Last day for the Wimbledon ballot

If you want to hit Wimbledon next year, today is the last day to register for the public ballot.

For the first time, you can do it online instead of via snail mail.

First step is to set up an account.

Then, you have to register for the ballot. Only one application, two tickets, per household. If you try to enter more than once, Wimbledon will be very stern and remove all of them.

In November, you apply for the actual ballot. In January, they start handing them out, randomly, to Centre Court, No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3.

“Wimbledon rematch 1980” coming up

If you’re in London for Wimbledon, this show sounds like a hoot.

“Wimbledon rematch 1980” will play for three days, June 28-30, at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Tickets are not cheap (about $70). But the show, which encourages people to show up in 80s’ retro wear,  is a “live re-creation” that will “incorporate a mix of broadcast footage, live actors, projection and period props.”

It will use 3D projection and feature an original soundtrack. And if Wimbledon endorses it, you know it’s top-class.

It all culminates with the iconic men’s final between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

A Jana Novotna remembrance

Jana Novotna would have turned 50 on Tuesday.

But the 1998 Wimbledon champion didn’t make it. Nor could she celebrate the 20th anniversary of her career victory this past summer.

Novotna passed away last November after a quiet battle with cancer.

Most people around the game didn’t even know she was ill.

To mark the day, Wimbledon posted a touching video of Novotna’s day after in 1998, as well her entrance into the Champions Ball with men’s champion Pete Sampras, and her speech at the ball.

Li Na back at Wimbledon – as a legend

Chinese star Li Na ended her professional career at Wimbledon in 2014, with a third-round loss to Barbora Strycova.

Four years – and two kids – later, she’s back.

Li is exactly five months younger than another mom, Serena Williams, who is back at the All-England Club after a two-year absence and is in the singles semifinals.

Li is playing hit-and-giggle, though, in doubles with Japan’s Ai Sugiyama.

She and Sugiyama won their first match in the legends invitational on Monday, against Tracy Austin and Anne Keothavong.

She looks fantastic. Watch the match here.

Wimbledon in SPACE!

Astronaut Drew Feustel won’t be able to provide any spoilers, since there’s a bit of a delay from Wimbledon up into … space.

But the 52-year-old commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 56, has been watching the tennis action with interest.

And on Monday, Feustel was interviewed live by Mats Wilander.

Feustel was proudly sporting his Wimbledon T-shirt.

He also had some commemorative coins which, in the neatest idea ever, may be used as the official “coin toss” currency at next year’s Wimbledon.

If they could still float, the coin tosses might go on forever.

Wimbledon digital marks milestones

There are a lot of milestones being celebrated at Wimbledon this year.

It’s the 150th anniversary of the All England Club. And it’s the 50th anniversary of open tennis. 

The Wimbledon digital department has hit another home run, as it launched a #TakeOnHistory campaign on the day of the French Open final.

The tournament’s efforts on that side are the gold standard.

There will be a series of content films rolled out through the end of this year’s tournament, focusing on areas such as the gardens, the ticket resale program and the Queue.  

Half-century of Open tennis marked

Open tennis, that moment when the professionals and the “shamateurs”  came together as one, is 50 years old.

It began this week in 1968 at the West Hants Club in Bournemouth with the British Hard Court Championships (actually played on shale).

It harkened the return of pros like Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzalez and Ken Rosewall.

Notably, Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals passed. The women’s prize money was 30 per cent of what the men were earning, according to a story in the New York Times.

The milestone was commemorated Sunday with an exhibition involving Tim Henman.

No. 1 Court roof work progressing

The No. 1 Court roof, projected to ready to go for the 2019 edition of the championships, is progressing nicely.

Once this year’s edition was in the books, the work began apace.

The tournament Tweeted a photo of the current state of the construction zone.

The effort is much more than just adding the roof. The seats will be wider and more comfortable – and there will be 900 more of them. Much work around the court was already done for this year’s tournament.

Here are some projections of what the final project will look like.

McEnroe not pleased at movie portrayal

Neither Bjorn Borg nor John McEnroe had much to do with the new movie about their rivalry – i.e., creative input, consulting fees.

Still, McEnroe isn’t too impressed. “A lot of it is not accurate. I mean, I don’t know why they couldn’t make it accurate. … There is plenty of stuff – if they wanted to make me look like a jerk at times, they could have come up with something far better than they came up with, in my humble estimation,” he said at Laver Cup.

Here’s what it really looked like: 

Ready for 2018? Wimbledon ballot opens

There are ways to get tickets to Wimbledon without having to sleep out all night in the queue. 

So it’s worth improving your odds by trying all of them, as the UK Public Ballot for 2018 Wimbledon tickets is now open.

You have go go old-school: send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the All-England Club to receive a ballot application form, which you then have to mail back.

There’s a ballot for overseas fans as well. That form will be available next month. Tennis.Life will keep you posted.