A day after the start of Wimbledon and I was asked by NBC to discuss a towel throwing incident which although I knew little about I agreed to do it. A car was duly dispatched to pick me up and soon I was discussing potential questions.The reason for this unexpected request was all due to a tweet from Jack Sock, an American player who after winning his first round match on an outside court had thrown a prized Wimbledon towels in the direction of a young fan sitting courtside only to watch the towel being snatched away by the outstretched hand of an older grey-haired gentleman in the row behind. It was Sock’s shock tweet that went viral and why NBC asked me to voice my opinions! While waiting for the cameraman to set up his camera outside Wimbledon’s main gates that I bumped into several friends and acquaintances and realised what I was missing and immediately text Lisa, a friend and founder of 10’sball.com to arrange a player’s guest pass something we had previously discussed during Queen’s.

Max Mirnyl cutting his birthday cake.

A couple of days later found me queuing in the player’s accreditation marquee picking up a guest badge that had been left courtesy of doubles specialist Max Mirnyi. It was a particularly hot, sultry day and also Max’s birthday which we later celebrated in style with a huge birthday cake organised by friends in the player’s restaurant!!  

After watching Donald Young on Court three whose mother is unusually his coach and who I chatted to during the Queen’s tournament. Max kindly arranged another guest badge for Friday, another hot day and this time I wandered over to Aorangi Park to watch Roger Federer practice and where one of the players showed me how to find unclaimed or lost balls behind hedges! Later I met up with Clare, an old friend and Virginia Wade in the members for a glass of champagne – how social!.

Tuesday of the second week it rained incessantly and the day the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association old their annual AGM which, as a committee member I always attend. This year’s meeting was particularly important as several significant issues concerning the newly revised LTWA constitution were raised and needed voting in. After the meeting the only place to watch tennis was from Centre Court under its retractable roof where Penny, my niece and her daughter Flic were as I had given them two centre court tickets and could hardly believe their luck that they were able to watch first class tennis up until late evening while others waited patiently for the rain to stop. Roll on 2019 when Court One’s retractable roof should be ready!

Afterwards around 8 we all met up for a quick drink in the media centre with Martina, an old family friend and her daughter Cecile before finally leaving half an hour later with the rain still pouring down but at least I was able to give Penny and Flic a lift to where their car was parked.

Marin Cilic being interviewed.

Thursday is traditionally Wimbledon’s Media party which this year was fun apart from a spat with the Daily Telegraph’s tennis correspondent Simon Briggs concerning tickets for the Championships Dinner.The next day though, I was back at Wimbledon for the Member’s annual cocktail party as a guest of Virginia Wade!

Each year the member’s cocktail party starts promptly at 7.30 and finishes at 9.30 with the National Anthem – how British can you get! As always Lanson champagne flowed and the food was plentiful and delicious. My final visit to the Club was on finals day for our traditional meeting in the Club’s private committee room with the AELTC’s media committee for the traditional sweepstake where we are asked to guess the exact number of visitors attending the Championships (including Sunday’s attendance) over a glass or two of Champagne with everyone contributing £5 toward the charity of my choosing..

Roger Federer signing autographs.

The actual finals this year were if anything disappointing, the Ladies final between Venus Williams and Spain’s delightful Garbine Murguruza was a one-sided affair with Murguruza winning 7/5 6/0. Fortunately the men’s final was slightly more exciting but an injured Marin Cilic allowed Roger Federer to win in three routine sets, his 8th historic Wimbledon title,  

End

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Linkedin