The "world's most famous queue began streaming into the All England Club on Monday" as the gates opened at the start of the 135th edition of the Wimbledon championships. The "quintessential English sight of thousands of tennis fans waiting patiently" to gain entry to the grounds has been missing since '19. COVID-19 "put paid to Wimbledon" in '20 and last year the queue "was scrapped on safety grounds as the tournament returned to semi-normality." Although "all that makes Wimbledon such a spectacle has returned," it is "not quite business as usual," as Roger Federer is "absent for the first time since winning the junior event" in '98 due to injury, and World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is also missing after organizers banned Russian and Belarusian players (REUTERS, 6/27).
Overnight campers and early risers "were back in their thousands as the queue returned in full force to Wimbledon Park" over the weekend and into Monday morning. Those at the front of the day one queue began arriving early on Saturday evening -- "about 40 hours before the gates to the grounds opened" -- with the line officially beginning at 2pm BST on Sunday afternoon. Behind them, people from around the world "collected their queue card" and pitched up their tents (BBC, 6/27).
The London Times' Rick Broadbent celebrates the return of the queue under the headline, "No selfie sticks but lots of complimentary strawberries and camaraderie – the Wimbledon queue is back."