Newsbeat

Wimbledon: How to survive the queue

People in the queue Image copyright Getty Images

The good news? For most of Wimbledon you can, in theory, just rock up and get tickets to see some of the best tennis in the world.

The bad news? It takes some serious dedication.

So if you're thinking of braving the legendary queue, but don't know whether it's for you, we've got your back.

Here are our ultimate tips for surviving.

1. Plan, plan, plan

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Couples who plan together, stay together

At Wimbledon your ticket doesn't get you into a specific match, it gets you onto a court for a day.

And you don't find out what matches are being played where until the night before.

Most tickets are sold in ballots well in advance, but a few hundred on the biggest courts are held back every day for people who queue.

To be in with a chance of getting one you've got to pack a tent and show up a good 16 hours before gates open (yes, really!).

Image copyright Getty Images

But even if you miss out, you can still get a ground pass. This gets you in to the smaller courts, where most of the seats are first-come-first-serve.

Especially at the start of the tournament, if you plan well, you can still see some big players this way.

And you don't necessarily have to camp. People who're not going for the big courts tend to start showing up at around 4am.

2. Know what to expect

We hate to sound like massive geeks here, but the queue can be actually pretty good fun.

If the sun's out, you've pitched your tent, you're with your mates and you've brought a few beers along it almost (almost!) feels a bit like you're at a festival.

Except there's no live music and a hell of a lot more rules.

And that brings us on nicely to...

3. Respect the rules

When you show up you'll be given: a queue card which shows your place in the queue, a 30-page guide to queuing and a queue code of conduct.

These guys aren't messing around.

There are too many rules to go into here, but the big one is don't leave the general area around the queue for longer than half an hour.

We've seen people thrown out who pitched their tent but then popped home for a kip.

It might sound pretty restrictive, but you can still have a good time. As long as you...

4. Pack well

Jumpers-for-goalposts football, massive rounders matches, impromptu cricket - all common sights around the queue.

So, whether it's a book, a deck of cards or a swingball set, pack some stuff to keep you and your mates busy.

Image copyright PA Media

Rain coats and sun lotion are musts.

Food and drink is a good call too - both for the night before (if you're camping) and the morning after.

Which reminds us...

5. Don't expect to get much sleep

Image caption Our reporter Will particularly enjoyed being shaken awake at 5am

You want to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for a day of watching tennis? Yeah. Good luck with that one.

If you're camping, most people tend to turn in somewhere between 10 and midnight. Pretty respectable.

But, to get the queue moving again, the stewards start waking people up at 5am. And their preferred method is shaking your tent and shouting.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption There might not be music, but there is pizza

If you've chosen to ditch the tent and show up early the next morning instead, you get to avoid that pleasure.

But your own alarm probably went off at around 3am.

Don't worry, though - you can always sneak in a nap on a Henman Hill/Murray Mound/Konta Cliff/Kyle EdMound later on.

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