Wimbledon may be one of my favourite things to watch EVER but it sure can be tricky to go and see the tennis in person. Hospitality packages are expensive, queuing is certainly not a guaranteed way to do it, and you’ve already missed the boat for the ticket ballot when it comes to 2013. I know this is a bleak picture to paint, but there is another way to see many of your favourite stars. And we’re not talking crime or trickery.
The UK plays host to several of the so-called warm-up events for Wimbledon. The grass season is remarkably short, and the players need to get their eye in somewhere. So here is our guide to these destinations.
Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham
The Ladies tour heads here for a week’s competition starting on 10th June 2013. The line-up is set to feature more big stars than ever before, from our very own Laura Robson to Sabine Lisicki and Madison Keys, an 18-year-old fresh from beating former No. 1 Li Na! Ladies be ready – the tournament has its very own Ladies’ Day too, on Thursday 13th June.
The Edgbaston Priory Club is just five-minutes from Birmingham City Centre, with buses running between the two. The club is only small, so you will really be able to get close to the action.
Prices: Tickets start from £10 for an adult
The Queen’s Club, London
Whilst the Ladies head to Birmingham, the Men head to London. Andy Murray and Thomas Berdych head up an impressive field, but will Lleyton Hewitt be able to sweep all aside and gain the title for a record-equalling fifth time? Tipped as the championship to win if you’re going to make it big at Wimbledon, you’ll certainly be in the know if you spend some time here!
The Queen’s Club is located in West London, so it’s best to use public transport as parking is limited. Tube stations are Baron’s Court and West Kensington, and there are plenty of bus routes too.
Prices: Ground tickets start from £18 per adult, and Court One tickets from £35
Devonshire Park, Eastbourne
Starting on 15th June, this is the week before Wimbledon and the competition hots up as both the Men and the Ladies head to the south coast. The line-ups are looking pretty good too, with Jarko Niemenen, Gilles Simon, Phillip Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco already confirmed for the Men. The Ladies’ battle is looking tougher still with several former No.1 players involved. Ana Ivanovic, Carolina Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Marion Bartoli will certainly be ones to watch.
Devonshire Park is within easy walking distance of the centre of Eastbourne and there will also be a special shuttle service between the local NCP car parks and the club. There is also a local bus that you can catch.
Prices: Saturday is a FREE day! Expect queues! All other days – Ground Passes start from £14 for adults and tickets for Centre Court and Court No.1 start from £20.
Images © lta.org.uk