Wimbledon attendances were slightly down on the first day, despite the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) predicting record crowds this summer. 

While there were still queues at the gates overnight for the first day, only 36,000 attended according to reports, out of an expected 42,000 (which is maximum capacity). 

The opening day also featured some of the biggest stars in tennis, such as Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu and Novak Djokovic, who all progressed to the second round. 

However, there is one big name missing and that is Roger Federer (pictured at Wimbledon in 2018), which could be a factor in the attendance dip, as he is considered a fan favourite. 

Worries around COVID-19 could also play a part, with two players already withdrawing from the tournament due to testing positive. Last year’s runner-up Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic both pulled out after catching coronavirus. 

An AELTC spokesperson told PA News Agency that the empty seats seen later on in the day were due to people leaving early. 

The spokesperson also urged ticket holders to scan out their tickets when they leave, to make sure others have the chance to enjoy Wimbledon. 

“We were delighted to welcome back two long-held Wimbledon traditions after a three-year hiatus – the Queue and the Ticket Resale Scheme,” said the spokesperson. 

“Day one saw a natural bedding in of operations for these ticketing opportunities, and we will be encouraging any Centre, No 1 and No 2 Court ticket holders to scan out their tickets on departure so they can be offered back through the Ticket Resale Scheme and ensure that these courts are fully populated for late play.”

Other factors are those with hospitality tickets, which means holders can dip in and out, watch some of the tennis, and then enjoy some quiet time in hospitality areas.

Reports also suggested an issue with resale tickets, where technical glitches were to blame on the first two days of the champions.

It is the first time Wimbledon has been held at full capacity since 2019, as numbers were initially reduced by 50% last year because of the pandemic. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final were allowed 75% and 100% capacities, as part of the UK Government’s Events Research Programme. 

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