I must confess straightway that I acquired my Wimbledon debenture as an investment.
Such a debenture is freely traded and a seat on Centre Court much prized.
I did not become a tennis fan overnight. However I missed the deadline for selling the seat back to Wimbledon but the debenture office advised that it was quite permissible to negotiate a sale for these championships to an event agency.
Indeed I was already contacted by one.
Given they were selling a seat at £9000 to punters for the two most coveted days – yesterday the Men’s Semi Final and Sunday the Men’s Final – I was unimpressed by their sum offered.
So I decided to offer my seat to friends and family.
The transfer of my unused seat proved quite a fraught process as the Wimbledon software suffered a glitch. For Thursday I insisted they issue a paper ticket to my friend who was going at my invitation. Yesterday, today and Sunday I’m going.
I am not really qualified to assess the tennis but lack of knowledge never shut me up.
Three of the four semi finalists were as tall as Goliath and possessed a power game of a 120 mph service.
The fourth Novak Djokovic had more of an all-round game.
Of the two semi-finals (Matteo Berretini beating Hubert Harczak was the first) Djokovic v Dennis Shaparova produced the better tennis.
Shaparova had the crowd behind him.
I don’t quite understand why Djokovic is not so popular.
We are witnessing in record and in play one of the great sportsmen of our generation. He also showed courtesy on court once clapping a sublime passing shot of the Canadian.
As for the ‘Wimbledon experience’, I was surprised how many spectators dressed down, the expense of the food and drink (a Pimms was £8-50) and a general arrogance of being “up itself” which I have never experienced at Lords.
For example I arrived with a small trolley case and was more or less ordered to leave this at the left luggage office as I was firmly informed the cloakroom in the debenture section would not hold it.
In fact they would.
I was asked four times to show my ticket – not easy as it had to be on the Wimbledon app.
At Lords you are given a wristband and that is the end of it.
Also at Lords they have the most helpful young hostesses dressed in flannels but here the hostesses were officious and about half as efficient as my p/a Polly.