Dust off your whites, get your strawberries and cream ready, grab your union jacks, prepare for rain, and a whole host of other things associated with the action down at SW19. Yes Wimbledon is back.
A week on Monday marks the start of the third Grand Slam tennis event of the calendar, on the lush green grass courts of All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, and the nation crosses it’s collective fingers that Andy Murray can once again triumph.
This will be the 131st edition of The Wimbledon Championships which is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered the most prestigious.
Last year saw super Scot Andy Murray defeat Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets to lift the men’s single title for the second time, whilst American Serena Williams beat German Angelique Kerber also in straight sets in straight sets to lift the women’s title for a seventh time.
Victory for Williams was her 22 major Grand Slam title, and with victory in the Australian Open earlier this year that gave her her 23rd major and the title of the most successful female tennis player of the open era.
However whilst at the Australian Open she found out she was pregnant, which has forced her to withdraw from the rest of the 2017 calendar.
Victory for Murray was the catalyst for a golden period where he would go on to win Olympic gold, as well as 9 other Tour Titles, and the end of year ATP World Finals en-route to becoming the World’s Number 1.
There are 16 trophies on offer over the fortnight of action, with the winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments taking home a whopping £2.2 million each.
Naturally all British eyes and hopes will be pinned on Andy Murray, but that’s certainly not playing down the chances of some other Brits. For example in the women’s singles there is Johanna Konta who has steadily risen year on year from world number 668 back in 2009 to current world number 8 (she will actually be ranked 7 after Serena Williams withdrawal). Also in the men’s wheelchair singles there’s great hope as Britain has the reigning Wimbledon Champion in Gordon Reid and the current French Open champion Alfie Hewett, who also teamed up to win the wheelchair doubles last year too. And speaking of wheelchair doubles Jordanne Whiley is also one of half of the current champions along with Japan’s Yui Kamiji. Finally in the mixed doubles Britain’s Heather Watson is one half the defending champions alongside her Finnish partner Henri Kontinen.
Murray’s biggest challenge will no doubt come in the form of Rafa Nadal who is fresh off winning his 10th French Open title, and lets not rule out the legend that is Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open back at the start of the year, and who is still searching for that 8th Wimbledon trophy that will make him the greatest ever male player to grace the grass of SW19 (he is currently tied on 7 wins with Pete Sampras and fellow Brit William Renshaw).
In the women’s the favourite is former runner up and 2-time grand slam champion German Angelique Kerber, although Latvian Jelena Ostapenko will no doubt be buoyed with confidence following her victory at Roland Garros a few weeks ago.
For more information please see the official website here.