Summer Grass Court Tennis Adventures from Wimbledon

Grass Tennis and Summer Adventures in Europe

Living next to Wimbledon Park for 4 days. I wanted to showcase to American fans what it is really like to queue. It is much easier to buy Ticketmaster tickets online. US Open fans rejoice for digital technology!

For NYC summer vacation ideas around Labor Day, read my US Open SuperFan Guide.

JC on the "Quest of the 3 Kings" to visit Roger, Rafa, and Novak in Europe.

Seat Upgrades: You can go into the queue in the early afternoon to get a grounds pass, then head straight to the upgrade queue near Court 18 to get a ticket to a show court (if you're lucky). Many fans have left already towards the end of the day. Wimbledon resells these tickets per court.

Roger's Retirement Ceremony at Wimbledon - Video

FYI: all last-minute Amex tickets for every session were sold out in the first 20 minutes!
Try checking for Ticketmaster's digital tickets if you want to skip the queue.

Coco Gauff on Court 1
Our US Open 2023 Champion 2 months later!

The UK Fan Experience
During the first 4 days, I queued in the rain and the sun. Sometimes 4-6 hours on the giant lawn! Some played cricket to pass the time. Food trucks lined the back. It was usually a very festive feel overall.

Living at SW18 above the Rain Showers
I stayed in a 3rd story flat next door to some junior Wimbledon tennis players. It was a blessing.

The location allowed me to use a toilet and hot shower during those precious 30-minute breaks. From my balcony, I kept an eye out on the queue during the rainstorms.

To pass the time during the long days, I went out to chat with many international tennis fans!

These were the hardcore folks who came for the love of the game. Some campers were willing to wait for the best Centre Court seats - getting there overnight or even two days before! The ones at the front are saints.

On the 2nd day, I queued with an Australian tennis couple celebrating their honeymoon. They were in Europe towards the end of the French Open and then up to the start of Wimbledon. Brilliant Idea!

Centre Court with Sinner

Week 1 Highlights:
  • Seeing Roger on July 4th at his Wimbledon retirement ceremony.
  • Got upgraded to the front row (A) on Court 1.
  • Saw a 5th set superbreak on Court 2.
  • Watched the Legends like Novak on Centre Court.

Comparison to the US Open:
  • Britsh crowds love queues or lines! There's a line for tickets, food, seats, toilets, shops, and lounges.
  • NYC fans will balk if they wait more than 5 minutes for coffee. I waited for over 20 in London for tea.
  • British Pounds are expensive! At the time, a 25-30% markup on the US Dollar.
  • You need court-specific reserved tickets for "show courts,"; even Court #2 with no roof.
  • Side courts are extremely limited in seating. Difficult to see if you're short like me (under 5'6)

Fund Facts for Fans, Friends, and Family
  • On day 2, six hours of queuing sadly yielded less than 1 hour of tennis - then complete rain out.
  • I instead got to visit their museum and gift shops. Plus, I sampled many of their food and beverages.
  • At the US Open, I'm used to 10 minutes of security to watch 6+ hours of tennis on over 17 courts.
  • Pimm's is the UK version of the Honey Deuce. I still prefer the US Open drink and cups.

2nd Floor Amex Lounge with some Pimm's

Sweets - Box of Strawberries and Cream

Tour de France - weekend detour in San Sebastian and Bilbao

During a rainstorm, I stopped at a small cafe for lunch in San Sebastian. A nice girl and her dog offered me a seat by the window. She asked if I was in town to see the peloton in a couple hours. Bicycle race? I actually had no idea.

The podium for this leg of the Tour de France was at the next bridge. No wonder there were so many people in town that weekend! Bilbow is highly recommended for art and architecture fans. Bilbao, Spain Photos

The girl turned out to be the wife of a UK's Tom Pidcock - an amazing downhill specialist. She had just traveled from Bilbow the night before for the previous leg of the race. Thus, all the signage around the city.

Guggenheim Museum at Night. Tour De France (Stage 1 at Bilboa)

Mallorca Championships - ATP 250

On the island of Mallorca - I visited Palma and her beautiful harbor and old town.

Tsitsipas and a few other ATP players say this is the best Wimbledon preview tournament. The tournament director was none other than Uncle Toni Nadal. They even use the actual balls of Wimbledon.

Chris Eubanks, 1st ATP Title - USA Wimbledon Cinderella

As Media Press, following Chris Eubanks and his incredible Cinderella run on grass.
He won his 1st ATP title at the Mallorca Championship.

He's a fellow Georgia Tech grad. Following him was a highlight of the trip. In the Citizen (Arthur) Ashe documentary, he even plays the role of body double as a young Ashe in the CNN film.

I got to chat a bit with his new coach, who has helped Chris take off. Such an epic1st ATP title and emotional victory speech for his team! I'm looking forward to the US Open 2023, where Chris will be a seeded player!

Rafa Nadal Academy Visit (Updates in July 2023)

I drove from Palma to Manacor to visit the Rafa Nadal Academy on the day of the Final. Uncle Toni was coaching and Rafa was resting inside. The indoor clay courts and expansion of the campus looked fantastic.

The new bronze Rafa Statue outside on the center court with the fountains is epic.

Autographs of famous visitors at the Rafa Nadal Sport Shop

Greetings for now from Wimbledon!
See you for the US Open Series series (July-September)