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Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

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Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July


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Friday, 7 July 2017 10:12 AM BST
Iconic images: The gates open on the first Monday of The Championships
A new series looking at some of Wimbledon's iconic photography READ MORE

As The Championships’ photographic manager, Bob Martin appreciates the finer details of the images which every day capture the essence of Wimbledon. In this series celebrating the best of the AELTC’s talent behind the lens, he nominates his Picture of the Day.


It is as visually impressive as the great annual wildebeest stampede in the Serengeti. The moment the gates open on the first Monday of Wimbledon signals the start of the annual history-making fortnight during which full fields of players are gradually whittled down to individual champions. For an iconic image of the mix of timeliness and timelessness, Bob Martin nominates Matthias Hangst’s picture – taken on Monday June 29, in 2013, at 10.31am – which almost surreally captures the flux of tennis fans swarming into the grounds for prime viewing spots literally seconds after the Honorary Stewards have lifted the cordon.

“The very long shutter speed gives the impression of an absolutely packed area, but if you follow the colours, you realise this image is all about capturing movement, and with it the excitement of the people entering the grounds for the day,” says Bob.

The great thing about Wimbledon is that photographers are set creative challenges

- Matthias Hangst

There is a lovely contrast between the still, stately, historic ivy-clad clubhouse building, with the stewards and officials standing sentry-like in front of Wimbledon’s inner sanctum, and the blurred rushing flow of that day’s incoming spectators.

“The great thing about Wimbledon is that photographers are set creative challenges,” says Matthias. “It is one of the best covered sports events in the calendar. There are a number of scenarios when you have to think this moment has been photographed a hundred times, so you have to come up with new ideas and bring back something different. I remember spending a few days thinking about how to capture this moment best. It’s not a lucky shot; it’s a really calculated technical image. I went up to the top of Court No.3 with the idea of using a very long shutter speed. To do this, I needed the camera to remain absolutely stable; it couldn’t shake or vibrate. I could have used a tripod but I decided to mount it on a railing with a clamp. And then I waited for the right moment…”

Technical info: This image was shot on a Nikon D800, at a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds with an F22 aperture using an 85mm lens and a very low sensitivity setting of 50 ASA. Matthias also used a pair of polarising filters to enable him to shoot with such a long shutter speed.

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