Wimbledon fortnight begins on Monday, 3 July and qualifying begins on Monday, 26 June as lower Wimbledon -ranked players not automatically in the draw compete for the 16 remaining men’s places and 12 women’s spots
The draw is made on Friday
World number one Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, is well short of his form of 12 months ago after injury earlier this year.Before last year’s tournament, he had won 33 matches and lost only six, helping him reach two Grand Slam finals and win a Masters title in Rome.This year he has won 21 contests and lost nine, while the French Open is the only Grand Slam or Masters tournament where he has reached the quarter-finals.
The Scot’s start to the grass-court season has not been ideal – he lost his only match on the surface so far this year. Murray won the Queen’s title before both Wimbledon triumphs, but this month he suffered a surprise first round defeat against Australian world number 90 Jordan Thompson at the Aegon Championships.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer, fresh from winning his fourth title of the year at Halle on Sunday, is still seen by many as the man to beat. The 35-year-old Swiss might be coming towards the end of his career but, as he proved by winning the Australian Open in January, he still intends to add to his record haul of 18 Grand Slam titles.
Another success at Wimbledon will put him clear of the men’s record of seven singles titles he shares with Pete Sampras, and move him to within one of Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of nine.
Federer’s long-time rival Rafael Nadal is also among the Wimbledon favourites after winning his 10th French Open crown at Roland Garros this month. Nadal, 31, has overcome his own injury problems to climb back up to second in the world rankings but grass is not his best surface.
Novak Djokovic held all four Grand Slam titles going into last year’s Championships. Now he holds none. The 30-year-old Serb, who is hoping to rediscover his form this week at Eastbourne has dropped to fourth in the world rankings after a turbulent year in which he has won only one title and split with his coaching team.
Outside the “big four” Queen’s finalists Feliciano Lopez and Marin Cilic are hoping to continue their fine form in London, while Austria’s world number eight Dominic Thiem, who beat Djokovic at Roland Garros, Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Germany’s Alexander Zverev are all showing signs of fulfilling their potential.
Best Odds a week ahead of the event are
16/1 bar which takes in Raonic and Cilic
Obviously with the form of a couple of the market leaders questionable the tournament has a more open look than in recent years. It is tempting to go away for an outsider at a big price but on current form and surface preference Federer does look a fair price.
No Serena Williams and no Maria Sharapova. The ladies’ draw might be lacking a bit of stardust without the sport’s two biggest names – 22-time Grand Slam champion Williams is pregnant and Sharapova is injured – but that does not mean it will be any less exciting.
Will we see a new ladies’ champion this year? More than likely. Only two former winners Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova are playing.
Kvitova – champion in 2011 and 2014 – would be a fairytale winner as she continues to come back from a career-threatening hand injury sustained when she was stabbed by an intruder at her home.
The new girl on the block, 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko, might just stun everyone again by winning her second Grand Slam in as many attempts.And then, of course, there’s Britain’s Johanna Konta
“There are about 15 women who could win this year, It is one of the most open ever,” said one commentator last week
British number one Konta, ranked seventh in the world, is the first top-10 home woman at Wimbledon since Jo Durie reached the quarter-finals in 1984.No British woman has gone as far as the last eight since Durie, Laura Robson going closest when she reached the fourth round in 2013.However, Konta has only ever won one match in the main draw, beating Monica Puig last year before losing to 2014 finalist Genie Bouchard in the second round.Her build-up to this year’s tournament began with a run to the Nottingham Open final, where she lost to world number 70 Donna Vekic, in her first grass-court event.But the top seed suffered a straight sets defeat by Coco Vandeweghe in the second round of Birmingham’s Aegon Classic.
Best odds for the tournament show what an open event it looks
My idea of value at the prices, Each way getting half the odds for making the final, is Garbine Muguruza, French Open winner in 2016 and Wimbledon finalist in 2015.