The greatest lawn tennis tournament, Wimbledon, is back and top seeds are expected to lift the sport’s most coveted trophy
Serena and Novak
Unpredictability makes sport exciting and forever attractive. That is why any kind of match-fixing is such a debilitating scourge and must be uprooted. No one could have predicted that former world number one, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, would be seeded a lowly 10th for the 129th edition of the Wimbledon Championships (the 48th in the open era).
Nor could anyone have foreseen the US’s Venus Williams coming in at number 14. This is the same seeding as South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the men’s draw.
But these are the vagaries of tennis and all sports.
The third grand slam tournament of the year – and the one most people consider the best of the four by far – starts tomorrow and ends on July 12.
The usual favourites, Serena Williams – who is seeking her 21st grand slam – and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, are once again top seeds.
Nadal’s draw puts him in the same section as other former champions, Switzerland’s seven-time winner Roger Federer and Britain’s Andy Murray, who will be desperate to reclaim his country’s grand slam – which he finally won for the first time two years ago.
These players have completely dominated men’s tennis over the past decade (
Defending champion Djokovic has been drawn in the other stream and is not completely safe. He is likely to come up against third-seeded and in-form Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated him in the French Open final earlier this month – that’s if he even gets past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber – a formidable opponent on grass – in the first round.
Williams, who is on the verge of holding all four majors at the same time for the second time in her career, could meet big sister Venus. The latter, playing in her 18th championship, is a five-time champion.
Serena could also meet Russia’s Maria Sharapova, over whom she has a 17-2 record in the semifinals.
The question on every tennis followers’ lips for these two weeks will be whether Williams and Djokovic can lay their hands on the coveted trophies and the enormous prize of £1.88 million (R36 million) each.
Whatever happens, one thing is guaranteed. We are in for some scintillating tennis.