Last week was my first ever trip to Wimbledon, Kat was fortunate enough to get centre court tickets for the second Saturday. So we got to see the women's final!
I'm not much of a sport fan generally, and I don't even follow tennis through the rest of the year. But I do often get into Wimbledon fortnight. Working for IBM, who provide all the score tracking technology etc, I see it shown on the TVs around site every year.
Typically I would have said that you are better off watching sport on TV, with instant replays, close up shots etc. But I found that I had a much better connection with the players moods and attitudes, seeing them in person. Of course it helped that our seats where 5 from the front, right on the baseline at one end. I can imagine seats at the back may have been different.
Watching Serena Williams walk onto court with Vera Zvonareva it really struck me how much bigger she is, at least 6 inches taller, and bigger in every dimension, not fat, just scaled up. I'm sure that height and extra weight behind every shot must have a significant effect in the game. Not least the psychological effect of being up against a giant.
Very quickly I got the feel that she had more control over herself, and a better attitude to the game, it's hard to describe, but seeing someone in the flesh just lets you pick up on all sorts of body language that I don't feel I got via TV (until it's really obvious venting of frustration)
Weather wise the day was actually too sunny. It really is unforgiving, blazing down through the roof. Clouds were most welcome as they gave brief respite from being baked to the seats. I cannot imagine how hot the players must get, and the umpire! Sat in shirt and tie, no hint of shade, I'm surprised they don't drop off the seats with heat stroke.
I was a little surprised that of the three finals matches we watched, they were all straight sets. I suppose I imagined things would be more closely contested. Though the gentlemen's invitation doubles with Goran Ivanisevic was not exactly a serious match, much fun and larking about was done. It made for a fun light hearted start to the day.
All in all a great day, just a shame that the long train journey home meant it was better to leave before end of play. There were some very nice places just up the road from the grounds, so perhaps a quick lottery win will make things more convenient next year :-)