Moo’s Report and Photos from Centre Court, Wimbledon 2013

I still have to write about my second day at Eastbourne, which I will post after Wimbledon when the post-Wimby blues have well and truly hit home.  Anyway, I thought it would be fitting to post my report from Wimbledon whilst the event is still taking place. My brother was lucky enough to get some late returns in the central Wimlbedon ballot for the middle Saturday and I jumped at the chance to go…

We got an early train to Wimbledon and decided to really make the most of our day.  A tip if you are going to the Champs – don’t fork out your money on a taxi or a bus, just walk! It only takes about 15 minutes and in the past, I have walked past Mirka Federer and Petra Kvitova, which is always exciting.  This was the first time we had arrived dead on 10.30am and once we got through security, the gates had not opened.  It was fascinating to see that once they did, the  mad scramble of people to get a seat for court 3.  I just thought is it really worth it?! All throughout the day, we saw huge queues waiting outside court 3, which was perplexing because they were never going to get in and wasting their time!

The Aorangi practice courts was first on our list of “things to do” so we headed straight over before the crowds really picked up.  The first player we saw was Benoit Paire, who is an absolute hoot.  The guy is pretty hysterical to watch and was fist pumping after serves and at one point, fell backwards and collapsed into the netting in front of me and gave me a right old fright as I was taking pictures.  Novak Djokovic was also practising and amassed a large crowd, as did Laura Robson, who kept apologising to Kenny De Schepper on the next court as her balls kept tricking onto his practice court.

Benoit Paire
Practice sessions are a lot of fun with Benoit…
Laura Robson


Kenny De Schepper, who went on to beat Juan Monaco in R3.


There were quite a few players that I was really eager to get some snaps off and one of them was Sloane Stephens.  My brother was like a hawk and noticed Sloane behind us and I managed to add her to my list of players seen.  We watched her practice for a while and the overwhelming thought was she was in a right old mood; she did not look very happy at all! Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani were warming up on the court next door and we also saw Petra Martic and Hsieh Su-Wei arrive on different courts.

Cheer up, Sloane!

Sloane on the practice courts

Sara Errani

I wanted to watch a singles match at 11.30am, but we missed the boat and when we tried to get a seat or even a standing space for the match between Kei Nishikori and Andreas Seppi, it was pretty obvious that there was absolutely no chance as the whole court was consumed by many expectant Japanese fans and media.  Instead we headed down to the south end of the Wimbledon and picked out a few of the more obscure doubles matches where there were less people and I could actually breathe.


We started with the mens doubles match involving Jesse Levine and Vasek Pospisil, but it wasn’t particularly entertaining at the beginning and Levine was really struggling.  On the adjacent court, Francesca Schiavone was playing with Rajeev Ram against Anastasia Rodionova and Raven Klaasen.  I was hoping for some Rodionova drama, but I didn’t feel that thrilled by the match so headed back to Aorangi.

Jesse Levine
Vasek Pospisil, who I tipped to do well in 2012, but has yet to really push on in singles.  He did take Mikhail Youzhny to five sets in his second round match.
Anastasia Rodionova
Li Na had turned up on the practice courts and she was hitting with her hubby.  She was followed by Nicolas Almagro and Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, who were playing mixed doubles together.  They were messing about to start with and I actually saw Almagro properly smile (see photo for proof).  I also saw Tommy Haas and Sabine too, who was of course, smiling.  Kaia Kanepi and Elena Vesnina were playing together and I saw Kaia smile too! We then heard an almighty cheer behind us when Andy Murray walked through Aorangi and he signed a load of autographs.  He was dressed in a suit, which we found rather strange…

Nicolas Almagro and Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor
Tommy Haas

Kaia Kanepi

One of my favourite pictures from the day ๐Ÿ™‚

I headed over to my seat on Centre Court just before 1pm.  We had got two seats not together so we were in completely different sections.  My brother and I could see each other although it took him about 5 minutes before he could actually work out where I was despite me waving furiously.  Although it was a bit weird to be apart, it was nice that we could swap seats during the day and get a different perspective from Centre Court.  

