July 2019 brought us some of the hottest days on record, as well as some of the most exhilarating Tennis that we’ve witnessed at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. This year, the 2019 Championships at Wimbledon was not short of surprises as we saw the rise of future stars, the growth of some of the sport’s best talents, and the excellence of some of the greatest players on the circuit.
Each year the town of Wimbledon becomes the home of Tennis as it dresses itself in the traditional Wimbledon colours, and welcomes spectators from near and far. Local retailers take pride in decorating their windows and the exterior of their buildings, whilst the Piazza outside Morrisons comes alive with Love Wimbledon hosting the big screen which streams live tennis action from the grounds into the town centre. For most, this is truly a great time to explore the streets of Wimbledon.
Whilst watching tennis is the main attraction for most people that attend (The Championships at) Wimbledon, some might argue that just the experience is enough. Whether it is standing in The Queue for hours, indulging in strawberries and cream, or admiring the beautiful grounds, a visit to these SW19 grounds is almost always a treat and makes for a fantastic day out.
This year I made my annual trip to Wimbledon on Manic Monday which thankfully was not as manic as it sounds. The weather was gorgeous and there was some great fourth round matches scheduled featuring the likes of Simona Halep vs Coco Gauff, British Number 1 Johanna Konta vs Petra Kvitova, and Roger Federer vs Matteo Berrettini. I was fortunate enough to step onto Centre Court to witness the legend Roger Federer glide through his match with Matteo Berrettini as he proceeded to the next round. My only criticism of the day was that Roger was almost a bit too swift, as it all finished way too quickly!
Although I had a great day at The Championships, it was not the best day for 15-year-old rising star Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff who started to capture the hearts of the public from the tournament’s first round when she knocked out her tennis idol Venus Williams. From the moment that she stepped onto Court 1 on Monday 1st July, her Wimbledon 2019 journey was nothing short of amazing, and she soon became a public favourite. On Manic Monday, she just missed a place in the Semi-Finals as top seed Simona Halep put an end to her run, but we hope that Coco found some consolation in the following days to find that she had lost to this year’s Ladies Singles Champion.
On one hand, it was fantastic to witness a future Tennis star being born here in Wimbledon at The Championships 2019. Yet on the other hand it reminded me of Merton Council’s recent decision to implement charges for the use of local tennis courts in Wimbledon. With less local people being able to access free tennis courts, questions have been raised as to whether our town will continue being the home of Tennis, and whether such decisions will reduce the likelihood of more stories like this for local kids.
Written by Genevieve Etienne-Farrell