Monday, June 30

Today we went to Wimbledon, a famous tennis tournament that has been held in London since 1877. Getting to the Wimbledon took much preparation. We woke up at 5:30 A.M. and were out the door by 6:00 A.M. We arrived there at 7:30 A.M and "queued" (waited in long lines) with an enormous crowd in the rain for five hours! When we finally got in, we went to see a match between Max Mirnyi (from Belarus) and Jonas Bjorkman (from Sweden). We got tickets to the outdoor courts which allowed us to view many different matches up close. The court was covered with a tarp when we arrived to protect the grass courts which become very slippery when wet. We had great seats, only about five feet away from courtside. The grass courts were very cool, along with ball boys and girls, the line judges, the chair umpire and the enthusiastic crowd. It was my first real live match! Bjorkman won in four sets and the fastest serve of the day was by Mirnyi at 131 mph. Almost all of their first serves were over 100 mph. After that match we roamed around viewing other matches. This was an extremely exciting experience. ~David

The courts and pathways were beautifully decorated with flowers, cute little shops and cafés. We got so close to the players that we could even hear them breathing! It was fun listening to the players talk to themselves and seeing them make fists when they won points. It made you tired just looking at how hard they smacked those balls. It was also funny looking into the crowd and seeing them turn their heads according to the movement of the ball. They looked like robots! We enjoyed the traditional Wimbledon snack of strawberries and cream and of course the daily tea. ~Katie

Some interesting facts about Wimbledon:

- It's considered sacred ground by players and fans

- Tennis was invented in England and is therefore a very popular sport here

- It is the only grand slam tournament to be played on grass courts

- Rye grass is grown on the courts

- 40,000 balls are used and stored at 68 degrees F

- The Centre Court holds 13,813 spectators

- There are 200 ball boys and girls


Distance Walked: 3.24 miles












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