The Wimbledon queue has been condemned by fans as a ‘total shambles’ as some were forced to wait 10 hours amid fears that Just Stop Oil will stage another protest – forcing staff to check bags for paint, coloured powders and glue.
Fans eagerly waiting the first day of the Championship are understood to have had sun cream, deodorant and metal water bottles confiscated amid heightened security at SW19.
Those arriving at Wimbledon for a rain-affected first day of tennis have been pictured passing through airport-style security detectors, while chalk dust and powders have been banned at the prestigious tournament for the first time ever.
Fans have been queueing since the early hours of the morning to make sure they can catch a glimpse of the action, with Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, and British hopefuls Katie Swann and Dan Evans among those on display.
However, this hasn’t gone all to plan with fans waiting in queues for long hours and Wimbledon’s official Twitter account advising that the grounds are at capacity and advising people not to travel to the venue.
A number of fans have wrote angry messages to the tweet from Wimbledon’s account, revealing their frustrations with some demanding refunds.
Long queues outside Wimbledon have marred the opening day of the Championships
Fans eagerly waiting the first day of the Championship are understood to have had sun cream, deodorant and metal water bottles confiscated amid heightened security at SW19
Some fans who have been queueing since the early hours claimed they have waited over ten hours in the queue
Some fans have demanded refunds on social media in angry messages to Wimbledon’s official Twitter account
In response to Wimbledon saying grounds are set to be at capacity, Becky Deeming tweeted: ‘No they’re not. You’re not letting anyone in from the queue! Been here since 3:45am and still not in!!!’
Deeming’s tweet was posted as midday meaning she had waited over eight hours in the queue by the time of the comment.
She then added: ‘What a hoke your queue system is, you need to refund people you’ve sold Court 2 tickets to in the queue who are missing the first match and might miss the second match despite being here super early and normally (would) be in by 10:30. Give discounts when we pay at the cash desk.’
She wasn’t the only one however, as Farhan Abrol wrote: ‘Worst tournament I’ve been to. 7 hours in queue. Still at least 2 hours away from getting in. Need news coverage of this.’
Karen Fletcher commented: ‘Been in nearly 4.5 hours not moved. Queue cards took over an hour so loads pushed in.
‘Not enough toilets, very limited communication. Not like the normal, efficiently managed queue at all today I’m afraid.’
Jennie Saxe added: ‘I’m around 3,000 in the queue and it is NOT moving. Been here since before 6am.
‘I’m all for tradition but everyone says this is unprecedented. What’s going on?’
The comments were all in response to Wimbledon’s official tweet before midday which read: ‘Our Grounds are set to be at capacity today, which means those already in the Queue will be waiting several hours for admission.
‘We advise people intending to Queue today not to travel to Wimbledon.’
The queue is usually busy on the first few days of the tournament for non-ticket holders who are able to obtain ground passes on the day by waiting in Wimbledon Park.
It normally starts forming the evening before and increases in the morning of play with Wimbledon’s website stating fans who join the queue by 9am have a good chance of getting hold of a ticket or grounds pass – though this is not guaranteed.
Ticket holders online have noted an increase in time in the security process on gates on Monday morning – with arrangements uplifted in the wake of a series of environmental protests at other sporting events.
Just Stop Oil disrupted the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship.
There is a designated Twitter profile, The Q, which shows the frustration of people waiting in the queue to get inside of Wimbledon.
Rosie Berry wrote: ‘The @ViewFromThe Q hasn’t moved for over two hours. Got here at 6am and nowhere near security, play started an hour ago. Absolutely shambolic, never been like this before. Sort it out @Wimbledon won’t be queueing again at this rate.’
Mike Sala who was given queue card 11,058 wrote: ‘Got here 8:30, Card at 10:50. Haven’t physically moved since 8:50. Queue volunteer says he can’t guarantee we’ll get at all in today from this position. Look on his face says we won’t. Considering leaving… anyone with thoughts?