Men's tennis has never been more revered after some of the epic battles at the Australian Open – and a Bury teacher has been handed a front-row view seat when rivalries return on the biggest stage of all – this summer’s London Olympics.
It took nearly six hours for Novak Djokovic to dispatch of Rafael Nadal down under last weekend, and when you add the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray into the mix, men’s tennis is where the action is.
But after years of trying to get tickets for the Wimbledon Championships without much luck, Sue McCardell, 45, a teacher at Shawclough Community Primary School in Rochdale, thought her chance of seeing them up close and personal would never come.
That was until her routine weekly shop came up trumps with Mrs McCardell the lucky recipient of London 2012 tickets for tennis at Wimbledon courtesy of P&G, proud sponsor of mums.
The mother-of-two is taking her husband Chris along for the ride, as well as her teenage sons Joe and Harry, and admits she couldn’t have asked for a better prize.
“I was absolutely thrilled when I found out I had won tickets for the tennis through the P&G competition as I really didn’t expect it,” said Mrs McCardell of Wadebridge Drive.
“I love Wimbledon and while I keep an eye out on what happens in the tennis around the world, Wimbledon is the main one and I try every year to get tickets.
“But I have never been before, despite trying every year, so I couldn’t have asked for anything better as I am finally going to get to go to Wimbledon.
“You enter these kinds of competitions just hoping really and you never expect to actually win them so it was a real surprise, but a very welcome one.”
The London 2012 Olympics is set to eclipse any sporting event that has visited British shores previously, although the last time one did, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Mrs McCardell was there nearly every night.
Ten years ago England finished second in the medal table in Manchester, amassing 166 medals, and she hopes she can be Great Britain’s lucky charm a decade on.
“We actually also got some tickets through the ballot so will also be seeing the judo, as my 12-year-old son Harry does judo, as well as the football up in Old Trafford,” she added.
“I love all the major sporting events and because we were quite close to it in 2002 we came to the athletics nearly every night at the Commonwealth Games.
“So hopefully we will have plenty more Brits to cheer on at the tennis and if he gets there then we will certainly be making a lot of noise for Andy Murray – fingers crossed he makes it.”
For more information on how P&G are inspiring people everywhere to say ‘Thank you, Mum’ and to win tickets, visit http://www.youtube.com/proctergamble