Wimbledon Begins – Blogger Nicholas McCarvel

2013 New Haven Open Blogger Nicholas McCarvel is on-site at Wimbledon for the next fortnight and will check in every so often with insider perspective of the action in SW19. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @NickMcCarvel.

There is no place in the sporting world quite like Wimbledon. The modern-day version of the historic event that is now in its 127th running keeps every bit of tradition fans would want and expect it to, yet somehow has transitioned itself to a modern-day marvel that is one of tennis’ four biggest events.

Monday The Championships 2013 kicked off at the All England Club in London’s SW19, again swarmed by the queue-loving public and Britain’s upper crust in the Royal Box. Pippa Middleton was there, as was the Duke of Kent and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

© New Haven Open/Billie Weiss

© New Haven Open/Billie Weiss

But across the way from the Royal Box, the players’ restaurant in the Millenium Building hummed with action all day long, as it does for a majority of the first week of Wimbledon.

Four-time New Haven Open Champison Caroline Wozniacki made her way through with boyfriend, professional golfer and frequent New Haven companion Rory McIlroy in tow, and Roger Federer passed by like a proud property owner – it has seemed as though the Swiss man has ruled these grounds for the last decade, hasn’t it?Nothing, however, tops the tennis. Up-and-comer Monica Puig produced the shock of the day on the women’s side, and from up above Court 18 watching her fall to her knees was a special moment, the 19-year-old beating No.5 seed Sara Errani in her Wimbledon debut.

Grass isn’t a surface that the Italian is a natural on, nor is it for the other No.5 seed that got knocked out this day – Rafael Nadal. Though Rafa has been the Champion here twice before, he looked uncomfortable in a straight-sets loss to unheralded Steve Darcis on No.1 Court. He’s 1-2 at Wimbledon in the last two years.

The traditions that lie in Wimbledon aren’t just those of afternoon tea, Royal Box sightings and the societal elite: there’s the queue, Henman Hill (or do you prefer Murray Mound?) and the ever-present public belovedness of a tournament that isn’t just a tennis event, but a national celebration.

Sunday before Wimbledon began officials shut down entrance to the queue (the line that members of the public can use to get Centre Court, No.1 Court and grounds tickets) because it was already too long.

A tournament with a tradition so great that people sleep overnight in tents for it? Sounds good to us.

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