Today we were fortunate to have been invited to go to Wimbledon as the guests of one of Mike's colleagues. Our tickets were for center court to see the women's semi-finals.
We were VERY lucky that our seats were in the shade. Opposite us, the spectators looked so miserable in the full sun. It was in the high 80's again today.
From our window at lunch you could get a peek at some of the grounds and the other dozen or so tennis courts that make up the Wimbledon facility.
Here's the infamous roof that was constructed this past year to protect the court and players in case of rain. In Houston, we close the roofs on our baseball and football stadiums when the temperatures are this warm, but here that doesn't seem to be considered.
The first match was between Serena Williams and a Russian gal named Elena Dementieva. Serena has made quite an impression this week coming on to court with a short white trench coat over her tennis outfit. Perhaps you can see it in this pre-game shot.
The match was intensely played and very competitive. They were equally talented and played their hearts out.
Throughout the match, the crowds seemed to favor Elena, but you can rest assured that I was cheering on Serena, a fellow American.
Look at the muscles on Elena. She was quite the competitor. She won the first set after a tie breaker game, lost the second set to Serena 7-5....
and challenged Serena to the final point that Serena was able to save. They were neck to neck in the 2 hour, 49 minutes match--the longest women's semifinal at Wimbledon in at least 40 years. Here Serena celebrated her hard fought victory. The question remained who would she play in the finals on Saturday?
Between matches, we had time to look around. At Royal Ascot, everyone is watching the women's hats, but today I couldn't help noticing the men's hats. This gentleman was directly in front of me with his straw hat, and then I began to look around....
and discovered it was the most popular hat of the day.
This gentleman added a matching band around his.
Before the next match, we just had time for a spot of tea
and some strawberries and cream which are a Wimbledon tradition.
We had seen Venus practicing earlier and knew she would be a fierce competitor.
Sure enough, she dominated her opponent, Dinara Safina, a Russian who was ranked and seeded number 1, with sets of 6-1 and 6-0
to beat her in only 51 minutes with hardly breaking a sweat. This sets up a rematch between the two sisters in a Fourth of July final. How American is that? Venus is hoping to become the first woman to win 3 Wimbledons in a row since Steffi Graf. The world will be watching to see if she can.