There are 190 such stewards, all of them volunteers. Their duties include managing the crowds outside the gates. At noon, by which time the day tickets have been sold, only a third of them are actually inside the Club.
If you thought a steward’s job entails watching the best tennis action of the year, you are mistaken. Yes, they do watch the action but they have to be physically fit because they spend a lot of time on their feet in all sorts of weather, working with queues, ticket holders, public, security guards and also the tube stations of Wimbledon and Southfields to keep them updated about the length of the queue. They arrive early in the morning every day during the Championships and leave at around 9.30pm.
The match between Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva was poised for a battle of wits, but Clijsters, who came into this Wimbledon with an abdominal injury, ended up winning and reaching the last 16 without beating her opponent.
No 12 seed Zvonareva, who lost in the 2010 final to Serena Williams, was trailing 6-3, 4-3 when she developed breathing problems. The Russian tried to carry on after a 10-minute break, but couldn’t overcome her discomfort and gave up.
Clijsters was sympathetic: “It’s unfortunate that something like that had to happen in a Grand Slam. Vera’s a fighter, she has been on the tour for a number of years and we have had a number of tough battles.
“In fact, we have played all around the world and it’s sad to see her end the tournament in this way.” The four-time Grand Slam winner has announced she will retire from tennis for the second and final time after the US Open in September. Clijsters will now face World No 8 Angelique Kerber.