Wimbledon is the one of the biggest of the four Grand Slams and attracts the best of the world’s tennis talents: and it starts today!
Tennis fans can expect to see an abundance of talent on offer over the next month. 36-year-old Serena Williams has returned from maternity leave and won her appeal to the All England Club over being dropped to 181st in the world rankings.
The women’s competition is always tough and unpredictable, and there is plenty of action today. There is a Centre Court appearance for Caroline Wozniacki, with the Australian Open champion meeting Varvara Lepchecnko. Last year’s finalist, Venus Williams, will face Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.
From a British perspective, the early focus is on Harriet Dart, who is first on court two against Karolina Pliskova. The 21-year-old is the world number 171 and she has never been in a grand slam before. Her opponent is the seventh seed and is a contender for the title.
British number one Johanna Konta reached the semi-finals last year, which helped her climb to a career-high fourth in the rankings but has since fallen to 22nd.
A record six British women have been given wildcards – Katie Boulter, Naomi Broady, Harriet Dart, Katy Dunne and Gabriella Taylor.
As for the men, Liam Broady is second on Court one, and faces 2016 finalist Milos Raonic. Meanwhile Cameron Norrie, the British number two faces Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene.
British number one Kyle Edmund is preparing for his first Wimbledon and his first match takes place on Tuesday against Australian Alex Bolt.
Last night, on the eve of the tournament, Andy Murray ruled himself out after failing to return to full fitness after his surgery earlier in the year.
Murray returned to professional tennis less than a fortnight ago after an 11-month absence because of a hip injury. He played one match at Queen’s Club and two at Eastbourne last week – before deciding that he was not up to playing matches over the best of five sets.
Wimbledon also hosts mixed doubles, junior and Wheelchair matches. SW19 sees tennis games over 18 courts, and will be broadcast live on the BBC.
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