Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Wimbledon at the Olympics: Sunday Part 1

In the original ballot of Olympic tickets in the UK, I managed to get a pair of tickets for No.1 court on the first Sunday of the Olympic games.  I was looking forward to seeing how Wimbledon would be different for the Olympics compared to the main Championships. 

We arrived at Wimbledon station at about 10am and walked to the venue where there were many smiley faced volunteers providing directions... naturally we took a shortcut we had discovered just a few weeks ago! The spot of the day actually happened outside of the venue; as we walked towards the grounds, we walked past Mirka Federer, chatting away on her phone and dressed in full Swiss gear!  We were unsure of how the security would be and arrived just before 10.30am.  We were moved along to gate 7 where we had about a 10 minute wait for security and bag checks... and then we were in!

The first part of the day was by the far the most fun.  I had heard reports on Twitter that the grounds were emptier and around the practice courts this was definitely evident.  You could easily get right to the front for the lesser known players; however there were many, many people surrounding court 4 where Roger Federer was practising with Stanislas Wawrinka.  One person behind us said that it was a dream come true to see Federer!

Roger Federer on court 4

Roger Federer

Stanislas Wawrinka

Also practising were Julia Goerges, Sabine Lisicki, Timea Babos, Laura Robson, Maria Kirilenko, Petra Cetkovska, Lucie Safarova, Jurgen Melzer, Nadia Petrova, Sara Errani, Aleksandra Wozniak and Stephanie Dubois.  All the players were sharing courts because they appear to not be using Aorangi for the Olympics.

Julia Goerges practising with Sabine Lisicki

Jurgen Melzer was practising with Alexander Peya

Maria Kirilenko was practising with Nadia Petrova

Laura Robson shared a court with Kirilenko

Petra Cetkovska was practising with Lucie Safarova

Lucie Safarova

Sara Errani

It was one of those annoying days where the showers just kept on coming and the breaks were not enough for lengthy spells of tennis.  The only match I saw some of was the first match on No.1 court between Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini.  When the players did come out after a lengthy delay, they got a huge cheer from the crowd who were obviously eager to see some tennis.  It was obvious to see that there were many people who had never been to the tennis before.  There were these two guys in front us who kept trying to take a picture in the aisles during play and were twice told to sit down! They later claimed to be family friends of Djokovic although surely they would understand you cannot do that during play!

Novak Djokovic


Fabio Fognini

The first set was pretty pedestrian and felt a little like a practice session.  Fognini looked rather nonchalant and there were a number of lazy shots dumped into the net.  Djokovic was not much better as he wasted a chance to win the first set at 5-3 before a first set tiebreak decided things.  Both players had set points as the intensity raised, along with the bubbling clouds.  It looked like a torrential downpour was heading our way with frequent flashes of lightning; eventually at 7-7 in an entertaining tiebreak, play had to be suspended.

The match improved towards the tiebreak

Our seats were in line with net post!


We had a number of torrential downpours

Since we had tickets for Monday and Wednesday on Centre Court, we decided to call it a day at about 5pm and left Wimbledon in the rain.  It was one of the most frustrating days we had at Wimbledon, but the prospect of two uninterrupted days beckoned :-)

Later today - My blog from Monday on Centre Court... lots of action and pictures!!!

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