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New Balls Please!

The Wimbledon Championships are almost here.

It’s my favourite time of year. The tennis is pure theatre. It is a competition with everything – brilliant tennis, the sweetness of victory, the heartache of loss, grace under pressure and emotional breakdowns, heaving crowds seated alongside celebrities and royals - and it all happens in our town. Will the ecstasy of watching Andy Murray win the title last year be topped by a consecutive title? We can only watch, hope and pray. The world’s most famous tennis championship and the UK’s largest sporting event has made Wimbledon renowned worldwide. With more than 380 million people expected to watch the tennis and almost 500,000 attending, Wimbledon is on show and the atmosphere is fantastic.

There are a few good options for those without tickets. Following the success of the big screen in Wimbledon’s town centre piazza last year, Love Wimbledon is putting it up again so fans can watch the tennis and soak up the sun in complimentary deck chairs. For those looking to get closer to the action, why not apply for one of the many last minute job vacancies, including drivers, caterers, security staff, court attendants and data collectors. The best hope for last minute tickets is to camp out at the famous Wimbledon Queue. See our top Queue tips.

I managed to get a ticket last year and it was a brilliant day. I contributed to the 28,000kg of strawberries consumed and the 200,000 glasses of Pimms but, best of all, I left with Rafael Nadal’s balls!! The All England Lawn Tennis Club sells used Wimbledon tennis balls for £5 for a can of three at the end of each days play with all proceeds going to the LTA’s Wimbledon Balls for Schools Scheme. I like to think I bought Rafa’s balls but they could be anyone’s! I keep them in my cupboard and play with them a few times a year. I used them recently in my championship match against our Editor-at-Large Tony Kane at Hampton Court Palace. Read about our attempt to play a game of Real Tennis in next month’s edition.

With the tennis, World Cup, Father’s Day and the marathon season upon us, this edition is jam packed with sport, health and great gadgets to fill the man cave. See our interiors section to find out about the al fresco cooking trend and our colourful Brazilian makeover. Enjoy the sunshine, football, tennis...and Murray.

Kate Miranda is editor of the Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Putney editions of Time & Leisure Magazine.