It’s time to bleach your whites, practice your serve, and enjoy the smell of a fresh tin of tennis balls: tennis season is upon us.
Wimbledon will be one for the wild cards this year. After admitting he suffers from nerves–shock horror–Andy Murray is gearing up to win his third Wimbledon title. Some question his form after a quick first-round exit at Queen’s. The furthest everyone’s favourite dour Scotsman has got in a Grand Slam or Masters tournament this year is the quarter-finals in the French Open. With Novak Djokovic also suffering from a dismal season, veteran Roger Federer is considered the man to beat. Rafael Nadal could be a good bet; he’s overcome a plague of injuries to climb back to number two in the world.
And don’t forget Britain's Marcus Willis – who has been awarded a wildcard into qualifying after last year’s tournament where he finally lost to Roger Federer on Centre Court in the second round.
With Serena Williams out due to pregnancy and Maria Sharapova injured, there are only two former winners in the draw this year: Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova. This means the women’s game is wide open and it could be a chance for Britain’s Joanna Konta to show us what she’s made of. She’s currently number seven in the world, so perhaps she’ll be the first British woman to win Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Whether you’re a demon on the court or more of a consumer of strawberries and cream (according to the BBC, 140,000 servings of strawberries are sold at the Championships), there’s always a way to enjoy Wimbledon. Here are what some of the Workspace centres are up to, and where you can enjoy game, set and match in the local neighbourhood.
The Light Bulb - Wandsworth
Tennis court in Kings George’s Park run by All Star Tennis are a good start allstartennis.co.uk (off Dorlcote Road, London SW18 3RT and you can call them on 020 8871 4706). Courts are open from 8:00 till dusk and bookable online – they also have a small café.
The Spread Eagle pub have a big screen.
Eat and drink:
The Light Bulb Kitchen is having a Wimbledon makeover, with green grass, rackets and balls galore. You’ll be able to order from the Wimbledon menu: strawberries & cream pots, strawberry cakes – yes, cheesecake etc. – strawberries & cream frappés, Pimms and strawberry punnets to share!
Centre Manager Ewelina Vale also suggested “W19 is around the corner and a short bus ride will allow customers to head to the championships after work for free entry on Henman Hill!” Or is it Murray Mound?
Kennington Park - Oval
Mimosa café has a big screen as well as an outdoor space to enjoy the games. You can also pop down the road to The Kennington pub – they will be showing the tennis on their big screen too.
Kennington Park has courts you can play on right next to the business centre for as little as £5. For bookings contact them here.
ScreenWorks - Islington
Between July 3 – 14 you’ll be able to watch the tennis on a big screen.
The Highbury Fields Tennis courts are open from 8.00am till 9pm all year round. For bookings please contact Islington Tennis Centre on 020 3793 6880 or www.betterlessons.org.uk/book.
Vox Studios - Vauxhall
Zoe Watkins, who runs Livewire Kitchen, said: “We'll be showing both the Women's and Men's Semi Final matches on a huge high-definition screen in the cafe area, with full AV tech to provide a quality viewing experience.”
Get ready for a table tennis table at Vox Studios. Vox residents will be pitted one against the other in an epic table tennis tournament. “Already we're seeing a lot of competitive spirit,” said Zoe, “with customers keen to show off their prowess!”
Zoe tells us: “Our Italian chef Davide makes amazing meatballs, always a favourite with our customers, so we'll be putting on ‘Balls’ as our Hot Stuff special on both days. ‘More Balls Please’ will be the theme!”
“As well as running a promotion on our ‘Cacao Kapow’ energising, raw, organic energy balls.”
There will be afternoon tea for match viewers.
“And our hero fruit for the week will be the English Strawberry, turning our breakfast compote, our chia pot topper, our fruit bowls, salads, and smoothies all a beautiful shade of red!”
“Hydrating fresh strawberry & coconut water smoothies, charged with red super-fruit powder, will fuel customers through their working day; with a Prosecco cocktail version coming out when they are at play!”
“On Thursday July 13, we'll be running one of our Thirsty Thursday bar nights, with themed drinks, extended match play / highlights on the screen, and the prize giving for the winner of the tournament.”
There are free to use courts in Vauxhall Park, just a five-minute walk from Vox Studios.