© Ella Ling

Wimbledon shot

Annabel Croft: The Olympics have been a bit painful


Annabel Croft has told The Tennis Space that having the Olympics at Wimbledon has been “a bit weird, a bit strange, a bit painful”:

Croft on having the Olympics at the All England Club: “It’s a big weird, a bit strange, a bit painful. It’s just weird having the music blaring, and the coloured clothes, and the coloured signs around the grounds. Wimbledon is just so special, and Centre Court is like a cathedral, so it has taken some getting used to. It’s like having people coming into your house and changing everything around. You wonder whether it would have been better if the Olympic tennis tournament wasn’t played at Wimbledon, but then I suppose there wasn’t an alternative – they would have had to have built a new venue.”

Croft on what the players think of the experience: “One leading singles player – I won’t say who it was – said to me, ‘now I appreciate how the All England Club run things during the Wimbledon Championships’. They said that a number of the players aren’t happy either, and that it has been chaotic. They are used to having the accreditation and everything done very smoothly, and having their entourages with them, but I’m told that one leading player went ballistic went he couldn’t get his girlfriend in to watch him. And I’ve heard that a leading woman had the same problems with trying to get her boylfriend in. I’m sure that the players like the atmosphere when they’re out on court but not everything has been smooth behind the scenes. But I have to say that the soldiers and the volunteers have been great. They’ve been very welcoming and friendly.”