Take part in a British tradition – Wimbledon
Part of the fun of visiting different countries is to get involved in something that is intrinsically linked with that country. Sports events are just one way to do this. For instance, when you go to the States, you’d be missing out if you didn’t get to see a real baseball game – the Yankees in New York, or the Cubs in Chicago, for example.
So what stands out as a truly British sports event? There are many, of course; it’s the home of football (soccer) for a start. But if you want something that is quintessentially British, then going to the tennis at Wimbledon really hits the mark.
The great thing about Wimbledon is that you can always get in, if not to a seat on Centre Court, then at least into the ground itself, where you can wander round the outer courts and watch different matches, or watch the bigger games taking place on Centre Court and Court Number One on the big screens.
This year, the favourite to win the Gentleman’s Singles Championship is Novak Djokovic, runner-up in 2014 and winner in 2011. Grass isn’t his preferred surface, though and there are other players who are ranked as favourites for the Wimbledon title this year, not far behind Djokovic. They include Andy Murray, who was the first British winner for 77 years in 2013, and Rafael Nadal, who has won twice at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. Then, of course, there’s one of the greatest Wimbledon players ever – Roger Federer – who will be looking to regain the title and break records by becoming the only person to have won Wimbledon eight times. At the moment, Federer shares the record for the highest number of Wimbledon victories with US player Pete Sampras – both have won seven times.
There are different ways to go about getting a ticket. You can enter the public ballot which is open from August until December each year. If you are successful in getting a ticket allocation, it’ll be for a set day and court and you then choose if you want to buy the pair of tickets or not. They’re non-transferable. The other way to get in to is join The Queue. Wimbledon is one of the few big events where you can queue up for premium tickets on the day of play, but be warned, The Queue can be very, very long and some people even camp out to secure their place. An easier option is to queue for late entry to the Championships after 5pm. Lots of people who leave earlier hand their seat tickets in so that they can be reallocated, so you may even get seats on Centre Court.
Even if you don’t get to see one of the bigger matches, just being at Wimbledon during the Championships is great fun; you get to do all the traditional things like have strawberries and cream, and drink Pimm’s in the sun. It’s always an occasion – and you never know, you may just get to see one of the best tennis matches of the year while you’re there.