How can you get hold of Wimbledon tickets? If you missed out this year, plan in advance for next!
The Wimbledon Championships is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments (the other three being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open). It is widely regarded as the most prestigious among the four, and it has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877.
The tournament usually takes place over two weeks in June and early July, starting on the third Monday in June. This year, the tournament started on 25th June and will end next Monday on 15th July.
There are some interesting traditions when it comes to Wimbledon. Strawberries & cream for example are often associated with it: in 2017 alone, fans consumed 34,000kg of English strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream.
These traditions are what make Wimbledon special, but they can also be confusing to foreigners…Quoting from New York’s champion player John McEnroe on his arrival at Wimbledon in 1977: “I didn’t understand it. I was taken aback by how tradition-orientated they were. Now I understand how some of that is great. At the time, I thought ‘what a bunch of stiffs, I don’t understand this at all’, but I could tell pretty quickly that they didn’t understand me either.”
Why is Wimbledon regarded the most prestigious?
Tennis, like football, cricket and golf, is a globally popular sport that began life in Britain.
It all began with an announcement in the leisure magazine The Field on 9 June 1877: ”The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, propose to hold a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs, on Monday July 9th and following days”.
A total of 22 men participated in the first tournament. Conditions were primitive—a temporary three-plank stand offered only 30 seats— but 200 people attended the final.
With the Gentlemen’s Singles proving a success The Championships expanded in 1884 to include competitions for Men’s Doubles and Ladies Singles. By then, crowds were already up to 3,000.
Now, Wimbledon is one of the world’s 4 Grand Slam tennis events. For the British, according to Boris Becker from Forbes, “it is about hope, determination, and a will to see one of their own players win the ultimate tennis title”.
Of the world’s 4 Grand Slam tennis events, it’s Wimbledon that most captures the imagination of the players and spectators. The sense of history and occasion are second to none. It’s the only one of the major tournaments still played on a grass surface, and it’s winning here – more than anywhere else – that really makes you a tennis legend.
Querrey, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets on Wednesday to reach the third round of The Championships, revealed just why players love Wimbledon so much.
“In my opinion, it’s the best tournament,” he said after his win. “Everything about it is unique and fun. The grounds are immaculate. And I like playing on grass anyway, so that obviously helps.
“It’s just nicer. There’s this attention to detail in the locker rooms, in the food area and the practice courts. Everything is just perfect in a way. Aorangi, the practice courts, everyone gets to practice on-site. No one is at a park, off-site, like the US Open or the French Open.”
Another reason that makes Wimbledon special is that it’s an opportunity to meet Royals. The British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II herself infrequently paid visits to the tournament. Aside from the Queen, the Duke of Kent (the Queen’s cousin) is the president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Where can you buy Wimbledon tickets?
Wimbledon tickets are some of the most prized tickets to any sporting event. Nonetheless, despite the cost, their tickets still sell out fast. There are four places where you can buy Wimbledon tickets. Here’s what the official website says:
- The only way of guaranteeing a ticket well in advance is to use a hospitality provider, such as the Wimbledon Experience.
- You can also buy Wimbledon tickets through the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, via Wimbledon’s UK and overseas Public Ballots, which is how most Centre Court, No.1 Court and No.2 Court tickets are sold. Introduced in 1924, the ballots have always been substantially oversubscribed and so entry does not guarantee a ticket. (Instead, entry guarantees to a place in the draw for tickets—you can’t request for tickets for specific days or courts—the day and court offered are chosen randomly by a computerised selection process.)
- Additionally, you can queue on the day to buy one of around 500 tickets reserved per day for Centre Court (except for the last 4 days), No.1 Court and No.2 Court, on sale at the turnstiles outside the Grounds. The Wimbledon site advises that you should begin to queue at least a few hours before the Grounds open at 9.30.
- Finally, if you are coming from slightly further away and would like to know in advance that you have a ticket, a small number are made available for sale the day before online.