The dwindling sunlight and dropping temperatures may not have you thinking about green grass and tennis, but now's the time to get going if you've had any dreams about going to Wimbledon next year. Tickets to the premier tournament in tennis are distributed based on a lottery system, and even though the tournament isn't until June, you must request an application from tournament organizers by Dec. 15 and return the completed application by Dec. 31.
To receive an application for the drawing, send a self-addressed envelope to: Ticket Office All England Lawn Tennis Club, P.O. Box 98, London SW19 5AE, United Kingdom. You'll also need to send an International Reply Coupon, which you can buy at the post office. Check out the Wimbledon web site for complete information on the ticketing process for the 2009 tournament.
Only one application per household is permitted. If you submit multiple applications per household or ask for more than one form, your application will be void. Note also that tickets are randomly allocated, so you can't request specific dates or courts. If you don't get tickets through the lottery, all is not lost as the tournament will put tickets on sale each day of the tournament, but you'll have to get up really early or camp overnight to get a spot in the lengthy queue.
While Wimbledon is known as a bastion of tradition, think strawberries and cream and all-whites, one custom you won't see in 2009 will be endless rain delays on Centre Court. In a modern touch, a retractable translucent roof will cover Centre Court, keeping players, fans, and those highly coveted tickets dry no matter what the weather.