Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon is arguably the most prestigious tennis event in the world and has been held in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. This year, the two-week event starts on the 3rd July and to ensure that you’re properly prepared, we spoke to William Hanson, the UK’s leading etiquette coach and expert, who gives his advice for those attending Wimbledon for the first time. Follow his advice, and in no time you’ll be sipping on Pimms on the Centre Court in no time.
William Hanson says: “Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for spectators (they need not wear all white) “It is generally acknowledged that Wimbledon is an ‘occasion’ and should be treated like such and so smarter dress is worn.
“Panama’s for the men and large brimmed sunhats for women are a good idea, as indeed a good pair of sunglasses.”
Advice for spectators
If this is your first time at Wimbledon, there’s a few things to note to avoid any potential scowls from fellow attendees.
- If you’re inside a court watching a game, your phone must be switched off
- Similarly, chatting is kept to an absolute minimum
- No flashlight photography
- No selfie sticks
William adds: “For first-timers, it is important to know that you cannot leave or take your seats whilst a game is in play. Wardens control the spectator entrances and exits and sometimes you can wait anything up to fifteen minutes before the game is completed.”
Celebrations and commiserations
When it comes to cheering on your favourite player, William says there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to show your appreciation: “I would suggest that spectators do not make a song and dance about any British sporting prowess or success that Mr Murray may have: flag waving and nice cheering (not during actual play, mind you) is preferred – there’s no need to go overboard.”
Similarly, if the player you’re routing for doesn’t win, keep that classic stiff upper lip that us Brits are famous for. William says: “If Murray does not do as well as hoped, one should remember to be gracious in defeat. Congratulate the victor and do not sulk churlishly or lash out.”
Get the perfect selfie before heading to Wimbledon and we’ll see you court side.