16 July 2013

Wacky Wednesday at Wimbledon - my Centre Court experience

When I decided to attend the 2013 Wimbledon, my priority was being in Centre Court on the first Tuesday to watch Serena Williams, the defending champ and my WTA #1, play her first match. The rest was going to be a bonus - I would be happy with a grounds pass just watching the tennis as watching Serena was my only goal.

I was lucky enough to get a Centre Court tickets on Tuesday (thank you Ticketmaster) so I was pretty zen about my final day which I also had a CC ticket for. After whining in 2011 that I didn't believe anyone got tickets through Ticketmaster, I got two Centre Court tickets in a row and I have probably used up all my luck getting tickets ever again!

So, my Centre Court lineup was to be as follows:

1) Victoria Azarenka vs Flavia Pennetta
2) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Ernest Gulbis
3) Roger Federer vs Sergei Stakhovsky

Here were my thoughts leading into the start of play:
1) Is Vika going to be healthy enough to compete? I love Flavia but if Vika feels good she's toast.
2) This should be the best match of the day. I don't like Ernie, but I could see him winning.
3) I will force myself to watch Fed on Centre Court, but Staks is going to win 5-6 games.

Well, those three matches ended up a walkover (and substituted match), retirement and one of the biggest upsets in the history of tennis!


My view of Federer/Stakhovsky
What a day. I stayed the entire day inside Centre Court and watched all the matches except part of Tsonga/Gulbis and it was rather a boring first set and I wanted to charge up my phone (FYI the network inside Centre Court is not good). So I was just watching on a TV just outside my entrance when Jo lost set two and called the trainer. I went back in for part of set three and then Jo retired. I didn't leave my seat again until Federer's match was over.

So many thoughts and here are a few of mine from the day:

1) With all the wackiness that ensued outside of Centre Court, it was extra nerve-wracking to have such a bad network. Especially during Sharapova's loss I was distracted trying to keep up with all the action, which really added to the insanity of the day. For hours at a time I had emergency only data network on BOTH my phones (I suggest to anyone going to the UK to get a free giffgaff SIM card that is a very cheap temp # when you're here - I had two SIMs in prep for queuing).

2) Ana Ivanovic is just a mess. 

3) Tsonga's brain is also a mess. What a disappointment that match was. I know Jo had some injury but still, that first set was dullsville.

4) I thought I ought to see Federer play on Centre Court, and I never dreamed I'd see him lose to Sergei Stakhovsky in the second round. A few weeks later, I still can't believe what I saw. So much was written about the lack of support Murray had during the 2012 Wimbledon final as most felt they were much more supportive of Federer. And yes during the Staks match the crowd certainly was cheering for Fed but I really felt they were supporting both players. Perhaps they were thrilled with the thought of a five-setter after two relatively boring matches. Or maybe they were just keen for an upset. Either way, Staks had a lot of support. But really, Fed lost to STAKS? In the SECOND ROUND? I will never really get over the fact I was there watching this historical moment. Wow.

Wacky Wednesday was certainly hard to believe, and it marked my final day at 2013 Wimbledon. I could have gone another day or two, but felt the crazy day seemed the best way for my visit to end.

No comments:

Post a Comment