Having received an email from the LTA about line umpiring earlier this year, I applied for the one-day course at Loughborough University, which I was lucky enough to attend. Having passed the course in May, I was selected to line umpire at the Nottingham Trophy, Wimbledon qualifying and the Wimbledon main draw! The Nottingham Trophy was my first tournament as an official, walking onto court for the first time was slightly nerve-racking, but after the first few calls and meeting all the other officials (some of who travelled from all over the world to take part!) , was a really great first event and introduction to officiating at pro-tournaments. Just a couple of days later I travelled up to the hotel in London where all the umpires stayed for the duration of Wimbledon 2021. I line umpired for the qualifying week at The Bank of England Sports Ground, where we also had our fitting for our Ralph Lauren uniform which was pretty cool! The following week I had my first day working at Wimbledon, walking onto court for the first time was pretty surreal having watched The Championships for as long as I can remember. We also had the added pressure of having Hawkeye on every court! I had the chance to go onto Court 12 (a semi-show court) twice during the 2 weeks which was exciting as I’ve never been on court with a crowd of that size! Being on court with some of the best players in the world and seeing yourself everyday on BBC iPlayer wearing the famous Ralph Lauren uniform was pretty amazing!
Written by Sophie Kitson
We look forward to hearing more from Sophie, Tennis Sussex wish Sophie good luck in her next posting as an official.