After completing ten straight years visiting SW19 I told myself I didn’t need to go again for maybe a few years. Yet, when the grass season arrives, and tennis encapsulates the British summer, I cannot resist those hallowed lawns.
Aside from witnessing a Murray loss, I’d accomplished everything I’d wanted to see here, so we weren’t too fussed on getting a show court. Despite this – such is the popularity of the tournament now – especially on a Murray day, that we had to stay in Wimbledon the night before.
Unlike last year, we chose not to camp but instead an Airbnb effort which – despite being really rather dingy – was perfectly placed and allowed us to get to The Queue at a good time and feeling relatively clean and refreshed.
A pattern that would have to continue; as feared, the queue had reached capacity before the 7.30am slot at which we would usually arrive from Essex; one can only hope this will cease to be once Andy retires.
Anywho, we did manage to nab tickets for Court 2 thus allowing us the chance to stay on one court all day with designated seats – never nice to have to crane the necks whilst court-hopping.
Tsonga and Cilic provide some sparkle as Simona starts us snoozing
Jo Wilfried Tsonga is entering the twilight of his career, and it showed here. But, the enigmatic Frenchman still had the flair, power and shot-making to both remind us of his explosive pedigree of years gone by and kick off the day’s play with a good win over plucky Brit Cameron Norrie.
Simona Halep hasn’t got the game for grass, now whether that automatically means she won’t win here in little under a fortnight remains to be seen of course. But – without any sort of game-plan that looks to heavily employ the slice, volley or any real variation, it would seem a tough nut to crack for the nearly-woman.
One thing that is sure is Simona’s baseline tactics didn’t offer up much entertainment for the paying punters.
Instead, after a brief saunter around the grounds and via a slightly heated exchange with a catering manager over the tournament’s shoddy vegan offering we headed back to no.2 for Cilic vs Kohlschreiber which was the match of the day so far.
The German former top twentier is always good value and on his day very dangerous. His complete game offers a fine serve and a delicious one handed backhand, but age, consistency and a current low ranking meant he wasn’t up to the challenge of one of the tournament favourites,
Cilic looked really good here – his game perfectly suited to the green stuff with that booming serve and some of the best net-play I have seen for a while.
If he can keep some of those wayward groundstrokes under control then the likes of Rafa and Murray should be very wary.
All told, it was a good day of tennis and atmosphere but it was something of a no brainer that we should leave early-ish at six and be back in time for a curry.
We’ll see you again SW19 – but it will be done differently in future.
A smart notebook for work was this year’s gift-shop purchase 😉