I spent a few days in London for a bit of sightseeing and a bit of tennis at Queen’s, and I took the opportunity to visit Wimbledon.
Even though I’m French and discovered tennis through Roland Garros, my favorite tournament has always been (and will always be) Wimbledon. So for me it was a dream come true, I finally get to see this fantastic place. Next goal for me: obtain a ticket for The Championships, perhaps next year?

Some infos about Wimbledon guided tours:

How to book a tour?
Online or by calling +44 (0)20 8946 6131

How much does it cost?
The total cost of £20.00 includes entrance to the Museum and is payable upon arrival.

What does the tour include?
Centre Court, No.1 Court, Henman Hill, The Millennium Building and Press Interview Room
Total time for the tour and museum is usually around two and a half hours, including 90 minutes for the tour and an hour for the Museum.

Is it worth it?
Yes, yes and yes!
The guide was really passionate about the Championships and Wimbledon’s history, told lots of anecdotes and took time to answer all our questions. A must-do for any tennis fan!

The first thing you see when you enter the Stadium is the Fred Perry statue and the Centre Court:

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Wimbledon

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“For years lots of archive Wimbledon footage has been kept under lock and key. Most of it is owned by four companies, so that the public only see it when program producers at channels choose to licence it from these various companies and private owners like IMG.

However, the British Pathé film archive has now opened itself up to the public online, meaning that lots of brilliant Wimbledon videos have surfaced for the first time, including a rare interview with Fred Perry, not to mention numerous films of finals, and the public can watch all of these for free.

Here is a YouTube video showing previews from some of the clips. There are also fantastic crowd shots, shots of celebrity spectators and behind the scenes footage of court maintenance as well as an interesting piece on the manufacturing of tennis balls.”

I don’t know about you but I really like watching these old videos with champions like Suzanne Lenglen, René Lacoste, Fred Perry and so on. You can watch some previews online or buy clips (30£, pretty expensive).

Murray’s record at Wimbledon:

2005: (world ranking 312, wild card)
– R1 vs George Bastl (qualifier) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R2 vs Radek Stepanek (14th seed) 6-4 6-4 6-4
– R3 vs David Nalbandian (n°18) 7-6 6-1 0-6 4-6 1-6

2006: (world ranking 44)
– R1 vs Nicolas Massu (n°31) 6-1 6-4 6-4
– R2 vs Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-4 4-6 6-1
– R3 vs Andy Roddick (n°3) 7-6 6-4 6-4
– R4 vs Marcos Baghdatis (n°18) 3-6 4-6 6-7

2007: missed due to wrist injury

2008: (world ranking 11)
– R1 Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-4 7-6
– R2 Xavier Malisse (WC) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R3 Tommy Haas 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2
– R4 Richard Gasquet (n°8) 5-7 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4
– QF Rafael Nadal (n°2) 3-6 2-6 4-6

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Murray’s chances were greatly enhanced by the withdrawal of defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal. That left Murray as the top ranked player in his half of the draw.

Andy Murray, 2009 Wimbledon

First round: Andy Murray vs Robert Kendrick (76)
Head to head: Murray 3-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 Newport Grass Murray 6-0, 6-0
2006 US Open Hard Murray 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
2007 Miami Hard Murray 6–3, 6–1

On Tuesday 23th June, at 5.09 pm, Andy Murray opened his 2009 campaign against Robert Kendrick. All British hopes rely on Murray, who could be the first Brit to win the Championships since Fred Perry in 1936.
His first round opponent, Robert Kendrick, is a journeyman player, ranked 76 and whose ATP singles record is 15-28.
He has only won 3 Grand Slam matches during his career, but the last time he played on Centre Court, in 2006, he lead Rafael Nadal by 2 sets to 0, before falling in 5 sets.
And the match was indeed more difficult than expected, as Murray lost the second set tie-break. It was an entertaining match with big server Kendrick coming to the net as often as possible. But Murray remained solid and focused and won in 4 sets: 7-5 6-7 6-3 6-4.

