Wimbledon 2022 begins with return of capacity crowds for first time in three years

27 June 2022, 09:43 | Updated: 27 June 2022, 09:45

Full-capacity crowds will descend on Wimbledon for the first time in three years
Full-capacity crowds will descend on Wimbledon for the first time in three years. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Tennis fans joined have descended on SW19 in their thousands as the famous Wimbledon queue for tickets returned in earnest for the first time in three years.

A large crowd gathered at the gates in south-west London more than two hours before opening time at 10am.

The Met Office has warned spectators to brace for rain showers over the SW19 venue in the early afternoon - meaning the retractable roof may need to be activated over Centre Court.

Some 42,000 people are expected at the world's oldest tennis tournament each day for the next two weeks as it returns at full capacity for the first time in three years.

Wimbledon has returned at full capacity for the first time in three years
Wimbledon has returned at full capacity for the first time in three years. Picture: Alamy

The morning playoffs will see men's home favourite Cameron Norrie face veteran Spaniard Pablo Andujar, while British women's number three Heather Watson will compete against Germany's Tamara Korpatsch.

Fan favourites Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu and Novak Djokovic are set to play in the afternoon.

Roger Federer superfan Danilo Criscuolo flew from Napoli in Italy and camped for three nights to make the front of Wimbledon's famous queue for Tuesday tickets.

Huge queues formed ahead of the gates opening at 10am
Huge queues formed ahead of the gates opening at 10am. Picture: Alamy

The 30-year-old, a car rental administrator, said: "It was a very long trip because we were two hours delayed from the start, and there was another two hours of delay for the luggage.

"But when I saw for the first time the grass of the Wimbledon park, I lost all my bad vibes - only good vibes."

Baring a tattoo of Federer on his calf, he joked: "I have a portrait here of Roger Federer but I don't have a portrait of my wife - he is more important than my wife."

Mr Criscuolo said he is rooting for Italian and world number 11 Matteo Berrettini this year.

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