Wimbledon begins amid tight security: Strawberries may cost 10p more, but the touts have knocked pounds 3,800 off a pair of centre court tickets. Rhys Williams reports

THE WIMBLEDON tennis championships began yesterday amid increased security, following the on-court stabbing of Monika Seles, the women's world No 1, at a tournament in Hamburg last April.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the tournament organisers, refused to outline the specific measures being introduced, but reports that 1,000 security guards had been drafted in for the championships, compared with 220 last year, were dismissed as 'an exaggeration'. A spokeswoman said 270 was a closer figure. Despite the club's reticence, a number of the new security measures were in evidence. Guards were stationed behind the umpire's chair to survey the crowd during the players' changeover between games - the period during which Ms Seles was stabbed. The players sat with their backs to the umpire rather than the crowd, as has traditionally been the case.

At the gates, random checks with a metal detector were carried out, and, as in previous years, players were escorted to outside courts by guards. It was not clear, however, whether the close attention being afforded to Richard Krajicek, the Dutch no 9 seed, by two large men in uniform was anything to do with his description of women tennis players last year as 'lazy fat pigs'.

Some players were content to roam around without protection. Stefan Edberg, the Swedish No 2 seed, walked through the crowds unattended as did the British woman player, Jo Durie. Earlier in the day, the police turned their attention to the only people likely to extract more money out of a punter than a strawberry vendor - the ticket touts. Chief Inspector Des Wyke, in charge of policing at the tournament, said that between 26 and 30 well-known touts were rounded up and told that should they venture on to club grounds for food, they would be ejected; and if found plying their trade on public property, they would be arrested.

A group of touts was later spotted appreciating hamburgers inside the gates.

Nevertheless, the police claimed to be winning the ticket tout war. Touts said they were only able to command pounds 200 for a pair of Centre Court tickets, compared with as much as pounds 4,000 for a pair in previous years.

But for all the queues, exhorbitantly-priced food (strawberries cost pounds 1.70 a punnet this year, up 10p on last) and drinks, it was still not quite Wimbledon - there was no John McEnroe, no Jimmy Connors and no rain.

Wimbledon reports, pages 33 and 34

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'