'Tennis buff' Joely Richardson 'very excited' to be at Wimbledon's Centre Court


Actress Joely Richardson, who used to queue overnight for Wimbledon tickets, will be in the Royal Box on Tuesday.

The 53-year-old arrived at the Championships on Tuesday with her brother, Carlo Nero, and spoke of her excitement at being able to watch some of tennis's big names play on Centre Court.

She said the pair are huge fans of the sport and as children used queue for tickets.

Speaking to the Press Association, Ms Richardson said: "I am very excited to be here with my brother - we are incredible tennis buffs.

"Ever since we were kids we used to queue and we slept overnight.

"We are very much looking forward to ladies' day - (Garbine) Muguruza - and then (Rafael) Nadal."

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Ms Richardson was not not the only one bringing star quality to Wimbledon on a day that will see eight Britons take to the courts.

Actress Floella Benjamin, also known as Baroness Benjamin, was one of the first through the gates, eager to start a day of tennis.

The 68-year-old arrived with her husband, Keith Taylor, and said she would be thrilled to see her favourite player take to the court for his first-round match.

She said: "I love coming to Wimbledon - it's got such a sense of excitement. You never know what is going to happen.

"Today is an exciting day as I get to see one of my favourite, favourite players - Rafael Nadal.

"Seeing Nadal, and to see him coming, I am very excited."

She added: "I am hoping to see him in the final. And you never know, it may be against (Roger) Federer, anything can happen."

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Presenter Tess Daly and Vernon Kay also added some glamour to the day's events.

As her husband stopped to take pictures with fans, Daly said: "I am totally excited to be here today, I can't wait.

"It is always a pleasure to be at Wimbledon and I am looking forward to seeing Naomi play."

Briton Naomi Broady will take on Garbine Murguruza as the Spaniard begins her defence of the title.

Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta will both also take to Wimbledon's grass courts on Tuesday in a bid to make it through to the second round.

Despite Andy Murray's absence from this year's Championships, tennis fans have turned up in their masses to watch the action from a packed Henman Hill.

Ranked 24, Konta, 27, begins her campaign against Natalia Vikhlyantseva, the world number 106 from Russia.

Edmund, 23, who is ranked 17, faces Australian qualifier Alex Bolt in his first-round match.

Heather Watson is also in action, facing a tough first-round opponent in Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens.

The other Britons in action are Jay Clarke, Gabriella Taylor, Katie Boulter and Katy Dunne.