Today I played tennis at Wimbledon. I’ve been to Wimbledon twice, to watch tennis during the Grand Slam and visited once to see the museum (worth the visit) but have never been at the club with a member till today. My friend Anne Clark, a new member there (and it’s no small feat to become a member; openings occur mostly when a current member passes away; otherwise you pretty much need to win the Wimbledon singles title!). Anne gives back to tennis in a big and understated way and is a terrific player too, particularly in doubles.
I walked to the visitors gate, got a visitor’s badge and met up with Anne at the members’ locker room. Anne and I decided to try and play on the clay; it was damp but the courts were in pretty good shape. (The grass courts are open May-Sept only; the grass looked nice but there were no nets.) We had a good hit but it was cut short after about an hour due to rain. We stopped, went back to the locker room to clean up. It’s the only club I’ve been to where you have the option of a bath or a shower in the locker room! Then Anne gave me a nice tour of the grounds, the member’s “casual” dining room (where we had tea and coffee), formal rooms, the Royal Box, Court 1, and everywhere the history of the club is evident, with photos of past champions. We also saw the media room where players give interviews after matches. In fact we arrived as a tour arrived and listened in. It was a great afternoon.