I’ve been a bit distracted from all things blogging recently, due to the numerous sporting events that have been taking place this week.
Namely one above all…Wimbledon! I love it and during the two weeks it is on, I will clear the diary and not do much else apart from watch it – hopefully in person!
I have been going to Wimbledon on and off since 1991, the summer after I really noticed it for the first time.
I had watched it on the telly during the previous summer and it blew me away! The drama and excitement, the lively and interesting players, the beauty of the courts, all played their part to hook me completely and utterly!
Back then there was no internet to look up how I could get tickets so I never really imagined I would ever get to go…until I saw an article in a magazine in my school library that imparted the secret knowledge of the ballot!! That was it! I wrote down all of the details and sent off for my application. In those days you could choose what court and what day you would prefer to attend. I did…and I got the tickets for the following year!! Exciting did not begin to cover it!!
I went with my mum and there started the tradition of our annual Wimbledon pilgrimage.
We managed to go for a few consecutive years, our seats getting better and better on Centre Court until we were down the front. And then nothing…oh we were so disappointed, but I persevered every year and eventually we were picked again!
We have been lucky to have been so often and have seen so many fantastic players and matches over the years. The highlight for me has to be the Heather Watson v Serena Williams match a few years ago. I had never experienced an atmosphere like it at Wimbledon before (or since so far!) and I think the only other event that could match it was the atmosphere at the World Athletics Championships last year, where I watched Mo Farah compete in the 5,000 meters.
This year’s experience did not disappoint however and I was lucky enough to end up on Centre Court again, this time for Magic Middle Saturday, which was a first for me!
I had the privilege of watching Rafael Nadal (there are no words to describe his brilliance!) play rising Australian star, Alex De Minaur. Next up was Angelique Kerber against Naomi Osaka. And last but not least, Kyle Edmund versus the formidable Novak Djokovic.
A fabulous line up, which was topped off by the World Cup quarter finals taking place in the afternoon, with England competing for a place in the semi-finals.
There was a huge buzz of expectation in the crowd whilst the football was taking place, and unfortunately most people cleared out after the Nadal match to try and find somewhere to watch the rest of it. This meant Kerber and Osaka played in front of a fairly small crowd, but it was still a good match, with Kerber winning quite convincingly.
That match finished and attention was turned to the football which was still going on. And when the final whistle was blown in Russia, a huge cheer went up around the court and the grounds at Wimbledon, as England had reached the semi-finals with that win!
It was then time for our own Kyle Edmund to take on Novak Djokovic and the crowd was in a jubilant mood and looking for Kyle to follow in the footballers steps and bring it home for the tennis fans!
Kyle rode that wave in the first set and gave us something to cheer about, winning it 6-4, the crowd erupting on set point! Unfortunately, despite having the rowdy crowd behind him, Edmund couldn’t quite do it and lost in the end. But he put up a great effort, it was a brilliant match and ended another brilliant day on Centre Court!
I love how sport unites and can create a bond between people, even if it is fleetingly. I am a fair weather supporter of football, but I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement, expectation and euphoria which has surrounded this World Cup tournament!
As for Wimbledon, I am well and truly hooked every year, I absolutely love it and will be glued to the rest of this year’s tournament and look forward to more excitement next year, hopefully with more Brits to cheer on!