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No queues or courtside autographs – What to expect from a new-look Wimbledon

·2-min read

Wimbledon is back on the sporting agenda this year having been cancelled 12 months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Championships have been given special status as a Government test event to allow spectators to attend, but many Covid-19 restrictions will still be in place.

Here, the PA news agency examines how different Wimbledon will look this year.

Capacity

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Two – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Centre Court will be full on finals weekend (Victoria Jones/PA)

Despite the delay to easing lockdown, the Government has allowed Wimbledon to admit 21,000 spectators each day – half of its normal capacity – while Centre Court can seat full crowds of around 15,000 for the women’s and men’s finals. Ticket holders will be required to wear face coverings while moving around the grounds, but not while seated on court. The food and drink spaces will be open with appropriate social distancing measures.

Queue

Wimbledon file photo
The Wimbledon queue is not in operation (Philip Toscano/PA)

Wimbledon’s famous queue, almost as much a tradition as strawberries and cream and underwhelming displays by British players, will not be in operation this year under Covid protocols. This year all tickets are being sold online, rather than the antiquated postal ballot, and ticket holders will have to show proof of their Covid status – either both vaccinations or a negative test for those aged 11 and above.

Henman Hill

Wimbledon 2016 – Day Nine – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Fans will be allowed on Henman Hill (Philip Toscano/PA)

Plans to show matches on the big screen in front of Aorangi Terrace, better known as Henman Hill since its installation in 1997, are currently in place, although the logistics have yet to be finalised. Therefore it remains unclear whether masks will have to be worn on the hill and how many spectators will be allowed to congregate there.

Players

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Nine – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
There will be no autographs for fans this year (Adam Davy/PA)

Players usually enjoy seeing the sights in London during their down time, but this year all the competitors will stay in a bubble either at the All England Club or in their designated hotels. The days of Nick Kyrgios turning up at the local pub the night before a match are over for now at least. Also, there will be no courtside autographs or selfies with spectators, and access to practice courts will be restricted.

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