SW19 Diary: American know-how lets out ticket secret

The things that the British can learn from their American cousins, eh? The blazered honorary stewards from the shires are about as True Brit as they come, but one was bamboozled here when an American lady mentioned that she was pleased by the weather because it meant she didn't need her "bumbershoot".

"Your what, madam?" asked the steward. "My bumbershoot," she said. "It's a colloquial British term for an umbrella."

And of course, it is. Look it up.

The steward was also amazed the said lady had bought her Centre Court tickets only the evening before, in Chicago. Or rather that her husband had bought them, online, and then she had printed an "E-ticket" in London, where she is on vacation, and gained admission with that.

We tell this tale in a spirit of sharing practical information to our readers who might want to attend the championships. The "night before" tickets are one of the best kept secrets of the tournament.

They are official tickets, several hundred are available for Centre Court each day, and they go on sale, online only, on a first-come, first-served basis at 8.30pm each day for the next day's play via the tennis section of the Ticketmaster website, at www.ticketmaster.co.uk. Seats are available for Centre Court, No 1 Court and No 2 Court, top price £65.

Tickets for Monday are on sale on Sunday at 8.30pm. They run out quickly. But they're there. Enjoy.

Grab a rickshaw for free – and travel in style

Our next handy tip for a day at Wimbledon, if you're attending between today and next Wednesday, is an energy-saving way to get from either Southfields Tube station to the Club or around Wimbledon village – by free rickshaw.

These strolls can be a drag by foot, especially in the heat. But the ATP (which runs the men's tour), in association with Compeed (which makes blister patches and supplies them to the players), is running the bike rickshaws, free.

And, because most people seem to assume they're costly, they've just been sitting there unused at times. Flag one down and use them. The Diary did just that yesterday. Our pedaller was from Turkey. He was called Mustapha. We'd like to believe his surname was Lift.

Hewitt's 18-month-old son takes centre stage

Lleyton Hewitt's practice session here was interrupted when an 18-month-old toddler ran on to the court, intent on getting the ball. Fortunately, it was his son, Cruz, who was quickly retrieved by the Aussie's wife, Bec, a former star on Home and Away.

McEnroe and Cash serve time on squash

John McEnroe and Pat Cash attended a Dunlop-sponsored party this week where they were asked questions by guests from the audience during a Q&A session. Someone asked if they'd ever played squash. Cash said: "Squash is brutal, it's a great sport but not for me, I'm too old for that." McEnroe's reply began with the phrase: "Squash is a poor man's tennis" and he said it was "a good warm-up for the real thing". This perhaps wasn't the reply expected by the questioner, Nick Matthew, who happens to be the world No1 at... errrm... squash.

Marsalek proves that Britons can be winners

At last: a British tennis winner! Not at Wimbledon, on this occasion, but not too far away and perhaps a good sign for the future. James Marsalek, an 18-year- old from Taunton, won the AEGON junior international at Roehampton yesterday.

Previous winners of the tournament have included Marin Cilic, Gaël Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mario Ancic, while a certain Andy Murray was the runner-up in 2004. In the girls' final, another Brit, Tara Moore, finished as the runner-up. Hoorah.

World domination must surely be just around the corner.

Weather: Warm and sunny, with a chance of cloud in the morning.

Maximum temperature: 27C


BBC 1: 2.30-5.15pm.

BBC 2: 12-4pm, 5.15-8pm.

Additional coverage on BBCi 11.50-9pm and BBCHD 12-7pm.

Highlights: BBC 2 8-9pm

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