Pat Cash, Wimbledon 1987

Extract from Pat Cash’s autobiography Uncovered:

I felt good when I walked onto court. Lendl and I had just been standing in opposite corners of the corridor, but we hadn’t spoken. I didn’t want to wish him good luck or anything else insincere. The weather was sweltering. Somebody said it was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit although I didn’t think it ever got that hot in England. The male occupants of the Royal Box were allowed to remove their jackets. Straightaway I put the heat on Lendl, testing him for 13 minutes as he struggled to hold his first service game.

My service was working well. I dropped only six points in six games before the tiebreaker and then moved to a 6-1 lead, giving me five set points. Lendl managed to save four, and though a moment of self-doubt came into my head, I immediately pushed it aside. Lendl had a good block backhand return and a great full swing backhand, but couldn’t play a shot in between. Could I tempt him to go for a full swing on a block backhand shot? I hoped so, and aimed at the spot on the court that wasn’t too wide to give him room to swing, but was sufficiently far enough over to tempt him. Bang! My serve hit the exact blade of grass. He over-swung and directed the backhand out. I was set up, and knew I had the match won. I was loose: the nerves had gone, and my game had switched into overdrive. During the second set I didn’t allow him a point on my serve, and with such an overwhelming lead, nothing was going to slip.

Because of all the rain in England that summer, I hadn’t done as much endurance work as I would have liked; over my career it’s the one facet of my make-up that has needed the most attention. Briefly I became concerned at the unlikely prospect of the match going to five sets, but soon suppressed such negative thoughts.

Lendl broke my serve in the third when I suffered a brief lapse in focus. This quite often happens if you are initially nervous and then relax yourself so much you lose some intensity. The body is slow to react to the brain, and it’s a matter of finding that fine line. Thankfully all the work I did with Jeff once more paid off, and again I snapped myself back to break his serve twice in succession. I remember my last service game and match point like it was only yesterday: I went 40-love up for three match points. Thank God it was an easy game, and I finished it all off with a volley that got behind Lendl and into the open court.

GAME, SET AND MATCH, MR CASH 7-6 6-2 7-5. I was the champion, and pumped my fist in the air. Then I shook Lendl by the hand and he just said well done. I was polite, and I could see his disappointment; but I came out with no more than the standard reply of bad luck. There was nothing else to say, we didn’t like each other, so there would be no sympathy. To me, some of these shows of emotion towards a beaten opponent over the Wimbledon net are false. I think it’s hypocritical to put your arms around each other and have a long chat. I know that’s what Ivanisevic and Rafter did last year, but I don’t buy that sort of show. Anyway, there had been other things planned for several months. I had some climbing to do.

Wimbledon queue

Is the Queue the only way to buy Wimbledon tickets?

No. There are a few more options: four ways to get tickets: ballots, Ticketmaster, hospitality packages and debenture tickets. Read more here: How to get Wimbledon tickets, How to get last minute Wimbledon tickets.

Where is The Queue?

The easiest way to get to Wimbledon is by public transport, taking the District Line and getting off at Southfields station. It’s then a 10-minute walk to reach the Queue, here’s a map.

Off to the Queue! ?? #wimbledon #queue #thequeue #wimbledonqueue #wednesday #tennis #wimbledontennis #wimbledon2016 #andymurray

Une photo publiée par ⚜Steven T.⚜ (@steviet_pinoyboy) le

How much tickets are available for queuers?

– Centre Court: 500 tickets are available every day, for the first nine days, for queuers.
– No.1 Court: 500 tickets are available every day for queuers.
– No.2 Court: 500 tickets are available every day for queuers whilst matches are scheduled on this court.
– Ground Passes: thousands of tickets are available every day at the gate. These allow access to all of the outside courts, including the unreserved seating on Court No.3.

What time to queue?

It depends on how much of a tennis nuts you are, and how patient you are.

