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Wimbledon, 5 July 2001
story & photos by Chad Abramson
The All England Lawn Tennis Club is All That and a bowl of strawberries and cream. Wow... What an experience for any sports fan. Londoners et al said "fat chance" getting into Wimbledon. That became a Phat Chance...a chance of a lifetime.
I took the Underground towards the famed facility, roamed the outside of the stadium with hopes of entering. My media attempt failed. Buying tickets to Centre Court failed. So I bought a 9 pound generic pass to the grounds (equivalent to about 15 bones.) That gave me access to juniors tennis matches and some selected 35-and-over matches. Very cool. Seeing some future stars and a future Anna from Russia was fun. Yum.

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"The unobtainable ticket"

The tournament brackets

Watching Venus beat Davenport on the big screen from The Hill
But then it was time to work the grounds. Entering Court One and Centre Court was a must after traveling six thousand miles. Of course passes for these stadiums ranged from $160 to $750 respectively. After making friends with the gate guards like only a Chicoan can, they let me in and I watched Jennifer Capriati`s attempt at her 3rd Grand Slam title of the year fall in the semi-finals...

Jennifer Capriati from high above Centre Court
...Then I got the boot, went to Court One and checked out the Bryant brothers from USA lose in a wild 2 hour doubles match... Frankly, much more exciting than singles. The American brothers lost... but not lost was the joy of rooting for them while on foreign soil ...or lawn.
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The Bryant Brothers (far court) doubles match - Court One
Just sitting in my seat taking in the panoramic Wimbledon experience was amazing. Thousands of people roaming the grounds. Every newspaper and "ragazine" covering the event (front page style) with emphasis on the local, Brit Tim Henman. Wimbledon is an institution in England and now just being here made me a true grass court tennis fan for life.
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A few more photos from Wimbledon

Juniors serve it up. USA Team (near court) falls to Jamaica/Slovakia Doubles Team

Another Serve for American Juniors Player

Court One -- Old Guys Face Off

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updated 3 August 2001 : 13:34 Caspar (Pacific) time
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