The 2017 Wimbledon Tennis Championships gets underway at SW19 today with no clear cut favourite in either the Men’s or Ladies draw.
The Men’s top seed, defending champion and local favourite, Andy Murray, will get the Centre Court proceedings underway against the qualifying round lucky loser, Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan today. Murray, who has only reached two finals this year with a 1-1 result, didn’t have the best grass court preparations going into Wimbledon, after falling short to Australia’s Jordan Thompson 7-6(4) 6-2 at the Queen’s Club Championships a fortnight ago.
From a tennis point of view, the 2nd seed, Novak Djokovic’s rather dismal past 12 months got a serious confidence booster, when he defeated Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4 in the Eastbourne final on Saturday. Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, will be hoping that with the help of former eight-time Grand Slam champion, Andre Agassi on his coaching team, his luck will continue to be on the up.
The 3rd seed, Roger Federer, who is itching for his 8th Wimbledon title, remains one of the favourites, especially on grass, where he has enjoyed most of his success. Federer, who won the Australian Open in January, skipped most of the clay court season and returned in June, but suffered a surprising loss to his friend, Tommy Haas in a three-set thriller, 6-2 6-7(8) 4-6 during the Stuttgart Open. In true Fed style though, he bounced back a week ago by defeating Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 in the Halle Open final.
Other possible contenders will be Rafael Nadal (4), Stan Wawrinka (5) and Dominic Thiem (8), who rattled a few cages during the clay court season, including that of Rafael Nadal.
In the Ladies draw, World No. 1, Angelique Kerber, will be hoping that the grass court surfaces will bring her some luck, as she’d like to improve on her quarter-final result at Eastbourne last week. Her first opponent will be Irina Falconi from the USA.
The 2nd seed, Simona Halep, will want to make good after her shock defeat at the hands of the youngster, Jelena Ostapenko, during the French Open final last month. Halep, who was a semi-finalist at SW19 in 2014, will be hoping that her consistent form will see her through to a better result this year.
The 3rd seed, Karolina Pliskova’s campaign got a great boost, after she defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-4 during the Eastbourne final on Saturday. Pliskova has been one of the most consistent Top 5 players on the WTA tour this year and strong contender for Wimbledon.
Venus Williams, a five-time champion, remains in the running and will be confident after reaching the final of the Australian Open in January, which she lost to younger sister, Serena.
Former two-time champion, Petra Kvitova, who was sidelined from the WTA tour for five months, after being stabbed in December, has only played three tournaments leading up to Wimbledon, but more importantly so, won the Birmingham Classic title after defeating Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Ashleigh Barty and Jelena Ostapenko, are also standing out as possible contenders for this year’s title.