I can now say that I’ve spent a whole day at Wimbledon. Yes, my first experience at the All England Club. Not to mention that it’s my first experience in Europe, let alone London. From spending what seemed like one day running into the next traveling (wait, it was one day running into the next!), to learning about how to use the Underground “Tube” for cheap easy transit, to figuring out which coin is which when using the currency of “£.” Then trying to do the quick math of how much I actually spent in US dollars. Jason! where are you when I need you?!
After a night that felt like no sleep (jet lag) and now that we (my fiancée and I) had discovered the ins and outs of the Tube, we were off to Wimbledon. The Grand Slam of all Grand Slams. Out of the Southfields stop and walking into the gates, I was in awe. Wimbledon and John McEnroe were the two reasons I became interested in tennis. With a camera in hand and two hours before the first match on Centre Court, we had some exploring to do. (Yes, we were very fortunate that some VERY good people helped us out with tickets on Centre Court.) First stop, Henman Hill. Or Murray Mount, whatever your preference. With a beautiful sunny day hovering around 80°F, it was already filling up with spectators getting seats and sun in front of the big screen. Next we walked by Court 19, where Flavia Pennetta would soon be playing. Right across the walkway, Sam Querrey was slated to play. We kept walking past some more outside courts and came up to Centre Court. It was just shy of two hours before Serena took court. We had plenty of time to cruise the grounds and get some pictures.
12:30 pm. We can’t wait any longer. We saw the order of play for the day and knew we’d get to see both Men’s and Women’s No. 1 players today. First up, Serena Williams handled business without trouble against Michelle Larcher De Brito. Her big serve and big groundstrokes are rather impressive. Next up: the Bull. Rafa Nadal took on Kei Nishikori. A straight set victory with dominating groundstrokes off both wings. No surprises there. However, I must say I really like Nishikori’s crafty game. Though it was a straight sets loss, it was much more competitive than the previous match. Lastly, Robin Soderling took on Robbie Ginepri. All I can tell you is that Soderling CRUSHES the ball. A big guy with even bigger strokes.
After that, we walked the grounds a bit more and caught bits and pieces of some of the outside court matches, then called it a day. We probably would have stayed a little longer if we didn’t have…wait for it…tickets for Wednesday as well!!!!!