London 2012 Olympics: 5 best venues

The sports are the centerpiece of the London 2012 Olympics, but where they take place has been a big part of the spirit of the Games. Here are five of London's best and loudest venues.

3. All England Club, Wimbledon (London)

Mark Humphrey/AP
Spectators fill a hillside as they watch a giant screen showing a match being played by Great Britain's Andy Murray at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics last Wednesday.

The famous Wimbledon grass was a bit dodgy at the end, thanks to the All England Club holding its second major tournament in a month, but bless them. It is hard to imagine how an Olympic tennis tournament will ever top this one. 

Tennis venues at Summer Olympics can often feel like Olympic stepchildren; opening round matches attended almost grudgingly. In Athens, Venus Williams once played a match where the number of spectators could be easily counted. But to the London Games’ great benefit, Wimbledon kindly lent a grand slam feel to the Olympic tennis, both in the competition and on the grounds.

From the first day, Court 16 had almost as much buzz as Centre Court, and Henman Hill was packed. Partly because of this energy, and partly because of the undiminished aura of the All England Club, this Olympic tennis tournament seemed somehow more important than those that had come before. Perhaps Olympic tennis will never become a fifth grand slam, but for one year, at least, we got to see what it would look like if it were.

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