Wimbledon Journal

Experiencing The Queue – Wimbledon’s Iconic Tradition

Jul 9, 2024

The Queue and its traditions

When summer rolls around and the world’s greatest tennis tournament commences, a remarkable tradition springs to life at Wimbledon: The Queue. This iconic line, filled with eager tennis fans, is as much a part of the Wimbledon experience as strawberries and cream.

Unlike many major sporting events, Wimbledon allocates a significant number of tickets for same-day purchase, allowing tennis lovers who have not managed to get tickets in the ballot to have a real opportunity to enjoy world-class tennis. These tickets include a limited number of Centre Court and No.1 Court tickets, as well as Ground Passes which give access to all the outside courts.

For many visitors, queuing for tickets is an integral part of the Wimbledon experience, offering a chance to secure coveted seats while soaking up the tournament’s atmosphere. Tennis lovers have a choice of camping out overnight to increase their chances of getting great tickets for the following day or to join the queue for getting in later that day –  the earlier you get to the queue the greater your chances of getting in. 

This year, Jane and Jenny of Wimbledon Homes Bed & Breakfast delved into The Queue to uncover the stories of those who make this ritual so special.

The Local Sisters: Camping for Centre Court Tickets

Locals from Wimbledon Park Freya and Ellie

Meet Freya and Ellie. With their pop up tent already set up, they’re brimming with excitement. They literally live around the corner in Wimbledon Park. Their mother has hosted guests in past years visiting Wimbledon Tennis, so the tournament is a special part of family life. Jokingly we ask them if their mother will be delivering their supper to them and laughing the two sisters told us that was what would be happening. How fantastic is that!

Freya was just about to start a new job the following week having recently graduated, so camping in The Queue was a great way to make the best of her time before that.  For these sisters, The Queue is more than just a means to an end; it’s taking part in a cherished tradition, a time to bond and create memories.


The South African Friends: A Laid-Back Quest for Entry

The group from South AfricaA few steps away, a group of friends from South Africa are sprawled out on the grass, soaking up the sun. A couple of them live in London and the others have flown over for a holiday.

They have brought along picnic blankets, food supplies and an infectious sense of camaraderie. They seem to be a very close group, clearly happy to spend hours in each others company ready to pass the time of day together. 



The Young Mother: Start them early 

Further along, we encounter Maria, a young mother from Chile, cradling her two-month-old baby Laura. She’s surrounded by family and friends, all eagerly anticipating their entry into the grounds.

“This is Laura’s first Wimbledon,” Maria beams, her joy palpable. “We came last year, without a baby obviously, and we loved it. I even came camping the day before getting into Centre Court.  This year we have come with Laura. We love tennis and we think she will love tennis too! Wimbledon is great, a great atmosphere. …..Even though the queue is very long, we hope to see some players today.”



The Couple from Tooting: A Love for the Game

Lastly, we meet Sean and his girlfriend. Sean tells us that they had just been queueing so far for 2 hours.

They are hoping to see the Murray brothers play but would be happy just to get into the grounds and soak up the atmosphere.

The couple had taken the day off work and were just treating taking part in The Queue as a chilled relaxed experience. Perfect!



Two American Buddies 

These two fabulous friends have been coming to The Queue for ever (well almost ever – 30 years!). That is quite impressive as they fly over from the US for Wimbledon. You can see them here proudly clutching their queue cards. There were in the camping queue so early they were in the first hundred to get their tickets – that is pretty amazing. Hats off to them!




The Essence of The Queue

As we navigate The Queue, it is clear that this is not just a line of people waiting for entry; but rather a microcosm of the global tennis community. From local enthusiasts to international travellers, young families to seasoned veterans, The Queue at Wimbledon is a celebration of dedication, passion, and the timeless love of the sport.

Each person we spoke to brings their own unique story, their own special touch to this grand tradition. It is these personal tales and shared experiences that make The Queue not just a part of Wimbledon, but the heart of it.



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