Make sure to bring your strawberries when visiting the most famous tennis tournament in the world. Perhaps as old as the event itself, eating strawberries at this competition is a long tradition that both players and spectators enjoy.
Some call it Wimbledon. Other’s simply refer to it as “the Championships.” It’s the oldest, and perhaps most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and it is held every year in small part of London, called Wimbledon.
Since 1877, the All England Club has hosted this tremendously popular event, among other well-known tournaments. Besides the fame, the location, and the long list of famous athletes who have competed on it’s courts, one special fact about Wimbledon drives many to play here. It is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament that touts grass courts.
The event takes place over one fortnight, and consists of five different divisions: the Gentlemen’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles, Gentlemen’s Doubles, Ladies’ Doubles, and finally the Mixed Doubles. Prize money has been given to the winners since 1968, which was the first year that professional players were eligible to compete in this tournament. This year, at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, the total prize fund is over 12 million pounds (about 20 million dollars). The singles champions themselves receive around 1.5 million for a first place victory.
Although it’s not recommended to show up without tickets to Wimbledon, it is the only grand slam tourney where spectators and fans can try and get seats without reservations. There is a queue at the entrance where a few lucky people can hope to get in, but usually the line begins to form before midnight.
Whether it’s the 2004 Wimbledon movie starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst, or the growing interest for Tennis in general, the Wimbledon Championships have become increasingly popular over the years. Hotels in the area are being booked quickly and officials in the area are preparing for the influx of tourists.
This year, the 2009 Wimbledon Tennis Championships begins on June 22nd, and runs until July 5th. Don’t expect to be able to park on the streets near the tournament, as signs will indicate street parked vehicles will be towed away. There are a few car parks nearby, but it’s recommended that one parks at their hotel, or takes public transportation or taxi to the event.
If you are traveling to the event from afar, make your way to Wimbledon station. From here you can catch a Taxi, and marshals who represent local taxis will direct you to shared taxis, which helps cut the cost of the fare. There are regular public transport connections at both the Wimbledon and Southfields stations.
The best place to stay is at a hotel near Wimbledon championships. Don’t let a bad hotel stay ruin your Wimbledon adventures. A good hotel will allow you provide parking and offer easy transport to the competition directly from the hotel.
The Antoinette Hotel Wimbledon is a popular hotel in the heart of Wimbledon and is within walking distance from the station. This hotel has luxury restaurants, roof gardens and cafes. It’s also a convenient hotel if you’d like to visit central London, which is only 15 minutes away. And most importantly it’s near to the Wimbledon Championships.
Another option for accommodation is Anna’s Bed and Breakfast Wimbledon. It’s a small, friendly Victorian guest house. Built in 1872, this house sports polished wooden floors, elegant furnishings, and a perfect location, also only 15 minutes from the heart of London. Anna’s house is a perfect location, run by Anna, who used to be a tour guide and has known the city for over 40 years.
If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, you can do so easily at www.wimbledon.org. Buy your tickets soon, before they’re sold out!