Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wimbledon Mania

All the buzz this week is about Wimbledon, especially about Andy Murray, the young player from Scotland who is currently the highest-ranked British player.
Everywhere you go, there are reminders that Wimbledon is holding court. In addition to the players, the big anticipation this year was about the new retractable roof which was added since last year to allow play to continue in the event of rain. Week 1-no rain. Monday night of week 2, it began to sprinkle and the audience cheered the debut of the roof. As luck would have it, it stopped raining before the roof even finished closing, but they continued playing with the roof closed.
So for now, the big weather issue is the heat which has seen the hottest temperatures in 3 years. Heat wave warnings have been issued, but the roof stays open. Thursday we are invited to the women's semi-finals. It meant extending our trip a couple of days, but we figured it would be worth it. We'll be seeing both Serena and Venus in two different matches on center court.
Our friends from Chicago tell us that we are missing the best part of the Wimbledon experience--the queue. Because we are being given tickets, we will enter straight away, but for those who show up each day without tickets, they form long, long queues hoping to get tickets to enter the grounds. Our friends stayed in a line for 5 hours for their tickets, but other friends who went on Friday waited as long as 8 hours. Everyone receives their own copy of A Guide to Queueing reminding them that any "unreasonable social behaviour" is grounds for refusal to entry. If you have to leave the queue for a toilet break, you must negotiate your position with those around you. And as we said in grade school, no cutting or saving places, for sure. It is true that Andy Murray fans began camping out yesterday morning in the queue at 5 AM in hopes of getting tickets to watch today's match at 1:00. They weren't disappointed since he won today in three sets, to set up a very exciting semi-final match. Keep watching and I'll update you after our own Wimbledon experience.

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