For tennis fans around the world, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: Wimbledon time. From the schedule to storylines, here’s what you need to know before you tune-in with a bowl of strawberries and cream starting June 28th at 6am ET on ESPN. Use the link at the bottom of this page to get Sling Orange with ESPN.
Centre Court, We’ve Missed You
Wimbledon was the only slam that got cancelled in 2020 because of COVID, partly due to the fact that they had pandemic insurance (who knew?), so they avoided a huge financial hit. That is what makes this year so special and significant: The most prestigious tennis tournament in the world is back. Life isn’t back to normal in England yet, but the good news is that there will be 50 percent capacity on the grounds and in the stands throughout the two-week period, culminating in 15,000 fans in Centre Court on finals weekend.
Djokovic, Federer or Someone Else?
Since 2003, only four players on the men’s side have lifted the trophy on Championship Sunday: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Nadal has already withdrawn and Murray is still attempting a comeback after several hip surgeries. Even though Federer is also on the mend following two knee surgeries, you can never count him out at Wimbledon. He’s won it eight times.
But then there’s Djokovic -- relentless, seemingly unstoppable, and fit as a fiddle. It’s hard to imagine anyone else winning Wimbledon (he’s already won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2021). His confidence is off the charts, and if he wins Wimbledon, he’s on his way to winning all four Grand Slams in one year—a feat that no male player has achieved since 1969. It’s basically “good luck” to anyone else in the draw, but you never know…
Because she’s been chasing Margaret Court’s record since winning her 23rd slam at the Australian Open in 2017 (then had her daughter Olympia), Serena Williams is the storyline in every slam she plays in. While it’s always a mistake to underestimate her, Williams is not the favorite and her recent play has been lackluster. The tennis world continues to root for her and a win would tie Serena with Court, providing her with more motivation than ever to keep playing. However, if she plays poorly, we could be watching her last match at Wimbledon.