If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/ And treat those imposters just the same
Whatever the weather forecast, visitors come to The Championships in the same spirit as players walk out on to Centre Court under the famous plaque displaying the lines of Rudyard Kipling’s poem If. When it comes to sunshine or rain, we treat those imposters just the same.
It may be easier to project this sort of equanimity since the installation of the Centre Court roof, which allows fans in rain gear to huddle under umbrellas and watch an uninterrupted day of tennis on the Aorangi large screen television from Murray Mound, but the truth is there is plenty to do around the Grounds and lots of appealing shelters from inclement weather.
With entertaining tennis-related news, views and trivia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and YouTube, all you need is a bench, a table in the Baseline Diner or Café Pergola, or a sheltered spot to continue an immersion in #Wimbledon and so on. Boris Becker on Instagram was causing a buzz today.
On the umbrella principle – whereby the mere act of preparing for rain by carrying an umbrella prevents the rain falling – we would like to share the 2013 Top Rain Shelters:
1. The Centre Court roof – 3,000 tonnes of fixed and moving roof parts provide 15,000 seats for rainproof tennis appreciation.
2. The walkway around Centre Court – benches make second-hand spectatorship comfortable while TV monitors aided by background ooohs and aaaahs, plus applause, indicate momentum of play.
3. The walkway between Court 7 and the Café Pergola – Extensive shelter, benches and a lovely view across four courts. Here you can monitor the movements of the Court Coverer teams and be among the first to claim a seat when play resumes.
4. The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum – Check out film and video footage of tennis from Wimbledon’s most mesmerising encounters.
5. The Wimbledon Shops – They sell traditional umbrellas for £25 and mini ones for £10, and contain this year’s spirit-lifting fluorescent branded Championship towels.
6. Champagne Bar, Pimm’s Bar, Café Pergola, the Baseline Diner, the Wingfield Restaurant – cheer yourself with some pink Lanson champagne or fruit-laden Pimms, hot cups of tea or coffee, informal hamburger and salad, strawberries and cream, or waitress service ‘luncheon’.
7. If you have kids in tow, nothing beats the LTA Allplaytennis.com interactive marquee for honing the competitive instinct. Plenty of fun to be had testing out hand-eye coordination, speed of reflexes etc.
8. Newsagent – check out tennis coverage in English, French, Italian, German, Czech, Spanish, Serbian, Asian, Chinese, Russian and American newspapers. They also have a huge display of puzzle books for addicts of wordsearch, crosswords and codewords.
9. The architecture of No.2 and No.3 Courts provides a generous overhang. The back of No.2 Court is particularly quiet and usefully close The Bakery and Bar.
10. Standard Championships umbrella – cf Wimbledon Shops. The rain is less frustrating when viewed under Wimbledon colours.