Five best ways to get tickets to the grand slams. In search of a ticket to one of the four crown jewels of tennis? Here are a few ways how…
In person. The most famous queue of them all, is of course The Queue at Wimbledon. Hosting hundreds of people every day, members of the public are invited to queue up in the Wimbledon golf course, for a selection of Centre Court, No.1 Court, No.2 Court and Ground admission tickets. The earlier you get there, the better ticket you’ll get. There are approximately 500 tickets for Centre Court each day (excluding the last four days of The Championships), 500 for No.1 Court, 500 for No.2 Court, and several thousand Ground passes. If you do decide to go down, remember that they accept cash only. So visit a bank on your way.
The other three Slams don’t have an overnight queue option, but it is possible to pitch up on the day and queue up as well. You’re not necessarily guaranteed show court tickets though – they tend to be ground passes only.
Online. If you get in quick enough, you can buy tickets to all four Grand Slams online. Wimbledon is the hardest. They release a few Centre Court and No.3 Court tickets to Ticketmaster the night before the next day’s play. So you can try your luck. The Australian Open have an on-sale ticket period in October with Ticketek.com – if you’re an Australian Open member you get priority booking. The French Open have their own ticket website through rolandgarros.com, with tickets going on sale in April having been opened up to locals and FFT members first. The US Open is much the same – tickets are available from June onwards on Ticketmaster, over the phone, and in person at Ticketmaster outlets.
Second hand. The best way to get last-minute tickets to Roland Garros, for example is through the official online second-hand ticket exchange Viagogo. Simply take a look at the date they want to go, and see if anyone is selling their tickets for that day. It is far more reliable and considerably less shady than eBay, and the prices end up being much more reasonable too.
Become a member. All four of the Grand Slams have ticket allocations affiliated to their various Federations. For the French Tennis Federation, it is through local tennis clubs. The US Tennis Federation is through member of the USTA, where you get access to a pre-sale period, Tennis Australia operates the same way, with a pre-sale period. For Wimbledon, the LTA runs a series of ballots for their British Tennis Members and affiliated places to play. Wimbledon, of course, also has the Public Ballot, which is open to anyone and everyone.
Hospitality. Probably one to get invited to, rather than pay for, but all four Slams have luxurious hospitality offerings which include a grand day out at each of the four majors, accompanied by plenty of delicious food and drink. Just don’t ask how much they cost.