Yes, it’s that time of year again. Those who’ve never shown any interest in sport in their lives start dusting down their tennis rackets, getting their fresh white gear on and mean, Andy Murray facial expressions perfected. Tennis clubs start witnessing a boom in memberships and suddenly everyone becomes an ‘expert’ in the forehand drive or double-handed backhand. It’s when SW19 becomes so rammed it’s untrue and the Middleton sisters’ attire is analysed relentlessly by fashion magazines, tabloids and ‘serious’ newspapers.
Yep: it's Wimbledon!
The action-packed, tension-filled fun-fest which lasts two weeks and usually; but not always (er hello last year) ends with a disappointment for the British home crowd. Give or take the odd downfall, Wimbledon is most definitely a date in the diary for tennis fanatics and It Girls and Boys alike. With the UK’s ‘beau monde’ out in full gear to strut their hairdos, their tears and their singing skills (Cliff Richard springs to mind) the whole spectacle has morphed into way more than just a racket sport. Wimbledon is part of the Season, a not-to-be-missed event, with eager fans clamouring to get a whiff of the glamour, the drama, Posh Spice, Pippa Middleton and they’re more than happy to queue up all night to ensure this.
However, if you’re a novice to the greatest Grand Slam, fear not. Here’s our ultimate survival guide to ensure you’re well prepared for this year’s tournament, which starts on the 23rd of June:
Be prepared for rain
Yeah, it’s that old chestnut: the WEATHER. The British spend their whole time talking about it (allegedly) – and for good reason: it’s not so good. Therefore, at some point during the tournament you can be sure that the heavens will open, the cover will be pulled over the court by local gap year kids and you’ll be left, despondent, looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. However, it’s all just part of the fun! Just remember your umbrella – and make sure it stands out so your friends back home can spot you on television!
What to wear
Let’s face it: Wimbledon’s a fashion fest of the highest degree. And you’re in stiff competition, with the likes of royalty, ex Spice Girls and good looking football players to compete with. The good news is you can wear any colour you like – you’re not restricted to all white clothing like the players. However, it’s always good not to go too over the top. Don’t bother with the evening wear or the enormous hat. Summer dresses, comfortable platforms (you’re on your feet all day) for women and smart/casual for men – open-necked shirts and a pair of loafers should suffice.
Strawberries and cream
It’s part and parcel of Wimbledon even if you don’t like strawberries! You simply MUST eat at least one bowl of strawberries and cream just to get into the spirit of things. Furthermore, make sure you’ve a delicious glass of Pimms to wash it down with – stuffed with fruit – probably including, er strawberries too!
With the excitement of the crowd, the jumping up and down and the likely distance between yourself and the Royal Box, you’ll want to have a pair of binoculars to hand so you can spy on the action going on both on and off the court. Spying on celebrities/royalty is one of the popular pastimes between points and a lot of fun to boot! Just don’t make it too obvious….
So there you go – top tips for surviving this year’s Wimbledon. Good luck and enjoy!