Held annually over two weeks in late June and early July, Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament. Hosted right here in the UK, London has been home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championship since 1877, and is one of the largest events held in the city each year. Whether you are a fan of tennis or not, if you’re in the UK during Wimbledon you’re likely to hear quite a bit about it. Read on for some basic info about the matches and how you can enjoy them!
About the Tournament
Wimbledon is one of four major tennis championships in the world, and the only still played on a grass court. Half a million people will attend the tournament, averaging nearly 39,000 attendees each and every day. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the tournament:
- 750 players – both men and women – will take part in the tournament, which is expected to use more than 54,000 tennis balls over the course of two weeks
- The Club is home to Rufus, a hawk whose job is to keep pigeons away
- More than 350,000 cups of tea and coffee are expected to be consumed on-site during Wimbledon
- It would take 290 million tennis balls to fill Centre Court, where the finals will be held
How to Watch
There are three primary ways to get tickets to Wimbledon: purchasing them, entering the lottery, or joining The Queue. The lottery has been closed for months, so if you’re interested in a last-minute visit to the championships, that won’t be an option. Many remaining tickets still available for sale at this point are considerably expensive: a single Centre Court ticket to the men’s final will cost you more than £3000. However, there will be several hundred tickets available online the day before play, so check on Ticketmaster to see if there are any within your budget.
Likely the best option for most students, The Queue makes it possible for anyone to attend matches – especially during the earlier rounds – for a reasonable price, as long as they are willing to wait patiently in order to do so. Many people camp overnight to get in, as wristbands are typically give out at approximately 7:30AM. The rules for The Queue are laid out very clearly on the official Wimbledon website. If you do decide to queue, it is worthwhile to visit the Ticket Resale Kiosk where you can purchase a seat from someone who has finished watching for the day; this is a great way to get excellent seats for a very low cost!
To keep the day budget-friendly, pack your own lunch and bring it in with you. Just make sure you only have one bag per person and you pack your lunch in a disposable container – there are no picnic boxes or coolers allowed in. No selfie sticks either!
If you need directions for how to get there and how to fit in with the crowd, check out this article. Remember to dress for British summer weather, with layers you can add or take off if the temperature changes partway through your day. Bringing an umbrella is a good idea too!
Of course, if you’re not up for The Queue and simply want to watch what’s happening on the courts in SW19 from a more central London location, check out these spots where the matches will be available to view on big screens!