About his next opponent, Ernests Gulbis: “I’ve got a very tough opponent. Gulbis has caused some upsets in the past and is a huge hitter of the ball. I’m going to need to be on my game to beat him.”

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Murray’s tweet: letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen


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Second round: Andy Murray vs Ernests Gulbis (74)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 Queen’s Grass Murray 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

It only took 1hour and 28 minutes for Andy Murray to destroy the talented but lackluster Latvian, who was a surprise quarter finalist at Roland Garros in 2008. The Scot looked like a boss from first point of the match and played a near perfect match, hitting 36 winners for only 5 unforced errors.

Murray: “I thought I played well. It was much better than the first match. There weren’t that many moments in the match when I was under a lot of pressure. There wasn’t that much nerves and huge points”.

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Murray’s tweet: snack game

Andy Murray, snack name game
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Third round: Andy Murray vs Viktor Troicki (30)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-3, 6-3
2009 Miami Hard Murray 6-1, 6-0

Andy’s third round opponent is big hitter Viktor Troicki who is …allergic to grass: “I’m allergic to grass courts, not just at Wimbledon but at other tournaments as well, there’s something in the air that bothers me.”
Apparently he is allergic to Murray’s game too: the last time they met at Miami, Murray destroyed him 6-1 6-0. He played again a near perfect match and advanced to fourth round with an easy 6-2 6-3 6-4 win.
Interesting stat fact for Murray: everytime he beat Troicki in a tournament, he won it.

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Fourth round: Andy Murray vs Stanislas Wawrinka (18)
Head to head: 4-3

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2005 Davis Cup Clay Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4
2006 Miami Hard Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
2008 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2008 Marseille Hard Murray 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1
2008 Rome Clay Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6(5)
2008 Toronto Hard Murray 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
2008 US Open Hard Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

It was an epic battle for Murray and an historic day for Wimbledon: the day that night play came to Wimbledon. Murray’s fourth round match was played under the new roof (at last!) after a rain shower. Nearly 13 million Brits tuned in to watch Andy Murray’s five set thriller against Stanislas Wawrinka. And thousand of fans were glued in front of the big screen on Henman Hill.
Wawrinka is a talented but inconsistent former top 10, whose best performances were a win against Roger Federer in Monte Carlo, and an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008 with the same Federer. No one expected the 18th seed to play at such a high level.
In fact, Murray had to play at an incredible level just to survive in the match. He finally prevailed 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3 after three hours and 56minutes.
And all Andy had to say, was he was not happy with the roof.

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Murray’s tweet: pizza anyone?

Andy Murray, pizza
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Quarter final: Andy Murray vs Juan Carlos Ferrero (WC)
Head to head: 1-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2009 Queen’s Grass Murray 6-2, 6-4

The last wild card to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals was Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, who won the title after an epic 5 five sets thriller against Pat Rafter. But the 2003 French Open champion is not of the same caliber on grass as the big server from Split, and Andy Murray stormed into the Wimbledon semi final for the first time of his career after a victory over Ferrero.

Murray: “A semi-final is something I’ve not experienced here before but at the US Open last year I played a semi-final against the number one in the world (Rafael Nadal). I’m going to have a tough match but I feel like I can win if I play well.”

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Murray’s tweet: Beckham

Andy Murray, message by Beckham
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Semi final: Andy Murray vs Andy Roddick
Head to head: 6-2

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 San Jose Hard Murray 7-5, 7-5
2006 Cincinnati Hard Roddick 6-3, 6-4
2007 San Jose Hard Murray 7-6(8), 6-4
2007 Memphis Hard Roddick 6-3, 7-6(4)
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2008 Queen’s Grass Roddick W/O
2008 Masters Hard Murray 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
2009 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

Roddick had lost six of eight encounters with Murray, including the last three. But Roddick was in the form of his life: thanks to his work with new coach Larry Stefanki, he had never been in better physical shape. Fitter, faster, his game has changed , and he’s not only a big serve and an explosive forehand anymore. Murray has grown stronger and matured mentally as well. But Murray was once again way too passive, and the risks Roddick took payed off.
Like during his match against Wawrinka, Murray just tried to survive. The full packed Centre Court and Henman Hill never seemed to believe in Murray’s victory, neither did he. Roddick dashed Murray’s hopes with a 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-5 win after an impressive attacking game display.
Britain will have to wait at least another year to see a home winner triumph.

