I love to watch tennis each summer and apply for the Wimbledon ballot in hope. This year I didn’t get tickets but found an alternative place to enjoy one of my favourite sports. Visiting the Hurlingham Club gave me an insight into another tennis classic and my fix of watching tennis live.
I booked a package which included champagne, a lunch, a talk by a tennis player, and most importantly the tennis matches. It was pricey but I deserved a treat. I had not really heard about the pre- Wimbledon classics but the line up promised a good day out.Walking through the grounds felt like going to an exclusive country club. Initially I felt out of place and wondered whether I should be going at all….. but carried on.
Whilst enjoying champagne and delightful tapas dishes I chatted to some of the other guests. Soon Greg Rusedski was being interviewed about the likely winners for Wimbledon this year. It felt very informal and after a dish of strawberries and cream I headed out to the courts.
I watched Tsonga and Raonic play, followed by Nadal v Berdych. That was good but the best was yet to come. Why the courts empty after a singles match is beyond me but when the doubles players came on the seats were mostly empty- except mine as I was determined to make the most of every minute. The doubles match was the best of all and I especially enjoyed watching the Iranian player Mansour Bahrami. He grew up in Iran playing tennis but when the revolution occurred tennis was banned. I found him especially entertaining and the tennis match was first class.
As an experience it was great to see tennis outside the hype at Wimbledon and in quieter circumstances. It got me thinking about alternative venues to watch tennis each year….. and keep on doing the Wimbledon ballot. I’m already planning my list of experiences for 2018 and tennis is on it.