Before the players came out for the first match, it was middle Saturday so it is tradition for Wimbledon to invite famous names from the world of sport to the Royal Box.  There was a real Olympian feel this year and I got goosebumps watching the highlights on the scoreboard… I absolutely loved the Olympics and it was great to see them get such a big applause.  The biggest one was for Andy, who we now realised was in a suit for his appearance in the Royal Box.

The Royal Box

Sueeeeeeee

Victoria Pendleton and an assortment of cyclists who won medals at London 2012

Andy Murray and Chris Hoy
My only moan was why did they have to do this at 1pm? The first match between Richard Gasquet and Bernard Tomic did not start until 1.30pm.  All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable match.  The first set was really quick with many love service holds, but there was lots of variety on show.  The highlight was on Tomic’s first set point, which featured some crazy slicing that prompted the crowd to burst into laughter midway through the point.  Tomic won the opening set and had 4 set points in the second set, but was denied by some clutch play from Gasquet.

Bernard Tomic and Richard Gasquet

My first view from Centre Court

Gasquet really stepped up his aggression and deservedly took the second set.  I thought from this point that he would push on, but Tomic stayed consistent and took advantage of an incredibly loose service game from Gasquet at 5-6.  There was no doubt the first two sets were better than the last two, perhaps because the crowd was more interested to know how Laura Robson was getting on during the last two sets.  You could hear everything that was going on over at Court No.2.  The biggest cheer was when Laura obviously broke in the second set and an equally big one went up when she won.  Centre Court erupted when it officially came up on scoreboard.

Richard Gasquet

All of my best pictures have come from Centre Court.  Sun also helped on Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚

That backhand is just amaze and I have adopted Reeshard as my Twitter picture.
Thankfully the news of Laura emerged just before the crucial 4th set tiebreak between Gasquet and Tomic.  It was Bernard who ran out the winner and he was good value for the win as he found a pretty good balance between defence and attack during the whole match.

Bernard Tomic… and the grass looks amazing!

A fun player to watch

Tomic served very well against Gasquet, one of the main reasons he won.

Without a doubt, my best shot from the 2013 grass court season ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomic wins
I stayed on Centre Court for the womens match between Sabine Lisicki and Sam Stosur, two of my favourite WTA players.  The first set was pretty dire as the crowd was nowhere near half full and Lisicki was terrible.  She couldn’t deal with the Stosur serve, missing returns left, right and centre and struggled to cope with Stosur’s slice or anything up at the net.

Sam Stosur

Sam had a lot of support from the Centre Court crowd

Sam wins the first set, 6-4
The match improved dramatically in the second set and it was as if a lightbulb suddenly flicked in Sabine’s brain as she finally started to deal with the Stosur serve and send it back with interest.  From that break, the rest was history and Sabine lost just three games in the second and third sets.  It was actually a pretty good match though and there were some exciting extended rallies. 

Sabine Lisicki

PUMPED

Run Sabine, Run!
I loved Sabine’s reactions when she won and I got some photos to add to my lot of celebrations from when she beat Maria Sharapova last year.  She appears a very emotional person, but it’s nice because you can see how much it means to her to be playing well at Wimbledon.

Sabine wins, 4-6 6-2 6-1

HAPPY

A pretty good effort from Stosur considering she’s not much cop on the grass
After the Lisicki-Stosur, I decided to head out and catch some of the action on the outside courts.  I had seen Novak Djokovic many times before and was not that interested in watching him hand a beatdown to Jeremy Chardy.  There was so much still going on around the outside courts and the weather was just lovely.
First we headed to court 7 where James Blake and Donna Vekic were playing mixed doubles and they were destroying their opponents.  Then we headed north up to court 16 to see some of the mens doubles between Grigor Dimitrov/Freddie Nielsen and Julien Benneteau/Nenad Zimonjic.  It has amassed a big crowd and most cameras were pointed at Grigor.  It was a really entertaining match and Dimitrov/Nielsen were the stronger pair at the end of the first set.  There was a huge deuce game that lasted about 15 minutes before the French-Serb pair forced the tiebreak, which Dimitrov and Nielsen deservedly won.  I was quite surprised to read that Dimitrov/Nielsen ended up losing the match; it was a tough draw for both.

Donna Vekic and James Blake… odd, but interesting mixed pair!
Vekic
I missed half of Dimitrov’s head but I like this picture.

