A tale of two Wimbledons

Wimbledon — Take 1

Tuesday, Wimbledon Day 2. The travelers are weary, but spirited. Picadilly from Russell Square to District Line to Wimbledon transfer from Earl’s Court. The travelers are surrounded by even more spirited event-goers: faces painted, outfits coordinated, paraphernalia adorning the body.

Southfields Station. The masses alight here, briskly making their way toward the Way Out and down the road to the correct entrance. The one where those without tickets go.

Volunteers greet the newest queuers with a smile and a hand pointing then in the right direction. Crowds of people organized into an orderly line that moves slowly, steadily. Around a tent while a woman sells copies of The Guardian with a complimentary sample of sunscreen.

Suddenly the story becomes clearer. The crowds are Massive. Many thousands have already been queuing for hours.

The green flag marks the end of the line… way, way, way, way, way, way in the corner of the field. A volunteer hands out numbers to mark each arrival’s place in line, no matter how late. The time is 10:15. The situation does not look good.

WimbledonTake1
10K people ahead of us. Outlook not so good.

40 minutes pass. The travelers decide to ditch the effort and return the next day. But, not ones to waste a journey, they walk back, all 9.1 miles, from Wimbledon to Russell Square — via Wandsworth, Battersea, the Chelsea Bridge, Pimlico, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and Holborn.

Whew.

Wimbledon — Take 2
A story in pictures

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Arrived at 6:15a and already 3K+ people ahead of us!
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Wimbledon crowds
MurraysAnOstrichAmirite
He may be a champion, but he favors an ostrich, no?
DjoksOnYou
Djokovic goofing around…err, practicing (in the light blue)
BallGirlBoyChangeover
The changing of the ball girls and boys
SloaneStephens
Sloane Stephens (USA)
RajivRamAndAwesomeLineswoman
My favorite and uber precise lineswoman during the Rajeev Ram – Juan Monaco match
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Requisite Strawberries and Cream
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Fans watch Roger Federer on the big screen from Henman Hill (colloquially renamed Murray Mound)