Monday 29 June 2015

Wimbledon tickets: Hundreds of people have been queueing since Saturday for a chance to see their heroes

Wimbledon fans who camped out in rain and sweltering temperatures to get tickets today called for the country to “back the Brits” as the championships began. Hundreds of fans, who began queuing for tickets as early as Saturday, told of their excitement at seeing their heroes. Britain’s No. 1 Heather Watson was due on Number Two court later against France’s Caroline Garcia, and Johanna Kontas was due second on Centre Court playing former champion Maria Sharapova. Siblings Naomi and Liam Broady were also making their debut appearances at the All England Club today.

Long wait: Fans make their way through the queue Picture: Alex Lentati

Simran Obhi, 22, a pharmacy graduate at Reading University, started queuing with her friends Catherine Moncrieff, 21, and Elena Castelletti, 23, at 5pm yesterday.
She said: “I wish we were seeing Nadal or Federer today but it will be good to see the British girls.
“We didn’t have tickets so thought why not make fun adventure out of it and queue up.”

Waiting patiently: Helena Cameron 20, and Portia Fellows 18 Picture: Alex Lentati

Emmeline Skinner Cassidy, 20, an Oxford university student studying islamic and Arabic studies, said: “This is the third time I’ve queued, I just love Rafa Nadal and it’s quite nice that you get to see your heroes for just £25. It doesn’t have to break the bank.”
Miss Skinner Cassidy, who started queuing at 6:30pm on Sunday, added: “I’m high up enough in the queue to see Heather Watson, which will be great. Hopefully the British women are going to well this year. The hype is usually about the men so it would be really cool to get the girls doing well.”
Portia Fellows, 18, and Helena Cameron, 20, arrived at the campsite at 5pm yesterday and were 1,140 and 1,141 in the queue.
The students were excited to see the British women as well as their hero, Bulgarian player Grigor Dmitrov.
Fans gather their belongings after camping for days for tickets Picture: Alex Lentati 
Miss Fellows, a medical student at Imperial College, said: “Every court has really good players today and we will definitely get on court two but hopefully we can get court one.
“This is our first time queuing and it’s been so much fun. There’s such a good atmosphere. We are getting behind the British girls today.”
Stella Riley was first in the queue and arrived at the grounds at 7:30am on Saturday.
The 60-year-old retired clerical worker, from Wimbledon, has been queuing every year for 30 years.
“It’s worth queuing early to make sure you get a show court ticket for the person you really want to see,” she said. “For me it is Djokovic so I’m really happy I will be getting to see him play today.”
Meanwhile, championship organisers were drawing up emergency plans to treat heat-exhausted fans and players amid fears that temperatures this week could rise to 38C.
However, the All England Tennis Club ruled out closing the roof on Centre Court, where reigning champion Novak Djokovic will start play, to provide much-needed shade.
The Met Office has forecast a 30 per cent chance of temperatures rising above 36C in London on Wednesday and Thursday. The hottest ever temperature at the tournament was 34.6C on June 26, 1976.
Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said: “St John’s Ambulance will provide extra staff if needed and we also have our own first aid facilities.
“Fans should drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. We have water fountains and bottled water can be brought into the grounds.”