Tuesday, 1 July 2008


I'm sunburned all over (and unable to wear open-collared shirts until, oh, September), but Wimbledon was awesome. I met Sarah bright and early, we picked up coffee at Cafe Nero, and after taking the bus to London, the tube to Southfields, and a double-decker bus to Wimbledon, we rolled in just as they were opening the doors for the morning.

First of all, Wimbledon is about the cleanest, politest sporting event I've ever attended. I kept waiting for someone to spit sunflower seeds on the ground and maybe sing "You Shook Me All Night Long" in a beer garden, but there was no beer garden. Instead, there was a tea garden. I'd liken it to Disney World, except that everyone seemed to be British, fit, impeccably well-dressed, and insanely wealthy.

The Centre Court and Courts 1 and 2 were reserved for ticket holders, and Sarah had heard that the best bet for people without the pricey seats is to check out the courts where the over-35 bracket is playing, since they're pros who have been around for years but aren't in the thick of the competition. So we checked, and I yelped.

Because Martina Navratilova was playing in the doubles match at 12pm.

We staked that out like it was our job, and after standing on our tiptoes during the first few minutes, we tactically stood behind two men in chinos who looked like they could afford to go to the match that started on the Centre Court at 1pm. At about 12:30pm, they proved us right, and we dove into their spots at the railing and watched unobstructedly as Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova lay waste to Conchita Martinez and Gretchen 'Brick House' Magers. It was sweet. And they not only played a great match, but they had all sorts of friendly banter and we had Pimms, and that makes any afternoon pretty fantastic.

Afterwards, we watched Venus Williams win her quarterfinal on the jumbotron while we ate lunch, and then watched part of a juniors' match, and then got strawberries and cream and hung out. And then I realized that it was 4pm and made a marathon trip across the south of England to make it back in time for a faculty meeting, which I managed with a whole three minutes to spare. (When people asked how the tournament was, I had a difficult time refraining from asking them why tennis players don't wear bras, because that troubled us pretty much all day long.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, it kind of would have been cool if there was a groundling section for bawdy sing-alongs.