Restaurants, pubs and cafes in Wimbledon Village enjoyed an unexpected bonus when the All England Club threw open its gates on the middle Sunday of the championships for only the fourth time in 130 years.
A total of 22,000 tickets were put up for grabs for the extra day’s tennis after wet weather disrupted play during the first week of the tournament.
Allison Creekmore, who works for Major League Baseball in New York, joined an online crush of 111,000 people on Saturday afternoon and sealed a Centre Court ticket. In a show of spontaneity, she caught an overnight flight to Heathrow a few hours later.
“I got up to watch the end of the Djokovic match on Saturday morning, New York time, and I found out about middle Sunday,” she said after arriving in Wimbledon.
“I worked out that I could be in London by 6.30am, and I just decided to do it. I’m a huge tennis fan and Wimbledon was on my bucket list. I don’t feel tired, because the adrenalin is still going pretty strong.”
She was among the 10,000 people who bought Centre Court tickets to see America’s Serena Williams beat German Annika Beck.
Responding to complaints about the low number of ground tickets sold for People’s Sunday compared with normal days, a Wimbledon official said: “We didn’t want people queuing so we had to balance the amount on offer with that.”
He added: “We have measures in place at the gates to detect whether someone is attempting to enter with a ticket which hasn’t been bought in their name and if necessary will refuse admittance.”
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