BY CALUM FRASER
Tennis fanatics have travelled from across the country – and further afield – to South London and queued for days to get their hands on a Wimbledon ticket. The South London Press met the happy campers to find out whether it was worth the wait.
Alex Hamilton, 24, and Alec Mcloughan, 24, arrived at 11am on Tuesday and they camped for 48 hours to have a chance of getting centre court tickets to see eight time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on Wednesday.
Alex said: “I was bored within in about 20 minutes of being here, but it’s worth it to see Federer.
“I’m freelance and he’s unemployed, so we’re making the most of the opportunity. We saw Federer at the US open last year and went to the ATP world finals, seeing Federer at the O2.
“He’s a wonderful talent. I want to make the most of arguably the greatest talent we’ll ever have. I saw Murray last year, and obviously he is a British legend. But, only just, sort of, Federer is better.”
Sebastian Anthony and Sally Hughes, both 21, left home at 6.30am to get in the queue for 10am on Monday. Seb said: “We’re not massive tennis fans to be honest. We like Wimbledon though. We did this last year as well though.”
Sally said: “I like camping here. It’s a nice atmosphere. You get chatting to everyone around you. Kind of like a festival.”
Elizabeth Gray, 65, and Keya Dasgupta, 67, have been to Wimbledon each year for more than a decade. Keya said: “I always wanted to come but my husband said the queue is too big and you would never get a ticket. I believed him, until my friend said no that’s rubbish. It’s easy to get a ticket. And since then I’ve been here every year. One night is enough though.”
Liz said: “We used to queue up down the road arriving at 3am. But by the time we got in to see the matches, we’d fall asleep, just watching balls go back and forth. So we decided to start camping instead and get up at six. Since the days Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, I’ve always loved tennis.”
Mike Smith, 28, drove down from Manchester on Monday. He arrived at 4pm and camped for two nights to see Federer on Wednesday. Mike said: “Nadal is just not enough. I have to see Federer. I’ve come a few times before for the ground pass. But then I decided, right, I’m gonna come down and camp and see Federer on Centre Court.
“I’m gutted for Murray. I want to watch the football, but the guards said they would kick us out of the queue if we leave, so, no chance. I don’t wanna risk offending the etiquette.
“Wimbledon is a bit like Augusta, that’s the only thing I can compare it to. When you walk through, it’s pristine. Such an immaculate place.”
University students Marcus Fendin and Alex Hernandez travelled from Salamanca in Spain to come to Wimbledon. They said they’re learning a lot about English culture by coming to Wimbledon.
Marcus said: “We’re learning how to queue. We have queued for hours. The best queue of my life. Queuing is typically English.”
They bought a general access ticket on Monday after camping on Sunday night. Then they queued again on Tuesday.
Alex said: “We love tennis, we have been playing since we were kids.
“Being at Wimbledon was amazing. Better than the queue.”