PLAYERS TO WATCH
THE BRITS MEN:
Cameron Norrie (WR: 12. WIMB REC: 3 wins - 4 defeats. BEST: 3rd Round - 2021) Born in Johannesburg of Scottish and Welsh parents, he grew up in New Zealand but has spent the last decade in London. Everyone is claiming a part of him but he is very much British No.1.
Dan Evans (WR: 33. WIMB REC: 6-6. BEST: 3rd round - 2021, 2019, 2016) The Birmingham battler may only be 5ft 9in tall in his tennis socks, but his neversay-die attitude has seen off some of the biggest names. Desperate to make the second week.
Jack Draper (WR: 108. WIMB REC: 0-1. BEST: R1 - 2021)
The son of former LTA chief executive Roger Draper, the 20-year-old has just dropped out of the top 100, but he was runner-up in the 2018 boys’ singles here.
Emma Raducanu (WR: 11. WIMB REC: 3-1 BEST: 4th Round 2021)
Whatever happens here, following her US Open success in September she should leave with her head held high after limping out last year just as she was beginning to really make her name.
Harriet Dart (WR: 94. WIMB REC: 2-3 BEST: 3rd round - 2019)
Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova are the only players who have beaten the 25-year-old at Wimbledon, so she will fancy her chances against Rebeka Masarova. Tough potential second round though. Katie Boulter (WR: 118. WIMB REC: 2-3. BEST: 2nd round - 2021, 2018)
Has taken some notable scalps during the grass-court season, including potential secondround opponent Karolina Pliskova. Will just be hoping her injury problems remain behind her for once.
Novak Djokovic (SRB) (WR: 3. WIMB REC: 79-10 BEST: Champion - 2021, 2019, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2011)
It is now five years since he lost a match here and anybody who backs against him must surely be on a different grass than the blades he chews after every success. Grand Slam 21 proving elusive however.
Rafa Nadal (SPA) (WR: 4. WIMB REC: 53-12. BEST: Champion - 2010, 2008) If not Novak, it has to be Rafa, surely, as the old guard refuses to relinquish its grip on the famous trophy. Can his body stand up to
the trauma of slipping around SW19’s treacherous lawns, though?
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) (WR: 11. WIMB REC: 10-3. BEST: runner-up 2021)
The fancy of many Wimbledon fans and many others rate him a half-decent tennis player, too. His fierce serve and powerful play make him more dangerous than his eighth seeding suggests. Lost in the final last year.
Iga Swiatek (POL) (WR: 1. WIMB REC: 3-2. BEST: 4th Rd - 2021)
Just one away from 36 victories in a row – a record for the 21st century. That run includes the French Open final, making the 21-year-old the youngest woman to win the tournament since Monica Seles.
Ons Jabeur (TUN) (WR: 2. WIMB
REC: 5-4. BEST: Quarter-final 2021)
Teamed up with Serena Williams in the doubles at Eastbourne, saying she hoped a grand slam or two might rub off on her. Having won in Berlin the previous week, the Tunisian is in good grass-court form.
Coco Gauff (USA) (WR: 12.
WIMB REC: 6-2. BEST: 4th
Round - 2021, 2019) Her recent views on America’s anti-abortion laws have certainly made plenty of waves off the court, and on it Gauff seems ready to grow up from the kid who took Wimbledon by storm three years ago.
Andy Murray (GB) (WR: 51. WIMB REC: 59-11. BEST: Champion - 2016, 2013) One last hip, hip hooray for the British tennis legend – battling against the odds after two hip operations. One thing is for sure, the 35-year-old will be leaving everything he has out there on Centre Court.
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) (WR: 45. WIMB REC: 15-7. BEST: Quarter-finals - 2014) It seems so long ago that the brash Aussie blitzed Rafa Nadal out of Wimbledon to set the whole tournament buzzing. That’s probably because it was. But eight years later, could the mentality finally match the obvious talent?
Serena Williams (USA) (WR: 411. WIMB REC: 98-13. BEST: Champion - 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2003, 2002)
It has been a frustrating year since she limped out of her first round match here in 2021 and it seems impossible to believe two doubles matches at Eastbourne are enough to remove the rust. But it’s Serena!
Petra Kvitova (CZE) (WR: 26. WIMB REC: 33-11. BEST: Champion 2014, 2011)
That famous old doggedness seemed to be back in evidence at Eastbourne where she overpowered a number of the British hopefuls and then stood up to Jelena Ostapenko’s bluster to win the final without so much as blinking.