KSL SPORTS

Excited Tennis Fans Return To Wimbledon After 1-Year Break

Jun 28, 2021, 9:10 PM
A general view of centre court during the Men's Singles First Round match between Andy Murray of Gr...
A general view of centre court during the Men's Singles First Round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia during Day One of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by AELTC/Bob Martin-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by AELTC/Bob Martin-Pool/Getty Images)

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Cheery fans, dreary skies.

Wimbledon is back after a one-year hiatus and the gray, overcast weather felt right at home at an event notorious for its rain delays.

“Perfect spectator weather,” said Hannah Scott, a 26-year-old mask-wearing graduate student from London who was among the first fans to arrive on the grounds on Monday. “You’re not going to burn in the sun.”

Last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II. It’s going ahead this year but with a reduced capacity at the start. Organizers, however, are planning to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals in two weeks.

The usual flower-filled grounds greeted the many fans that poured through gates early Monday. Stands selling food, drinks and souvenirs were staffed and doing business right from the start, while stewards were helping spectators find their way around.

The weather, of course, played its part, too, delaying the start of play for about two hours.

“One of the things that we thought long and hard about, worked hard to deliver, is a familiar feel about The Championships,” All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said. “So when people arrive at the gates this morning, as they are doing now, what they will see and feel is something very familiar – a Championships that we’ve all missed for two years.”

Arlo Godwin, a 10-year-old boy from London, was soaking up the wet weather and everything else Wimbledon had to offer on his first visit to the club.

“I’m always excited,” said Godwin, who was with his mother. “I was looking forward to it last year but it didn’t happen. But I watched a lot of Roland Garros.”

Godwin said his favorite player is Novak Djokovic, who was first up on Centre Court in the traditional spot for the defending men’s champion, but he and his mother have tickets for Court No. 2.

“We’re seeing (Andrey) Rublev and then Dan Evans, which is good because he’s British. And Venus Williams, too,” Godwin said with excitement in his voice.

Alas, a few hours later, the matches involving Evans and Williams were among those postponed until Tuesday because of the rain.

Helen Godwin was also visiting Wimbledon for the first time — after many failed attempts to in recent years to secure tickets online. When she finally got them, the fact Monday is a school day for Arlo didn’t matter at all.

“A cheeky day off school,” said Helen, a 48-year-old doctor who has worked to set up a vaccine clinic during the pandemic. “This is a much more educational day.”

The walkways around the many courts at the All England Club are usually packed with people, as is the hill behind Court No. 1 where you can watch matches on a big-screen television — a place often called Murray Mount or, in years past, Henman Hill. This year the atmosphere is so far much tamer, with plenty of space for pedestrians to walk between courts.

And there’s even some extra space in the gift shop, where Scott made her first stop after passing through the gates.

“I’m not supposed to be here. I got the ticket from a friend who couldn’t make it,” said Scott, who bought a Wimbledon towel as a consolation gift for her disappointed friend and then used some tennis lingo to get herself in the mood. “Order of play change.”

___

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Sports

(KSL TV)...
KSL TV

Police report: No evidence that fan banned by BYU used a racial slur

A BYU police officer said he reviewed video surveillance of the volleyball game against BYU and Duke University and does not see evidence that the fan who was banned by BYU that night was the person making the derogatory comments, according to a police report obtained by KSL TV.
1 month ago
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 22: A sign designating a Vaccinated Fan Section is see before the game bet...
TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer

Unvaccinated NBA players, staff must test weekly for COVID

Unvaccinated NBA players and team personnel must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing this season.
1 month ago
...
Andrew Adams, KSL TV

Fans, writers weigh in on Jazz future after early playoff exit

The morning after the Utah Jazz got bounced from the playoffs was not a pretty one. Fans and NBA writers alike offered their takes on the future of the franchise, with many pointing to tough choices and the potential for significant offseason changes.
5 months ago
Reese Witherspoon attends the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on February ...
The Associated Press

Reese Witherspoon becomes part-owner of Nashville MLS team

Actor Reese Witherspoon and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry have joined the ownership group of Major League Soccer’s Nashville team ahead of Sunday's opening of Geodis Park, its 30,000-seat stadium.
5 months ago
Brittney Griner, who plays for Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, was ...
Steve Almasy and Kikue Higuchi, CNN

WNBA commissioner voices support for Brittney Griner

Ahead of Monday's WNBA draft, commissioner Cathy Engelbert reaffirmed the league's commitment to helping bring Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner — who has been detained in Russia since mid-February — back home.
6 months ago
(C) Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during the national championship ...
DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

Staley leads South Carolina over UConn for second NCAA title

Dawn Staley and South Carolina buttoned up on defense and won their second national championship, stifling UConn for a 64-49 victory that ended the Huskies’ undefeated streak in title games.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Excited Tennis Fans Return To Wimbledon After 1-Year Break