Former Australian tennis player Todd Woodbridge has recalled his singles main draw debut at Wimbledon as he claims the feeling he then experienced will never fade away. Woodbridge, one of the greatest doubles players of all time, made it past the qualifying event at Wimbledon in 1988 to earn a spot in the main draw of the tournament.
Woodbridge was handed an extremely tough draw as he was drawn to meet the then defending Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. Woodbridge stood no chance against Cash but still playing against a defending champion on the Centre Court was a memorable experience.
"Ironically, the first time I qualified for singles in 1988 I drew Pat Cash, who was the defending champion that year. It meant my very first main draw singles match was played on Centre Court in the 2pm fixture I always loved watching.
Even now, I get goosebumps remembering that. That was just like ‘wow, here I am playing on this court’. I was still a junior and at that level, you do not expect to be put on a show court. To get the defending champion and have that unique opportunity to open the tournament, that was a bucket list moment and still is one of the highlights of my Wimbledon career," Woodbridge said in his contribution post for Tennis Australia.
"Cashy thrashed me. I played okay, even though I only got four games. I still remember walking out onto Centre Court for the first time. When you take that right-hand turn and step out onto the grass, the feeling is electric.
The sound is like walking under high power lines when you can hear the electricity clicking and buzzing. It is extraordinary and is something I will never forget."
Todd Woodbridge explains what makes Wimbledon so special
"The electricity of Wimbledon is what makes the tournament so special.
I feel it every single year when I walk through the gates to the All England Club for the first time. The atmosphere is so magical, seeing the Centre Court drapped in ivy and the natural grass reminds you this is the home of tennis.
I can hear the crowds as I walk through the grounds, even when it is empty. I can visualise the great moments – both the ones I have personally had as well as the ones I have witnessed. It is just a phenomenal experience.
There really is no other place like Wimbledon," Woodbridge said. Todd Woodbridge, a former doubles world No. 1, won a total of 10 doubles at Wimbledon -- nine in men's doubles and one in mixed doubles.