Monday, June 23, 2008

Wimbledon 2008

The word Wimbledon conjures images of tennis whites, green grass, bowls of red luscious strawberries topped with cream and of course, rain that somehow manages to leave a mark. Steeped in tradition, the aura of Wimbledon is difficult to explain but easy to grasp and it engulfs you from the moment you step off the tube at Southfields station.

The sleepy suburb of Wimbledon comes alive for two weeks, bursting at the seams with wide-eyed, chatty tourists. The walk to Gate No.1 that takes 15 minutes on a normal day resembles the early morning rush hour back home.

The Championships, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis championship in the world. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the only one played on grass courts.

The tournament is held in the London suburb of Wimbledon, England, at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It is held annually from late June to early July. The tournament is calendared so that it ends on the second Sunday of July and begins on the Monday, 13 days earlier.

It is the third Grand Slam tournament played each year. It is preceded by the Australian Open, which is played on hard courts, and the French Open (Roland Garros), which is played on clay courts. It is followed by the U.S. Open, which is played on hard courts.

In the Wimbledon 2008 tournament, five major events will be contested, as well as four junior events and four invitation events.

It takes something special to get a seat on Centre Court, that hallowed turf that names like Borg, Becker, Sampras and Federer call their second home. There are no flashy signs, no showy costumes and no noise. It’s just an appreciative silence that meets the players when they take court to battle it out for top honours.

The sun is shining and the forecast is good, which means Wimbledon 2008 is already better than Wimbledon 2007. Many hopes will be shattered and some new surprises sprung as every year at Wimbledon 2008.

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