Centre Court at Wimbledon




But we missed it!



Though we set out at 7am

queued in Wimbledon Park from 8am to 12pm

camped on damp newspapers on the grass

talked to our neighbours

opened umbrellas to shade under scorching sun

or protect us in drizzle.



The queue moved like a sloth

Feet shuffling slowly we got to the grounds eventually

Now which queue to choose?

The one for the toilets, food and drink, the courts or all three?



‘Federer look this way!’ screamed an autograph hunter

A stampede, flash of bulbs, squeals

I tip toed to see over the crowd

Was that a portion of the back of Federer’s head?

I couldn’t be sure.



A trip to the ‘hill’ showed no patch of grass free of human flesh

The sea of faces were glued to the screen which showed Sharapova at some stage in her match.



An hour and a half later we entered court three on unreserved tickets

Marion Bartolli played someone with an unpronounceable name

Smash! Grunt! Smash! Grunt! Echoed from either side of the court.

Our heads swivelled from side to side

Cheers and clapping at each hard won point

Marion pulled through, the other one fought back

A tug of war that went on for a couple of hours

Then the clouds parted with their loads

and the umbrellas went up

The court was covered by tarpaulin


An announcement went ‘that due to the rain, the outdoor courts are closed. If it passes they will re-open for play with the umpire’s advice’

Hard won seats were kept by unbudging owners who wouldn’t move even for the toilet

After an hour, we sensed defeat and headed towards the cafe, along with eight thousand others


Another queue



Warmed up by our sustenance we ventured out into the downpour

Maybe we can get Centre Court re-sale tickets? We mused.


Another queue



Another message to the crowds at 7.15pm

‘The Met Office predictions of continuing rain are confirmed. There will be no more play for the day on all courts except Centre Court, which is now full’




But we missed it!


© Tania Dias