How do I Get to See my Favourite Player at Wimbledon 2022?

The following article aims to explain which rounds happen on which days of the tournament, how the draw works and what you can do to increase your chances of seeing your favourite player in action at the 2022 Championships.

How does the Wimbledon Draw work?

Wimbledon is 1 of 4 ‘grand slam tournaments’ in professional tennis. Players are entered into the grand slam tournament draw according to their current ranking with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

In total, 128 players are entered into each Grand Slam Tournament. Of these, 32 are seeded (ranked on previous performance) players and 96 are unseeded players.

The Tournament is a knockout and the process that determines which players will meet is deliberately biassed to prevent the world’s top seeds meeting too early in the Tournament.

For example, to prevent the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds meeting before the final:

  • The No. 1 seed is entered on the first row
  • The No. 2 seed is entered on the last (128th) row

Then, to prevent the No. 1 , No. 2 , No. 3 and No. 4 seeds meeting before the semi-finals:

  • The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds are drawn
  • The 1st player drawn is entered on row 33
  • The 2nd plate drawn is entered on row 96

Continuing the process, seeds 5 to 8 are drawn and entered on rows 32, 64, 65, and 97, in the order drawn. Four further groups of seeded players are then drawn and interspersed on the draw‐sheet.

Once all 32 seeded players are entered on the draw-sheet, the 96 unseeded players are then randomly selected.

What is the order of play for 2022?

Following a disrupted couple of years, thanks to the pandemic, the 2022 Wimbledon Tennis Championships are scheduled to run from Monday, June 27, 2022 until Sunday, July 10, 2022.

Notably for 2022, the Tournament will be played without a rest day. Historically, this rest day was the Middle Sunday.

All rounds for all courts have been scheduled and can be viewed here. Rounds are usually scheduled months before the players playing in the first round are drawn.

How do I maximise my chances of seeing my favourite player?

Even if you are armed with a crystal ball and can foresee who will be playing on a given court, on a specific day, getting tickets for your preferred day would still be challenging.

The allocation of seats at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships is a complex process. Whether you get a ticket (at all) and where you end up sitting will depend on a number of factors.

Let us suppose that you want to adopt a strategy to give you the best chance of seeing your favourite player in action. For illustration purposes, let’s choose reigning US Open champion, Emma Raducanu.

To start with, your best chance of seeing any tennis at all is to purchase a ticket in advance. To do so you can enter the Wimbledon Ballot, join the Wimbledon Queue or buy a Wimbledon Debenture Ticket.

The Public Ballot

The Wimbledon Ballot usually opens in September, the year before the respective Tournament. Note that in 2022 there will not be a public Ballot as 2020 ballot winners have been rolled over to 2022 due to the Pandemic.

Unless you are a 2020 Public Ballot winner, your choices are reduced to buying a Debenture Ticket or joining the Queue.

Wimbledon Debenture Tickets

Debenture Ticket seats give tennis fans the best views of the action on Wimbledon’s historic Centre Court or the Championship’s newly-renovated No. 1 Court. Debenture holders receive tickets for every day of either Centre Court or No. 1 Court, for 5 years.

If you are a Debenture Holder for Centre Court, your chances of seeing Emma in action are high as you could, in theory, attend every day of the Tournament. With daily access to all courts, even if Emma is playing on an outside court, you can still watch her match.

Alternatively, you could wait until the Tournament is underway and attend when you know Emma will be playing.

However, most debenture holders will sell a portion of their tickets well in advance, so most would not have the last minute flexibility to choose any day to attend at the last minute

Debenture Tickets can be bought, sold and exchanged

Debenture Tickets are the only tickets to the Championships that can be legally bought and sold. There is a very active secondary market where tickets are bought, sold and exchanged with other debenture ticket holders.

This means that you could, in theory, buy a debenture ticket a day or two in advance of when you know Emma will be appearing on court.

In previous years, the last minute exchange of paper tickets would have presented logistical challenges. However, now that the AELTC have migrated to electronic tickets through the myWimbledon app, tickets can be bought and sold instantly. It is still recommended that debenture tickets are transacted through an escrow service.

Debenture tickets, which also grant the holder access to the exclusive debenture bars, restaurants and lounges, can be expensive. Nevertheless, the premium experience offered to Debenture Ticket holders is much sought after and there is considerable competition for tickets.

The Queue

If you are prepared to start queuing early enough, this is one of the cheapest ways to get a Show Court seat at the Championships.

The AELTC retains the following tickets (approximately) for fans willing to brave the queue:

  • 500 tickets Centre Court tickets
  • 500 tickets No. 1 Court tickets
  • 500 tickets No. 2 Court tickets
  • A few thousand Ground Passes

Tickets are awarded on a first come first served basis. If you are willing to join the queue early enough you stand a very high chance getting a ticket.

If you know that Emma has made it through to the Semi Finals on Saturday, 9 July 2022 – you will need to think about joining the queue (and camping out) a day or two in advance.

When you join the queue you will be given a queue card with a number indicating your position. If your number is below 500, there is a very high probability that you will get a ticket for Centre Court for that day.

If your number is over 500, a Centre Court ticket for that day is not guaranteed. You are likely to receive a ticket to watch action on the other Show Courts, if you wish. Once you know your queue card number, you can then decide if you want to claim a ticket for that day’s play, wait in the queue (and move up) for a ticket tomorrow, or leave.

Conclusion

Ironically, short of being a Wimbledon Debenture Holder with tickets to all days of the Tournament, your best strategy for targeting a specific player might be spending a night or two under canvas.

You can always enter the 2023 Public Ballot and you might get to see Emma defending her 2022 Wimbledon Title!

Purchasing a debenture ticket at the last minute is also an option. You can set up a ticket alert to make sure you are the first to hear as soon as a Debenture Ticket meeting your criteria becomes available.

As a footnote, the defending champion always plays on Centre Court on Day 1.