Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com


I was at Wimbledon on Friday, seats at Centre Court and the whole bit. Wimbledon is very different than just about any sporting event there is. A cross between the Super Bowl and the Masters. The Super Bowl atmosphere, with people everywhere and a lot of excitement, the Masters feel because of the reverance afforded the event by the spectators and the competitors.

Getting there is pretty easy, just a subway (tube)ride from the center of London and a 15 minute walk to the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It’s huge! There are two main stadiums, one holding center court, the other houses court one, and there are plans for another to house court 2. What a difference between the center court and court one and everywhere else they play. The two show courts house thousands of spectators, while courts two and three can hold a couple of hundred, max. The rest are like any courts you’d see at a country club. Just lined up side by side with players on every one.

They’ve got plenty of atmosphere at Wimbledon. There’s a long line down the left hand side of the street as you approach the club, and I mean long. Like a mile long, with everybody camping out trying to get one of the daily tickets available. The All-England club reserves some tickets fo rthe general public every day, a really good idea. There’s another line on the right for people waiting to get in in the afternoon when tickets are returned. There are signs all over the club saying to turn your tickets back in when you leave. They collect them, then re-sell them to people standing in the second line after about 4pm. The money goes to charity, another good idea.

I saw three matches at center court, including Greg Rudseski beat Andy Roddick. The English are very vocal in the support of their own, and it was apparent, Rudzeski was feeding off that. Roddick is a good player, but not very patient. Perhaps because he’s just 19 years old. I can see where you can spend all! day there, but if you don’t want to, it’s on the BBC for most of the day.