– 5 pm the day before: if you want to have a chance to get some Show Court tickets, you’ll have to camp overnight.
– 6 am on the day: if you would like to queue for Ground Passes, you should join the Queue a few hours before the Grounds open at 9.30am.
– 3 pm on the day: you can join the Queue later in the afternoon to gain late entry after 5pm at a cheaper rate

How do I know my place in the Queue?

On your arrival, the Stewards will direct you to the end of the Queue and give you a Queue card, that’s your official place in the Queue. Stewards will ckeck your card a few times before entering the grounds, don’t lose it!

Do I have to stay in the Queue all the time?

No. You can grab some food, have a toilet break… But you could lose your place is the Queue if you leave your place for more than 30 minutes. So, you can’t set up your tent, spend the night at your hotel and come back the morning after.

Can I queue for my friends?

No. Tickets are sold on a strictly one per person queueing basis and are non-transferable.

How is the overnight Queue organized?

The only way to get a Show Court ticket is to camp overnight. Everything is well organized and the Stewards are there to help and guide you. Stewards will wake you up around 6am and you’ll have to pack up your tent and belongings and take them to Left Luggage in order to create space for those joining the Queue on the day.
Around 7.30am the Stewards give wristbands to those towards the front of the Queue who are queueing for Centre, No.1 and No.2 Courts tickets. There are only 500 wristbands for each Show Court. That’s where your place in the Queue is important as the first 500 have priority for Centre Court, but some of the first 500 could choose to buy Court 1 tickets instead, so you could be 600 in the Queue and still be able to buy a Centre Court ticket.
Around 9.30am the Queue moves on and you can finally buy your ticket at the turnstile. The grounds open at 10.30am.

Is it secure to queue at night?

Yes. There are Stewards on both day and night shift to handle all problems. So, don’t worry and enjoy the experience.

Can I bring food and drink?

Yes. You can also order yourself a takeaway to be delivered to the Wimbledon Park Road Gate, grab some food at Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon Village pr Southfields.

What should I wear?

Take clothing suitable for all conditions and don’t forget a hat, sunglasses but also waterproofs.

What is the second Queue?

Once inside the Grounds, you can queue – again – after 3pm in order to purchase returned Centre Court tickets for £10 or Show Court tickets for £5 from the Ticket Resale Kiosk. Money goes to charity.

A few tips for the Queue?

– follow @ViewfromtheQ Twitter account to get updates and informations on the Queue
– don’t lose your Queue card! Stewards will ckeck your card a few times before entering the grounds
– make sure you have enough cash to pay your ticket
– check out the order of play in advance to know which ticket you want to buy
– it might sounds stupid, but if you intend to queue overnight, learn to pack your tent
– it can be cold at night, so bring good camping mat and sleeping bag
– read the Guide to queuing from the Wimbledon website and Diary of Wimbledon queuer from Grandslamgal blog.
– enjoy the Wimbledon experience!

nae-nae'ing our way through #TheQueue @Wimbledon ???

Une photo publiée par Simone Mercier (@misonesimone) le

If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment below, I’ll do my best to reply.

Andy Muray climbs into the stands, Wimbledon 2013

Like strawberries and cream, the Queue and all-white outfits, the champion’s climb to the players’ box to celebrate his victory with his closed ones has become a tradition at Wimbledon. It all started with Pat Cash back in 1987:

“Champions of the past had celebrated their wins in time honoured fashion. Most used to jump the net and run up to commiserate with the person they had just beaten; this was the style of the Australians such as Laver, Emerson, Hoad and Fraser. But I wasn’t prepared to do that with Ivan Lendl; I didn’t like the guy at all and I wasn’t about to sympathise with him.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a great lover of Wimbledon’s traditions and everything they stand for, but I wanted to go where no champion had ever gone before. Suddenly I made up my mind, and nothing or nobody was going to stop me. I had looked up to the players box, and so many of the people who meant so much to me were there: my coach Ian Barclay, my girlfriend Anne-Britt, my dad, my sister Renee, my uncle Brian, and the woman who had helped me become one of the fittest players ever to walk on a tennis court, Ann Quinn. I had to be up there with them, and I was going to show my gratitude by climbing up to them.