Court 16
Grigor Dimitrov

Most cameras were pointed at Grigor…

Eugenie Bouchard was next on my list of players to watch so we headed to court 19 where she was playing doubles with Petra Martic against Cara Black and Marina Erakovic.  It was a closely contested match for the five games I saw and I must say Martic is a wonderful player to watch.  I really hope she can become more consistent on the tour and avoid injuries.  Also, Cara Black is tiny!

Eugenie Bouchard

Another future star of the WTA tour, which is looking exceedingly bright right now

 

Petra Martic

Martic is a lovely player to watch
We then went up to court 18 and found a seat to watch some mixed doubles between Jamie Delgado/Tara Moore and Fabio Fognini/Flavia Pennetta.  I got the sense that the Italians weren’t taking it very seriously, but they were the better pair and eventually got the first set on a tiebreak.  The highlight was watching Pennetta do a quite marvellous job in stopping Fognini from completely losing the plot and smashing every racquet in sight.  Fognini hit three double faults in one game and Pennetta just about kept him in line! I really enjoy watching the doubles at Wimbledon and it is probably the only time during the year that I follow it closely.  It is a definite must if you visit to Wimby to catch some on the outside courts.

Fabio Fognini

Flavia Pennetta

Jamie Delgado and Tara Moore

I was following on Twitter the updates of the match between David Ferrer and Alexandr Dolgopolov because I thought that Serena‘s third round match with Kimiko Date-Krumm might be moved to Centre… And it was… Under the roof! It was such a bonus and we headed back to our Centre Court seats where the players were already knocking up on the court.  The atmosphere was just electric and there was a very significant crowd for 8.30pm, obviously because of the resales.

Centre Court action under the roof!

Date-Krumm v Serena
Serena was really pumped up as the crowd were getting right behind Date-Krumm everytime she won a point.  She played some delightful points in between thunderous balls shooting past her.  Serena was always in control, but Kimiko’s fight was there for all to see and the crowd really appreciated it.  We had to leave at 9pm to get our train, but it was a great end to the day to watch some tennis under the roof.

Date-Krumm has a unique serve

Props to Date-Krumm who has made R3 of both the Aussie Open and Wimby in 2013.

Serena Williams

I really liked Serena’s dress this year

Serena was pumped to win every point

Mad

COME ON
It was another fantastic day and looking through my photos, they are my best bunch of 2013 for sure.  The one downside about Wimbledon for me is that it is so busy and it is hard to navigate around the match courts, which is why I favour Eastbourne in a way because it is so much calmer and you can get closer to the players.  However NOTHING beats watching tennis on Centre Court…

See you next year, Wimbledon ๐Ÿ˜‰
Top Spots of the Day
1. The most bizarre was watching Peng Shuai have a very heated argument, with who I assume was her coach.

Peng Shuai

2. Standing next to Pauline Parmentier whilst watching Benneteau/Zimonjic v Dimitrov/Nielsen doubles.
3. Andrea Petkovic smiling and signing autographs around the practice courts.
4. My Brother spotted the comedian, Alistair McGowan.  He obviously likes his tennis because several years ago we were sat next to him on Centre Court watching Andy Murray.
5. Boris Becker looking suave by court 14 as he took some pictures with fans.
6. John Lloyd walking around the grounds.

7. I was on umpire watch as usual and saw Eva Asderaki who was dressed in casual gear, Louise Engzell and Lucy Grant, who was wishing good luck to a fellow umpire.

8. Watching Juan Monaco and Kenny De Schepper march their way to do battle on Court 12.

Kenny De Schepper and Juan Monaco
If you missed my previous write-ups from the 2013 grass court season, links below…
AEGON Classic, Birmingham quarter-finals
AEGON International, Eastbourne Part 1

Coming Next Week – Part two of Eastbourne to wrap up my reports from the 2013 grass court season

7 thoughts on “Moo’s Report and Photos from Centre Court, Wimbledon 2013

  1. Nice post. James, why don't you quickly upload all the photos to Flickr? That way more people would see them and you would also promote your blog.

    Like

  2. Thanks everyone.ccmack – It's with a Nikon D5000 and i believe, a Tamron 70-300 lens.Marija – thanks for the tip, its something I am planning to do over the next couple of days!

    Like

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