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A Day at Wimbledon 2009

CNBC.com
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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

The Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club, the most famous of all of tennis' grand slam events, had already marked some notable "firsts" before finals. For the first time a roof was used and for the first time a match was played under lights.

And despite the withdrawal of reigning men's champion Rafael Nadal, the local excitement was high as Andy Murray made a charge to become the first British player to win the men's singles title in 71 years.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Cheap Seats, Great Seats

If you can't score a ticket close to the action at Centre Court or Court 1, you can still get close to tennis at the highest level at one of the matches in the outer courts. Early days of the tournament are packed with singles and doubles matches with first-come, first-serve seats often available courtside.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

End of the Rain Delay?

Wimbledon 2009 was the inaugural tournament for the Centre Court retractable roof, which ensured that rain or darkness wouldn't stop play during the big matches.

But surprisingly, the roof was barely needed to fend off rain as London found itself in the grips of a June heat wave.


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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Centre (Court) Stage

Top seeds like Roger Federer (serving) feature on Centre Court from the start of the tournament. Federer missed out on a record six straight Wimbledon titles in 2008, losing to rival Rafael Nadal in what many consider to be one of the finest finals in the history of the championships.


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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

'Henman Hill' Now 'Murray Mound'?

Attendees with tickets for the grounds, but not the stadium can still catch the big names on the big screen and picnic at the same time. The area became known as "Henman Hill" when supporters of English player Tim Henman crowded into the area and flooded it with Union Jack flags. Hopes were even higher this year with the emergence of world No. 3 player Andy Murray from Scotland.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

From 128 to 1 Champion

While there are new stadium gadgets like a retractable roof, the order of play board and the tournament ladder are still updated manually. A field of 128 men and 128 women vie for the singles title.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Early Birds Get the Tickets

Those without tickets can still line up to enter the area featuring the outer courts at the start of the day. In addition, those with stadium tickets that leave early can turn them in at the gate to be sold at a discount to hopeful fans, with proceeds going to charity.

The tournament has averaged more than 400,000 fans attending in recent years.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Pass the Pimm's

While tennis is the name of the game at Wimbledon, the day out also includes eating and drinking traditions like strawberries and cream and the classic English summer cocktail, the Pimm's Cup.

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Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Companies Still Spending

While there were concerns that big spenders would shy away from Wimbledon because of the recession, hospitality tents were still popular. Controversially, Royal Bank of Scotland, rescued by the government from collapse and now partially nationalized, decided to hold a hospitality event for executives and guests this year, sparking outrage among taxpayers. Security at the RBS marquee was high.