Why did I do it? Growing up I’d always seen myself as just a normal Aussie kid who liked rock and roll music, football and girls, but I suppose I was just a little bit left of centre. I was kind of crazy, and always tried to be a bit different. My family upbringing had never involved a lot of hugging, but I had it in my head that if I ever won Wimbledon I would show the world how much I actually felt for those people. I wanted to be with them for these most memorable minutes of my life, and the most public way of showing my thanks was to do it in this greatest arena in tennis. So off I went.” [1]

Pat Cash, Wimbledon 1987

Since then, 14 players have scaled terraces to the players’ box to embrace their family and coaches.
The most unexpected – and out of character – climb was probably Sampras‘ when he beat Pat Rafter in 2000 and broke Roy Emerson’s Grand Slam record:

“I finally won it, 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-2. It was dusk by then, and flashbulbs went off like a thousand lightning strikes. I looked over at Paul [Annacone] in the players’ box. He gestured up toward the area where we knew my folks were sitting. I was disoriented, but I knew what to do next – I climbed into the stands to find and hug my folks. And those flashbulbs just kept exploding. The scene was surreal.
Left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t have climbed into the stands. Thinking about it in advance, I would have said “None of us likes to make a really big scene, and my parents would find it embarrassing, I don’t think I’ll do that.” But when Paul signaled me, I knew immediately it was the right thing to do. Much like when I had to speak at Tim Gullikson’s funeral, my first reaction was to avoid drama and attention. But when the moment arrived in both those cases, I knew enough to do the right thing. As Paul said later, when I asked him why he had thought to signal me, “How often to you break the Grand Slam record, at a place that’s been so good to you, in front of people who have been so good to you?” [2]

The most spectacular was Nadal‘s one after his thrilling marathon win over Federer in 2008.

“I collapsed flat on my back on the Wimbledon grass, arms outstretched, fists clenched, roaring with triumph. The silence of the Centre Court gave way to pandemonium, an I succumbed, at long last, to the crowd’s euphoria, letting it wash over me, liberating myself from the mental prison I had inhabited from start to finish of the match, all day, the night before, the full two weeks of the greatest tennis tournament on earth. […] the tears came, and there was nothing I could do to stop them, and there was one more thing I had to do before the ceremony, one emotional release I needed before I could behave with some semblance of the restraint that Wimbledon tradition required.
I ran toward the corner where my father and mother and Toni, Titin, Carlos Costa, Tuts and Dr Cotorro had been sitting, and were now standing, and I clambered up the seats and scaled a wall to reach them. I was crying, and my father, the first to greet me, was crying too, and we hugged, and I hugged my mother, and I hugged Toni and the three of us all held one another in one great, tight family embrace.” [3]

After Rafa celebrated with his family, he made a U-turn towards the Royal Box to greet the Spanish Crown Prince and his wife.

Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon 2008

And the one the British crowd had been expected for so many years, is of course Andy Murray‘s celebratory climb in 2013:

“A few fraught minutes (and deuces) later, the title was mine. In the celerations after Novak’s decisive netted backhand, I was aware that people had started to come onto the court. When I finally sat down, I saw Andrew Jarrett coming over.
“Have I got enough time to go to my family and friends?” I asked.
“You need to be quick.”
I climbed up to the players’ box and went to Ivan first. He was sitting next to Novak’s team. It wasn’t a conscious decision to seek him out, but it was fitting that he was the first person I saw.
I’ve no idea if Ivan said anything to me or not. Two things I recall: my uncle, Neil, was sitting a few rows back and he was so desperate to high-five me that he reached forward and stuck his armpit right in Sir Chris Hoy’s face. Then, of course, I hadn’t seen my mum and someone shouted “Your mum, your mum”, so I went back and gave her a hug.” [4]

Sources:
[1] Uncovered by Pat Cash
[2] A champion’s mind by Pete Sampras and Peter Bodo
[3] Rafa by John Carlin
[4] Seventy-seven my road to Wimbledon glory by Andy Murray