Beaufort & Blake: 5 Characters You’re Likely to Meet at Wimbledon
Wimbledon, the oldest and arguably the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, is a hallowed sanctuary of immaculately manicured grass, strawberries, bubbly and dare I say it - rain. From Centre Court to Murray Mound (née Henman Hill), here are five characters you’re undoubtedly going to come across this year.
1. THE AFICIONADO
Once a budding tennis amateur, ‘the Aficionado’ struggles to let go of a professional career that never quite was. This Wimbledon goer will be able to give you a full breakdown of current player form, suitability of weather conditions and the tensile strength of a finalist’s racket strings. Most likely to bore fellow Wimbledon companions with stories of which injury cut their career short and how good their backhand slice was back when they were 16 [Yawn].
2. THE CAMPER
Slightly dishevelled and bleary eyed, the camper has spent the last twelve hours shivering in a make shift tent in an attempt to get centre court tickets. Having endured typical British summertime weather, a disappointing set of homemade sandwiches and harassment from the media – the camper can be found striding to the stands with a distinctly smug grin on their face.
This year certainly isn’t the first year for said Wimbledon-goer, they enjoy taking time off every year and demonstrate the stoic British commitment of forming an orderly queue. Most likely to offer you the best homemade sausage rolls you’ve ever tasted!
3. THE UNOFFICIAL UMPIRE
This individual can also be found at a number of other large sporting events, often distinguished by their loud and abrasive voice. The ‘Unofficial Umpire’ claims to be more accurate than hawk-eye and has no shame in audibly voicing their decision in an attempt to overrule the real umpires. Most likely to also be a proficient back-seat driver.
4. THE VETERAN
Whether it’s the fourth-set tiebreak between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg in the 1980 final, Boris Becker’s classic dive volley at the net, or a young Roger Federer upsetting Peter Sampras – the Veteran has seen it all.
This tennis relic could stroll between courts with their eyes shut and doesn’t need to show any form of identification when taking their seat in the Royal Box. Most likely to be sat behind Mr Beckham and not give two hoots who he is.
5. THE BALL-BOY (OR GIRL)
No, we’re not referring to the army of well-trained school children that scamper around the court and handle players’ sweaty towels. Instead, the individuals who appear at the end of every match with an over-sized tennis ball in hand - ready for players to sign.
A rather unique species, ‘The Ball-boy (or girl)’, comes in a variety of ages and sizes. History has shown that the older, more dominant of the species has a higher success rate with players’ signatures by towering above and muscling past the younglings of this group. Most likely to be attending Wimbledon on their own (again).