Sunday, 6 July 2014

60. Second Thursday of Wimbledon 2014

Hello everyone, let me warn you now that this is going to be a very long post because not only did I go to Wimbledon but there is also some other Mancunian Sheep news this week. I'm putting this post up early on a Sunday because it's Ramadan so I'll be busy in the evening and also, the men's singles final at Wimbledon gets underway at 2pm. 

This week got off to a great start because my Mum came home from hospital on Monday! She went in almost two weeks ago and I'm just so glad and relieved to have her back where she belongs because when she last had a UTI (a common complication in Parkinson's patients during hot weather) in 2012, she was in for 6 weeks! 

After the most demanding academic year of my entire life in which I had 6 hour labs, a dissertation, a field course and 8 exams, I have somehow passed second year with a 2.1! I received my results on Friday and I hope everyone else who already have/ waiting for their results are/will be happy with them! It's scary to think that this time next year, I'll almost be graduating hopefully :O

Now for the bulk of this post, my trip to Wimbledon! My Wimbledon journey began last year when I applied for tickets in December for the Public Ballot and found out I had managed to get a pair of court 1 tickets in February! I couldn't believe my luck as the public ballot is ridiculously oversubscribed and I think there's 4 applicants for every ticket. 

I went to Wimbledon with my neighbour and very good friend, Ana who I've known for 14 years but have never actually been out with! We got the coach from Manchester to London at 5.45 am on Thursday but disaster struck when our coach arrived 40 minutes late at London Victoria due to a ridiculous traffic jam on Baker Street, Westminister. Thanks to my accurate planning, I had an almost minute by minute schedule so the rest of the day ran smoothly as we just got a later service from London Victoria to Clapham and then from Clapham to Wimbledon. Once we arrived at Wimbledon station, there was a superb taxi service running where you could share a cab and pay £2.50/person direct to the All England Club. There were also buses but they cost £3.50 and were slower so it made a lot more sense to take the cab.

Once we entered the park, I purchased a Rally for Bally wristband to raise money for the Royal Marsden in memory of the lovely and inspirational Elena Baltacha, may she rest in peace (you can donate here). When I saw the Centre Court sign and balcony, memories of Andy's win last summer came flooding back and my knees almost gave way. It was genuinely one of the happiest moments of my entire life, not to sound too poetic. 

The first match on court 1 was the men's doubles quarter finals, Radek Stepanek and Leander Paes were against Daniel Nestor and Neand Zimonjic. As Stepanek had defeated Andy at Queen's a few weeks ago, I wanted the others to win at the start but when a spectator collapsed due to the 26C heat and Paes spotted him and gave him a water bottle, I was rooting for Stepanek and Paes. They put on a good show by doing some keepy uppy and Stepanek tormented one of the ball boys by keeping the ball under his foot which was a bit mean but it was all light-hearted! Stepanek played very well and they deserved to win as they took the match in 4 sets.

But first, let us take a selfie!

Coin toss!
Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India.

Daniel Nestor of Canada and Neand Zimonjic of Serbia.
At the start of the second set, we went for lunch because due to the coach being late, we had no time beforehand. Ana and I both bought a sandwich and I got us some strawberries and cream because you can't go to Wimbledon and not have the infamous treat!

We needed lots of this!

Ana enjoying the strawberries!
Such fun, yum yum!
Here's some more photos from the first match:
Stepanek serving

Zimonjic serving

Match point!

When Paes and Stepanek won!

Celebrate good times, come on!

This is one of the reasons why I adore tennis, despite playing gruelling matches, these guys sign autographs and souvenirs immediately after matches. It shows how much the fans mean to players. 

Between matches, Ana and I went to the Wimbledon shop and made some new friends!

A very cool but uncomfortable looking dress. I'm loving the green mohwak and strawberry shoes however.

I ended up going a bit crazy in the souvenir shop but oh well, it was the best day of my life after all! Here are some of the things I bought (some of them are presents for my friends so I'm not posting photos of them):
I've already framed this and it's sitting on my desk.

Sunburnt but worth it, also I won't be needing a red nose for Comic Relief :P

Fridge magnet.

The second match was the third round of the mixed doubles and it was our very own Naomi Broady from Stockport and Liverpool's Neal Skupski (come on the North!) who beat Florin Mergea of Romania and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in a thrilling 3 set match. The final set was edge of the seat tennis and at one point when Broady and Skupski were up for 4-2, it must have gone to 10th deuce and it felt like the last game of the Murray-Djokovic 2013 Wimbledon final. Naomi Broady played wonderfully and she will definitely go far in British women's tennis, I was astounded that this was only their first Wimbledon.

Naomi Broady serving.

Naomi Broady and Neal Skupski discussing tactics.

The players taking a much deserved break.

Florin Mergea and Elina Stivtolina.

Aww, the chair umpire looks lonely.


Victory is ours!

Naomi can't believe they've done it!

Neal throwing the ball into the crowd.

I hope you've enjoyed this long photo packed post, I'm off to watch the Wimbledon final now. Come on Djokovic! Until next time, take care.


Mancunian Sheep x