 a kilo for your strawberries, but it’s like going to Paris and not buying a baguette. Treat yourself to your hard earned wealth.
- Staying neutral: This does not mean you shouldn’t support your favourite player. But it does mean not wearing any obviously branded clothing. Wimbledon has its own sponsors. It’s best not to promote yours.
- Using a side gate: If you want to cut down the queueing time down for both you and your fellow tennis fans, find a side entrance and you will make life easier for yourself and others. Happy days, sisters and brothers.
- Waving at yourself manically on the big screen: Yes it’s not exactly the coolest of moves, but hey. Your mum is probably watching and she’ll think you are ignoring her if you don’t. It also doesn’t break the code of silence between points. So as long as you keep it to a wave and not “I love you Tony/Dorothy/Tim!”, then all is well.
- Spoiling the view: So you are sipping your favourite tipple on Murray Mount and some socialite stands up thinking its okay to speak to their sensibly sitting friends for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, your view is blocked and your evening is blighted. Don’t be that guy or girl.
- Just focusing on Centre Court: There are 20 courts at Wimbledon. The quality is high and your chances of getting a great seat are much higher if you leave the crowds, instead of finding the next big thing in tennis or a great mixed doubles match involving some legends from yesteryear. For once being centered, or number one, may not do you any favours.
- Expecting a free lunch: Wimbledon looks proper posh for a reason: it is. Lunch can be pretty pricey, so unless you want your credit rating coming under fire. Either take bring a fully loaded wallet or pack a supreme lunch. The Pimms is pretty pricey as well so best to take your own alcohol too. Your limit for the day must not exceed either a bottle of wine or champagne, two cans of beer or pre-mixed aperitif per person. Don’t bring a bottle of whiskey or gin. You will ironically end up sober all day.
- Bringing your own racket: It’s embarrassing. The umpire is not going to let you play. Even if you are as hairy as Pete Sapra. Chances are you can’t serve like he used to.
- Taking the car: Like most places in London; public transport is the one. Unless you like being overcharged by locals, renting their garages out to Joe public, top up your Oyster and use those things most people call legs.