I don’t think I’ve missed a tournament in the last ten years. Gone are the days when I was either giving or receiving corporate hospitality. Gone are the free tickets, the private tent with the meal layed out and a television to watch if one just had to pop back for strawberries and cream!!

These days its either queueing overnight or, as this year, being lucky in the ballot. Well, the finalists of the men’s singles competition were hardly a surprise. The ladies final was too one sided to make good viewing but the men’s final was one of the best I recall.

Roger Federer ………………. Venus Williams

This year I got a couple of good tickets for No. 1 Court on the first Tuesday (June 26) and took my niece, Ciaran, who was very good company. It was her first visit and we did it properly with a picnic and Pims !

This was the early rounds which, true to form, consisted of the seeded players (number in parentheses) knocking out the unseeded players.

Here come the line judges………… Here come the players

First up on No. 1 Court was the American James Blake (9) who won convincingly 6:3, 6:4, 6:4, against Igor Andreev.

James Blake Igor

We decided to leave before the end of this game because the result was not in much doubt. We headed off to Henman Hill to have the first half of our picnic and watch Tim Henman in his first round match, which had been carried over from the day before. We now know the result but, at the time, it was very tense on the Hill as he took the fifth set off Carlos Moyer (25) 13:11

The next live match we watched was Lleyton Hewitt (16), who is playing better this year, against the Englishman Richard Bloomfield. This went with the form book and took Lleyton just three sets….7:5, 6:3, 7:5

Another quick break for some rasberries and cream. Strawberries are fine but give me fresh, English rasberries every time. (And anyway the Wimbledon strawberries are overpriced.)

Back on No. 1 Court Maria Sharapova (2) and Yung-Jan Chan were warming up.

Sharapova won the first set 6:1 and although Chan tried to get back into the match and there were some good rallies she lost the second set 7:5

More pictures of Maria than Yung-Jan……Funny, can’t think why?

During the short break between matches we had a cup of tea and checked out the merchandising shop. All far to expensive but the branded head band we got for Ananda was good value. We returned to our seats part way through the first set of the game between Svetlana Kuznetsova (5) and Julia Vakulenko.

Julia took the first set 6:4 but then Svetlana got into her stide and took the last two sets 6:4, 6:3 to win. But actually we didn’t stay to the end which perhaps indicates just how exciting we found it or perhaps we were tired after a longish day. It was nearly eight in the evening and the crowds had sunk away like the sea on a sandy shore.

Trying to catch her eye ……….. “If I ask nicely will you let me in?”


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