Tennis fans line up all night for Wimbledon tickets

Excited tennis fans lined up overnight to get tickets for Wimbledon’s opening day as the tournament returns to normal operations after two years affected by the pandemic.

Hundreds of people have camped outside the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in southwest London after arriving from all over the world to take part in the tournament, which starts on Monday.

Novak Djokovic will begin his men’s singles title defense on Center Court on the opening day of the championship, after which British players Emma Radukanu and Andy Murray will delight the crowd.

The tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and in the first week of 2021 it was played with only 50% fill and attendees were required to be fully vaccinated or tested negative 48 hours prior to attending.

Californian Brett Pham was first in line for a day ticket to the 2022 tournament after queuing around 11 p.m. Friday.

He told the PA news agency that he was very happy to see Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams play, but added: “I want Nadal to win, but I think Djokovic will win.”

Second in line was Doug Verbena, also from California, who is hopeful that Nadal will win the men’s title this year: “I love that he’s such a good athlete. You know, he’s a humble guy.

“I mean, he’s the way a sport should be, he’s not as self-obsessed and treats people like people.”

Meanwhile, Danilo from Naples, Italy, arrived on Saturday hoping to get tickets for the tournament.

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Brent Pham of California opened the line Friday night (Zach Goodwin/PA)

The avid tennis fan sports a large tattoo of Roger Federer on his left calf, but with Federer out of action this year due to a knee injury, Danilo is backing Italian hopefuls Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini.

He said that standing in line for tickets “is one of the best experiences of my life, because here you can get a real taste of tennis,” adding: “Because there are 1,000 people here waiting for the same moment with you, and you can share your feelings. , your emotions for tennis”.

Norma Rossillo from Mexico joined the line on Sunday morning with her mother.

She estimates she is about 170th in line, and she is most excited to see Andy Murray and his Mexican Fernanda Contreras Gomez play.

She told PA: “We are interested, we tried it two years ago and decided to come back again this year.

“I’ve also been to the US Open, it’s a lot better, definitely a lot more fun. The whole experience of waiting in line is awesome.”

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Vacationers line up at night ahead of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. (Zach Goodwin/Pennsylvania)

Philip Nelson from Chester first lined up for Wimbledon tickets in 1978 and has done so every year since the mid-90s.

He has queued for tickets every day for every tournament since the mid-2000s and has sat with friend Simon Edwards from Gloucestershire, whom he met while queuing for Wimbledon tickets over the years.

Mr Nelson said of the queuing experience: “In the early 2000s, if you showed up at midnight the night before, you could get a ticket to Central Court, but it’s now noon the previous day, possibly earlier.”

He added that he was very happy to see the new women’s world number one Iga Swiatek of Poland and Nadal this year.

“This is his first opportunity to win a Grand Slam on the calendar, which is why he won Australia and France in the same season for the first time. So it could be a good final, especially if he plays Djokovic,” he said.

Wimbledon kicks off on Monday, June 27th, with the Women’s Singles Final scheduled for Saturday, July 9th and the Men’s Singles Final for Sunday, July 10th.