Andy Roddick: “Andy Murray has a great game and he will do great things in the future but today was my time, and I was determined to take my chance.”

Andy Murray: “I thought I played well, the statistics look good, but Andy put in a gret performance and there is no argument with that. I just wish I could have done better.”

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Murray’s tweet: thanks

Andy Murray, thanks
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What will be Murray's performance at this year's Wimbledon?

  • SF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • QF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • R3 (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Winner (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Runner-up (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R4 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Wimbledon Trivia

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– Dark green and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours, but from 2006 the officials, ball boys and girls were outfitted in new navy blue and cream uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren.

– “Middle Sunday” is traditionally a rest day. However, rain has forced play on Middle Sunday three times in Wimbledon history: 1991, 1997 and 2004. Each time, Wimbledon staged a “People’s Sunday”, with unreserved and inexpensive tickets. All about the first Middle Sunday in 1991.

Henman Hill is an area on the grounds of the All England Club officially known as Aorangi Terrace. People without showcourts tickets can watch tennis matches on a giant television screen at the side of number one court. During Tim Henman‘s playing days, the area was the focal point of Henmania, where British tennis fans would fanatically support Henman.

– Last British woman to win Wimbledon is Virginia Wade in 1977. All about Virginia Wade’s triumph.

– Last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936, last runner-up was Bunny Austin in 1938.
A bronze statue of Fred Perry was erected at the All England Club in 1984 to mark the 50th anniversary of his first singles championship.

Fred Perry statue

– During World War II, a bomb ripped through Centre Court and 1200 seats were damaged. Play resumed in 1946 but it wasn’t until 1949 that the area was back into shape.

– The trophies are presented by the President of the All England Club, The Duke of Kent, and by his sister, Princess Alexandra.

– Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament to feature a Royal Box. The first Royal to visit Wimbledon was Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria in 1895. In 1926, Prince Albert, Duke of York (who later became King George VI and father of Queen Elizabeth II) entered the doubles event with his Royal Air Force tennis partner, Wing commander Louis Grieg.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited Wimbledon only twice, to see Virginia Wade triumph in 1977, and in 2010. In 2008, after his epic win against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal climbed up to the Royal Box, to greet Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Felizia of Spain.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

– The quotation above the player’s entrance to Centre Court is an extract from the poem if by Rudyard Kipling:

“If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”

– Wimbledon will host the Olympic tennis events in 2012.

Fred Perry - Tell us your story

Fred Perry’s more than 100 year legacy as a tennis player and brand has more than cemented itself as one of Britain’s most iconic labels.
Through its history, Fred Perry’s Laurel logo has been seen on the polo shirts of many subcultures in the past 50 odd years. The “Tell Us Your Story” campaign is part educational, part interactive as Fred Perry highlights its past participation in the world of fashion.
The whole movement began in 1957 and the original M12 polo shirt, known as the first shirt to carry a collar tipping. Its popularity with football fans saw West Ham fans request their own custom colorway in maroon and blue. From there, Fred Perry made its way into subcultures such as Mod in ‘59, Northern Soul in ‘63 and Punk in 1976.
A full list of stories can be seen over at the site. As mentioned the interactive aspect of the campaign allows people to submit their own personal stories involving Fred Perry for a chance to win £5,000 Pounds.

Fred Perry - Tell us your story

Fred Perry - Tell us your story

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