Murray wins: watching Men’s finals day at Wimbledon

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An emotional Andy Murray just after winning his second Wimbledon title
An emotional Andy Murray just after winning

There are some sporting events you dream of seeing in person –an Olympics final, the deciding match of a Premier League season or perhaps the last day of a golf major. My sports bucket list also included a Wimbledon Final, but it wasn’t something I ever thought I actually would see in person. Until last year.

And, as I’m a Brit, you’ll know that 2016 was the perfect year to be there for the “Gentleman’s Singles final”. After all, Andy Murray was playing and that’s something you really don’t want to miss.

I have been to Wimbledon a number of times, always getting tickets through the ballot, which you need to apply for in the autumn of the winter before. Anyone can apply for this – you simply need to send off a stamped addressed envelope and then fill in and send back the official form – and you are told if you are lucky enough to have received tickets in the spring. If you are allocated tickets you still have to purchase them, and they rise in price, depending on their importance. The cost of the men’s final was a whopping £175 (but I know I’m never going to get tickets again, so I decided it was worth it!).

sign up at Wimbledon tennis championships 2016Going to Wimbledon on finals day is so different from going earlier in the Championships. For one thing, it’s much quieter. Normally there are matches being played on all the courts, but there were only a few going on – the main action was to take place on one court only. There were far fewer people bustling around and pictures of the main protagonists (Andy Murray and Milos Raonic – the first Canadian ever to reach the men’s final there) on display.

We arrived as we have done before, by tube to Southfields, and then took a taxi from the station (although we walked back later). I was going with my dad, who was then 79, so a taxi seemed wise, at least for one day.

We arrived and took some pictures and then took our seats. The court quickly filled up and I was mesmerised by the royal box. Although I had seen celebrities in there when I had been lucky enough to get tickets before, it had been nothing like this…

celebrities in the royal box at the Wimbledon tennis championships 2016,
Who can you spot?

First up were Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. But they got better! I was indebted to the excellent zoom on my camera and excitedly told the couple sitting next to us that I could see Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Grant, David Cameron, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg and others. I had to pull myself away to watch the tennis – although I did glance back a few times at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, when they appeared.

Murray serving at the end of the men's wimbledon finalThe match was terrifically exciting. It may not have seemed like it from the score (Murray won his second Wimbledon title in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6), but when you are watching and want someone to win so much, you just want it to be over. Plus two of those sets went to a tie-break, which made it nail biting. I am a big Murray fan and am always amazed by how he handles the pressure. But he played beautifully and Raonic was not quite in his league. Even his big serve wasn’t as big as we were expecting.

The whole match took two hours, 48 minutes and it really was a thrill to see Murray win his second Wimbledon title. I took a lot of pictures, including some which really show his emotions.

Murray parades his trophy at the Men's Wimbledon final, 2016I was surprised to see so many people leave after Murray’s victory, especially as we had the possibility of seeing two British winners in one day! Heather Watson was surprised to reach the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles final with her partner Henri Kontinen, as they had not played together before the event. They came onto court soon after Murray and Raonic, in order to play Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Groenefeld and beat them 7-6, 6-4 for their first Grand Slam title. In the process, Watson became the first British woman to win a Wimbledon title since Jo Durie and Jeremy Bates picked up the same title in 1987.

Watson wins the Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon 2016
A very happy Heather Watson!

It was a joy to watch them – the match seemed less stressful than the previous one – and it was amazing to see them win! Mind you, there weren’t many in the royal box who stayed to see it (round of applause for Hugh Grant, who did stay).

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge applaud Heather Watson's victory at Wimbledon 2016
Spot the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge applauding!

All in all, it was a fabulous, historic day, and all because we filled in a form. We’d recommend you do the same for next year – although be warned, you aren’t always lucky. We didn’t get any tickets in the ballot for 2017. Luckily we have the athletics world championships in London to come in August instead!

Read my tips for a trip to Wimbledon, written following my visit in 2015

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17 Responses

  1. Looks like fun – but I am not sure the Scotsman will win again this year

  2. I’m not a huge tennis fan but I imagine the atmosphere and excitement of the finals would be incredible. Of course, when my tennis playing son makes it to Wimbledon I’ll pop along and watch him too (one day…..)

  3. Wow that’s so useful! My boyfriend and I are huge tennis fan and he’s always saying how he would love to go to Wimbledon. Now I know how! I told him about it, he didn’t even know! Thanks!

    • It’s definitely worth applying. I’m missing it this year! You can also turn up on the day (if you’re brave enough to hang around just in case!)

  4. What a good day! Sighting so many celebrities at once and having to watch such an amazing sport ar teniss. Loved reading this 🙂

  5. I was watching this game yesterday on TV. I m impressed that you already published the post. I liked that you captured all the stars in the VIP box. What a star parade in fact. Sadiq Khan has been showing up at every cool event lately. The Britts are crazy about Andy. Thanks for sharing. i loved it!

  6. My husband was at Wimbledon in 2010 and he loved it! He still uses the towel he got there. Haha. In fact, someone thought he worked at the shop because he had a Wimbledon that he had bought there a year before. Too funny! I’d love to go sometime. I hear the strawberries and cream are the thing to get.

  7. What a great experience! I watched this one – cheering on fellow Canadian Milos! We were sad he didn’t win, but Andy is sensational. Quite the star-studded affair!

  8. Indrani

    Wow! You got the chance to see it! Indeed lucky!
    Clicking all celebrities there is like a dream come true. 🙂 Great to read this post.

  9. I am not a huge tennis watcher and no zero about the sport but would go to Wimbledon in a heart beat. I would even read up on it before hand to know what was going on, such a great memory!

  10. I’m totally not into tennis at all unfortunately, but wimbledon always make me want to give it a go!

  11. Megan Jerrard

    Really exciting event to be part of the crowd for – definitely one of those once in a lifetime sporting events to see within your lifetime! Thanks for the heads up on applying for tickets through the ballot – we’ve seen TV coverage of the most incredible lines of people camping for 48 hours in the ticket lines!!

  12. I know the feeling. I’ve been to live matches and the excitement are doubled especially in the front row.

  13. Definitively a fun experience to be at an event where history is being made. This would definitively make my list as I’m a tennis fan. Good to know about the ballot system, and lucky you for scoring the tickets!!

  14. What a fantastic experience for you. I am not a big tennis fan but my mum is obsessed

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