I’ve wanted to go to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships since I was five. My family traveled to London that summer and spent part of every afternoon watching the tennis at Wimbledon on TV. I was obsessed, and vowed to go in person someday. This week I finally got my chance, and now I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to Wimbledon.

Tennis at Wimbledon

What to Wear to Wimbledon

My biggest question before going to the tournament was this: what should I wear to Wimbledon? I put the question out to my Twitter followers, and got great responses. The bottom line is that standard dress for Wimbledon ranges from casual to smart casual depending on what kind of tickets you have.

A Lady in London at Wimbledon

Given that I was invited to Wimbledon by Hertz and was going to spend the day in a hospitality suite, I was advised to wear smart casual attire. Many people told me to bring a cardigan in case it got cold, and sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat in case it got hot (this is England; we can have four seasons in four minutes). Others said to wear comfortable shoes in case I walked around or stood to watch a match.

Women at Wimbledon

All of this advice for Wimbledon proved incredibly useful. On the day, the morning and evening were chilly, but the afternoon was blazing hot. I used all of my clothing and accessories at some point, and was happy to have them. And while I had tickets for Centre Court and Court 1, I also spent time walking around and standing, so flats were a lifesaver for my feet.

Statue of a Tennis Player at Wimbledon

How to Watch the Tennis at Wimbledon

The next thing I wondered was whether I could only watch the tennis on the courts that I had tickets for, or whether I could watch on other courts as well. I had tickets for two of the most famous courts at Wimbledon, but there were a lot more dotted throughout the grounds.

Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

As it turns out, a lot of the smaller courts have only a few rows of seating, and people without tickets can stand behind them and watch the players.

Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva at Wimbledon

After viewing a quick match between Andy Murray and Blaz Rola on Court 1 and a long match between Novak Djokovic and Radek Stepanek on Centre Court, I wandered over to Court 19 and stood behind a short brick wall to watch former Wimbledon champion Martina Hingis in a doubles match.

Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva at Wimbledon

I also got to peer into a few other courts throughout the day, which was a nice way to get a broad picture of what goes on at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray at Wimbledon

What to Eat at Wimbledon

Given that food is never far from my mind, I wondered what to eat at Wimbledon. The first thing I learned was that no trip to the tennis is complete without strawberries and cream. A staple tradition at Wimbledon, this sweet treat is sold all over the grounds. Sugar optional.

Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon

Beyond the strawberries and cream, Pimm’s and champagne were flowing all day, and the food courts and restaurants had a wide range of cuisines to offer. I had lunch and afternoon tea in the suite, but if I hadn’t, I would have had a hard time choosing from among all the options.

Afternoon Tea at Wimbledon

Wimbledon Beyond the Tennis

I spent 11 hours at Wimbledon, and despite my love of tennis, even I couldn’t sit still for that long. Thankfully there was a lot to do at Wimbledon beyond the courts.

Crowds at Wimbledon

In addition to the aforementioned food and drink, there was a huge shop selling all kinds of clothing, tennis equipment, and souvenirs, and a Wimbledon tennis museum with a surprisingly large space dedicated to the history of of the sport.

Wimbledon Tennis Museum

Behind Court 1, there was a big grassy hill full of people watching the matches on TV. For those with grounds tickets to Wimbledon, it was a great place to watch the tennis even without ticketed seats.

Blaz Rola at Wimbledon

How to Get the Most out of Wimbledon

Above all, I wanted to know how to get the most out of Wimbledon. After waiting more than 25 years for my chance to attend, I felt a lot of pressure to do it right. This was another question I put out on Twitter, and I got a lot of helpful tips.

Martina Hingis at Wimbledon

As far as what time to get to Wimbledon, arriving at 10am was perfect. It allowed me to walk around and explore the grounds before the matches started. It was less crowded than it got later on, and I didn’t feel guilty for missing out on the tennis.

Wimbledon Tennis Court

While watching the tennis itself, I was glad to have taken years of tennis lessons as a child. This was primarily because it meant that I knew the rules of the game and the scoring system. I would have been a bit confused if I hadn’t. For those with no knowledge of tennis, some quick research before going to Wimbledon goes a long way.

Wimbledon Hospitality Suite

I also wondered how late in the evening Wimbledon goes. The answer really depends on what time the matches finish, so it can go quite late sometimes. I couldn’t tear myself away from the courts until 9pm, but even then there were plenty of matches still in progress. It was nice to leave late, though, because the tube wasn’t too crowded on the way back into central London.

Order of Play Board at Wimbledon

Overall Impressions of Wimbledon

Despite my astronomically high expectations for Wimbledon, my experience managed to meet them. It was an incredible day overall, and seeing some of the best players in the world was an added bonus.

Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Getting tickets for Wimbledon isn’t easy; every year that I’ve entered the lottery I haven’t won. But in case I don’t get invited again next year, I will still apply. And if all else fails, I can always camp out overnight and try my luck with the same-day tickets queue. Regardless of how I get there, I already know it will be worth it.

26 Comments on Lady’s Guide to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships

  1. Such a cool experience. I have been dying to get to Wimbledon since a kid, too. It looks like you had the perfect mix of food, tradition and action. Thanks so much for the guide!

  2. What a brilliant quintessentially British experience!
    I didn’t realise that strawberries and cream was such a big tradition for Wimbledon… sounds like my palette will fit right in. 🙂

    I would love to see both the Australian Open (I mean, I live down the road from it in Melbourne so I have no excuse!) and Wimbledon.

    So, who are you hoping will win this year? 😉

    • Yeah, I never realized that strawberries and cream was such a big thing at Wimbledon, either. It’s great, though! I would love to do the Australian Open, too. I went to the US Open a few years ago, and it was really fun.

  3. What a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity! Bet you loved being here. It must’ve been amazing. We never got the chance to go to Wimbledon in the five years we lived in London, so I’m slightly jealous 😉

  4. What a cool experience! I am a huge tennis fan, and I made it to Wimbledon several years ago, but I only had the grounds pass. I definitely hope to get back someday and watch a match on Centre Court!

    • That’s great that you got to go a few years back. The grounds are really fun to walk around, aren’t they? I hope you’re able to return to see more of the tennis at some point!

  5. This is absolutely awesome, A Lady In London! I’ve wanted to go to Wimbledon all of my life and hope to make it there someday. I can’t wait to send this to my best buddy who is a huge Wimbledon fan! This is the first time I’ve read a post about all of the behind the scenes stuff and it was great. I enjoy watching matches here and there when I have time (it’s actually on the tv right now). Of course, I will watch my tennis crush, Sharipova, play 🙂 Your description of the weather there reminds of San Francisco! Congrats on your dream coming true – so very happy for you! 🙂

  6. Great to see Martina Hingis – looks like she could move directly from the court into the Yoga studio (Score: 2 sets to Ommmmmm). Andy Murray! I’m delighted to see that he has been well received by the “English” as a Scotsman wearing the Wimbledon crown and he, in turn, has been a champion for all of Britain. Happy you had a true Wimbledon experience! I’m so jealous it hertz!!!!!

  7. Great post, I love Wimbledon. Love how you’ve written this post to be more about sharing tips rather than just a standard review 🙂

  8. I went there for the first time last year, queued from 7am and went home around 10pm! We had the same as you – chilly in the morning (especially when sitting on the grass for 3 hours…) but lovely sunshine in the afternoon. So much so, I fell asleep on Henman’s hill and burnt sunglasses shape into my face. I wasn’t too fussed about Wimbledon before I went, but I’ve been keeping watch this year, as my visit really got me into it. Glad you finally got to go and enjoyed it!

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