Wimbledon runs Monday through July 14, with the women’s singles final set for July 13 and the men’s singles final for July 14. Here’s what you should know about the year’s lone grass-court major.
How do I watch?
ESPN airs the entire tournament, with coverage beginning 6 a.m. Monday.
Who are the favorites?
It’s predictable, but on the men’s side, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the obvious picks to win the title. The big three have combined to win the past 10 Grand Slam tournaments, and Federer, the second seed, is particularly on a roll. The 20-time major champion just won his 10th title at the warm-up grass-court tournament in Germany and this year becomes the first man in Wimbledon history to compete in the single’s draw for 21 consecutive years. If Federer advances to the semifinals, he’ll be the first player on record to have won 100 matches at a single Grand Slam event.
On the women’s side, things are a bit more open, but Wimbledon’s defending champion, Angelique Kerber, did well on grass courts leading up to the tournament, as did reigning French Open champion and new world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. Don’t count out second-seeded Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams, who remains a contender in every tournament she plays.
Speaking of Serena Williams, is she healthy?
According to her coach, yes. Left knee issues hampered the 23-time major champion through much of the spring, forcing Williams to withdraw from the Miami Open in March and the Italian Open in May before she lost to young American Sofia Kenin at the French Open in a match in which Williams’s movement was clearly not up to par.
Now, Williams and coach Patrick Mouratoglou say she is pain free. But as for her chances at her first tournament title in two and a half years, the 37-year-old has a tough road ahead. A seven-time Wimbledon champion, Williams is severely lacking in tournament play this year (she hasn’t played since Roland Garros) and is in the toughest quarter of the draw by far. It’s a stacked section that includes Barty, fifth-seed Kerber (who defeated Williams in the final last year), five-time major champion Maria Sharapova, and 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza among a host of dangerous contenders.
How about Andy Murray?
After having hip surgery in January that helped soothe his chronic pain, the two-time Wimbledon champ returns to the All England club this week for the first time since 2017 for men’s doubles and potentially mixed doubles. He’ll team with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and is coming in hot; he won the Queen’s Club doubles title last week playing alongside Feliciano Lopez.
What’s up with Rafael Nadal’s seeding?
Nadal, who is No. 2 in the world, is the third seed this year behind No. 1 seed Djokovic and No. 2 seed Federer, who is No. 3 in the world rankings. Wimbledon is the only one of the four major tournaments that doesn’t seed men’s players strictly according to world rankings; they also take grass-court results into account (women’s seedings adhere more to WTA rankings, though they can be tweaked as well). As for his draw, Nadal drew a tough potential second-round opponent in Nick Kygrios, the Aussie who notched the first of three career victories over Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014.
Nadal was not so happy about this turn of events.
Anyone else to keep an eye on?
We’re all waiting to see when Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 20-year-old Greek, will have his breakthrough at a Grand Slam tournament, but there are plenty of other young players to watch. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of them; he’s an 18-year-old playing excellent tennis and is a popular fifth choice to win the title among oddsmakers despite never having won a main-draw singles match in his career. As is Coco Gauff, a 15-year-old American who is now the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era. She plays Venus Williams in the opening round.
Belinda Bencic and Kiki Bertens should be dangers in the women’s draw, and last year’s runner up Kevin Anderson is back in action after playing just 12 matches this year due to an elbow injury.
What’s different about grass courts?
Grass is perceived as a the fastest of the three surfaces used across the year’s four Grand Slam tournaments (grass courts actually tend to get slower as a tournament progresses, and hard courts generally get faster). Playing on grass, where the angle of rebound is much flatter than it is, say, on clay, generally favors powerful hitters with big serves, because opponents have less time to respond.
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