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Beat the Wimbledon queue

The grass has been mowed, the racquets have been strung, the Pimm’s and strawberries are on their way, which means only one thing – it’s nearly time for Wimbledon. I live about 5 minutes’ away from the All England Club so jogged up there this morning and nearly got mowed down by a lorry delivering chemical loos – yep, that’s the less glamorous side of the World’s Best Tennis Tournament.

So have you got your ticket yet? No? Well, you could join thousands of people who’ll spend the next couple of weeks camping out in Wimbledon Park and using those aforementioned chemical loos and portable showers in the hope of getting one of the last-minute tickets on the day (and you probably will get lucky, if you arrive early enough) – or you could beat the queue and buy tickets online.

Yep, it’s a little known fact that it is still possible to buy tickets up to 48 hours before each match day online. The Wimbledon Queue is so famous that most people don’t realise that there another way to get Wimbledon tickets. Either that or they just like camping, and I’m told that it is actually good fun when the weather is nice, which it should be next week. Not so much fun in the rain though. And there’s still those chemical loos to think about.

So how do you get Wimbledon tickets online? Well, through Ticketmaster of course. Simples. Ticketmaster has several hundred Centre Court and Court 3 tickets available for each day of play. Hold your horses though – returns tickets only go on sale at midday 48 hours before the day of play and reserved tickets can only be booked from 9am the day before play. If you look now you’ll see the tickets available but you won’t be able to buy them until Saturday June 29 at midday at the earliest for the first day of play, Monday July 1.

Note that a number of returned tickets are held back for American Express Cardmembers so when you go through to Ticketmaster you’ll be given the option to click through to buy these reserved tickets. Worth getting a card for, if you hurry!

As you can imagine, tickets sell out in seconds, so keep an eye on the clock to make sure you’re first in line. Ticket prices get more expensive as the tournament progresses, so for Monday July 1, Centre Court tickets cost around £60 but on men’s final day you’ll pay north of £200. You can get a ticket to the grounds – where you’ll get up close and personal to players on the outside court and IMHO is just as much fun as watching players thrash it out on Centre Court – for £25.

Re-sell sites like StubHub also have Wimbledon tickets available, but you’ll pay a whopping premium. At the moment, Court 1 tickets for ladies singles matches on Tuesday are being advertised for £300-plus. And talking of a premium, you can also buy tickets in advance from Wimbledon Debenture Holders, but these cost upwards of £1,000 for a pair (they’re mostly always sold in pairs) during the first week and more than £3,000 during the second. You can choose your day and you get access to the Debenture lounge, but you’d really have to love your tennis to pay these prices!

And don’t forget, if you’re unlucky and don’t manage to bag tickets online, there’s still The Queue.


Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of TravelMole.com, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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