The summer is a great time to explore Europe, you get the best of the weather and there are always loads of events going on, so there’s plenty of stuff to get involved in beyond the usual touristy things that you’d be likely to do anyway.
Grand Slams, for example; two of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world take place in May/June and June/July in Europe. First up, you’ve got the French Open – also known as Roland Garros – in Paris at the end of May and the beginning of June. This clay court tennis tournament is one of the most important competitions in the international tennis calendar and sees the biggest names in tennis gathering in the hopes of taking the title.
This year, Rafael Nadal is not only tipped to win, but also to break his own record if he does. Nadal became the first person ever to win eight times at one Grand Slam event last year, in 2013, when he won Roland Garros. This year, he’s going for that ninth victory, which will also be the fifth in a row if he succeeds. You can find out more about his chances at Bet365 and check out the odds on his potential to win at the same time. Currently, he’s the hot favourite to win, with Djokovic, Wawrinka and Federer behind him. Tickets to Roland Garros are available at varying levels including entry for just the evening matches, so you can find a price to suit the budget you’re on.
The other big European Grand Slam is, of course, Wimbledon, which takes place in south west London over the last week of June and the first week of July. Of the four major Grand Slams, Wimbledon is not only the oldest but also the only one to be played on grass. There’s a lot of tradition wrapped up in Wimbledon – it has been going on since 1877, after all. Tickets are not always easy to come by. You can enter a ballot in the preceding year between August and December and if you’re lucky, you’ll receive the right to purchase tickets for one of any of the big matches played during the two weeks. But other than that, the best way to get into Wimbledon is to take part in a Wimbledon tradition and join The Queue. People who get in line early enough can buy one of 500 tickets that are released on each day of play for Centre Court, Court Number One and Court Number Two. Other than that, there are several thousand Grounds tickets released each day, which means you can wander from outside court to outside court, watching any of the matches, or watch the action on the main courts via the big screens.
This year’s Wimbledon favourite is Djokovic, who won once in 2011 and is currently priced at around 2/1, with Federer, Murray and Nadal all priced at about 5/1. Although it looks like Djokovic is the confirmed favourite, it would be a really magical win for Roger Federer if he won Wimbledon again this year. He already has seven Wimbledon titles to his name, and holds the record number of wins at Wimbledon jointly with Pete Sampras, so this is probably his last chance to go for a record eighth victory at his favourite Grand Slam.
Go to either the French Open or Wimbledon this year if you can, and you may just witness history being made.