I have been going to Wimbledon for the past fourteen years. Whether it be free tickets, LTA funded player’s passes or queueing up in the mornings; there is nothing more special than the All England Club in SW19.
However, on Sunday I went up to the championships to see an old coach of mine. He recruited me to Mississippi State University and has been a great friend ever since he left a year later. He is coaching Jamie Lee Hampton as he works for the United States Tennis Association now.
He managed to get a me a player’s pass for the whole of the two week championships. This pass means I can basically go anywhere in the grounds including the player’s eating area which is the new tabled part that sits to the side of Centre Court and looks over the back courts.
Sunday: The Day Before…
Lets start off with Sunday and what I managed to see. Being the day before the championships meant that everybody was out there. When I say everybody, I mean everybody. I watched Rafael Nadal hit with Feliciano Lopez and Kevin Anderson. The Spaniard, still best priced at 9/4 by Bet Victor and Sporting Bet, did not seem happy about his playing. I would not worry, I still tip him to win it all this year.
Moving from Nadal practising, I managed to watch players like Ferrer, Tipsarevic, Hewitt and Gasquet. I even shared a little joke with Patrick Rafter, the 2001 finalist, but it did not spark into a long conversation.
Novak Djokovic took to the court after Nadal. Djokovic was hitting with Kei Nishikori, the young Japanese sensation. Djokovic’s practice seemed a lot less intense. This was due to him playing the next day. Rain did stop the practice short but watching the two seeds go at it in practice was something special. Djokovic is still the Favourite at 6/4 by many after a great win against Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Tuesday and it is all BUSINESS
After Sunday’s incredible match, and seeing my Jamie Lee Hampton beat Hantuchova in the first round. I decided to go up on Tuesday. I stayed away from the main courts for the distinct reason that the matches usually are not as good. If you go to Wimbledon early on the tournament, be sure to grab some great tennis on the outside courts. These guys are fighting so hard to get ranking points and money that a tennis match becomes a battle.
Once again I did enjoy the practice courts. Watching Murray warm up against Jamie Baker and then Djokovic play some practice points against Gilles Simon. I also spent time watching James Ward win; although he made is difficult on himself by getting so frustrated at the umpire.
I did not interact too much with many players or coaches. Not for any other reason than the fact that there was so much to see and not enough time.
I will be back next week. Keep checking here as I will be posting some accumulators soon.