Wimbledon: strawberries, debentures and Rufus the hawk

Wimbledon is the oldest and probably the most prestigious event in the British tennis, indeed its sporting, calendar. Look up any list of “greatest matches of all time” or “major British sporting events” and the tournament will be well represented. Each championship comprises over 650 matches; each has its own potential for drama, upsets, heroics and jaw-dropping skill. In 2010 it also hosted what was, at eleven hours and five minutes, the world’s longest match. This record is unlikely to be broken any time soon but thrills, spills and a unique and at times almost tangible atmosphere are pretty much guaranteed every year.

The event was first conceived in 1877 as a fundraiser for the All England Croquet Club, as it was then known, with combined prize money of £26,150. Things have changed a bit since then, of course, with the pot now being worth over £40m. Each championship employs around 6,000 people, the 250-odd ball boys and girls being probably the most visible. Other tasks include managing the 54,000 balls that get used, tending the 22 playing and 18 practice courts, and serving the two million strawberries, 7,000 litres of cream and 150,000 glasses of Pimm’s that get consumed each year by the tournament’s 500,000 visitors. One must also not forget the keepers of Rufus the hawk, who ensures that the event remains as pigeon-free as possible.

A well-established, well-run and captivating event, in other words, whose traditions (including the grass courts and the white kits) are now underpinned by all one expects from a top-tier modern-day sporting event. So – how can you get to experience all this for yourself?

Options include the Wimbledon ballot, queuing on the day or getting a ticket through your local tennis club. Obviously, none of these are guaranteed: Wimbledon Debenture tickets, however, are. These provide access to the finest seats on Centre and Number One Courts as well as access to the exclusive debenture facilities.​ They are also the only tickets that are freely transferable and permitted to be resold.

For more information on these, contact Wimbledon Debenture Tickets whose staff will be able to draw on many decades of collective experience and find the package that’s right for you. They’ll take care of all the details, leaving you with some top-class tennis action to look forward to – and, of course, some strawberries, some Pimm’s and perhaps even a glimpse of Rufus the hawk…

 

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