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“A whole bummer.” Scandal at Wimbledon due to blunders by the organizers

Date: October 1, 2023 Time: 02:07:48

Wimbledon 2023 is gathering momentum, and tennis fans who want to see their favorite athletes live have plenty of reasons to be dissatisfied. It all started on Monday, when some fans had to queue for 10 hours to access the stands. And some spectators lost patience and left the queue without reaching the finish line.

What is the reason for such delays? Organizers have implemented heightened security measures related to potential protests by environmental activists who are willing to go to any lengths to draw the public into the issue, including disrupting matches. For example, Becky Deeming, a London events manager, says that she arrived at the venue at 3:35 am, but didn’t make it to the stands until 1:15 pm. I mean, a tennis fan stood in line for almost ten hours. In turn, in previous years he arrived later and arrived at the stands before 11:00 a.m., the time the games usually start.

“Other people who line up here every year say they have never seen anything like it,” she was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

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The thing is, security officers check literally every little thing. The list of prohibited items to enter the stands consists of 19 items. Therefore, it is not surprising that the corresponding checks take a large amount of time.

Gina Smith Morgan, who arrived at Wimbledon from Atlanta (USA), left the queue around noon, after having remained in it for more than seven hours, due to the lack of movement and information about what was happening. “This is incredibly upsetting. Wimbledon was on my bucket list. I like this wonderful tradition and your country. But it’s a complete bummer,” she said.

The organizers apologized for the delays. His spokeswoman said the queue became dense around 10 am, but “it moved more slowly than in previous years as a result of these checks. We sincerely thank those waiting in line for their patience and understanding.”

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Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which is responsible for organizing the tournament, said behavior analysts working for the police will work to identify potential protesters. At the same time, she is convinced of the correctness of the measures taken. “As we have seen in other sporting events, nothing is guaranteed. But we are absolutely sure that the measures we have taken are correct. And we are ready to deal with something if it happens. And we also urge those who attend the tournaments to respect the fact that the spectators who come here want to watch tennis in a calm and safe environment,” she said.

In addition, the public did not like how the organizers reacted to the rain, which “suddenly” burst over London. Officials were criticized for taking too long to decide whether to close the center court roof, which left the surface wet. Novak Djokovic, who played there on the first day with Pedro Cachin, even jokingly helped dry the grass with a towel. And they applauded when the staff finally arrived with the grass dryers. But on field 1, where they quickly learned to close the roof, the delays were much less.


Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the organizers apologized to the public. According to Wimbledon’s director of operations, Michelle Dight, on Monday night, after massive complaints, the logistics schemes were reviewed. “We have reallocated resources in different places and we are ready to go. We are confident in our actions, having reflected on what happened yesterday. We are sorry that there were a lot of people in the queue who had to wait a long time. We held a second information session for employees. We now have people who can walk the length of the line so that not only those at the front of the line understand what is happening, but also those who are waiting at the back,” Dight said.

Finally, the preference given to British tennis players at Wimbledon is striking, while athletes from other countries are forced to remain in limbo by the will of time. On Tuesday, only five matches were completed in the men’s singles category, and representatives of this country played in three of them. Andy Murray defeated Ryan Peniston, Cameron Norrie defeated Tomas Machas, and Daniel Evans lost to Kenten Alice. On Wednesday, on the central court and court 1, where there are roofs, there will be three fights with the participation of the British, and two of them will play the Russians. On the center court, Jody Burrage will fight against Daria Kasatkina (this is the second round), and on court 1, Artur Fery – Daniil Medvedev and Heather Watson – Barbora Kreichikova will play.

Wimbledon 2023 runs from July 3-16. Follow all the events in the “Championship”.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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