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Lawn classic: Russian exclusion and German chances: Everything about Wimbledon

Lawn classic
Exclusion of Russians and German chances: Everything about Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal beim Training im All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Foto: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Williams is back, Nadal wants to expand his perfect record in 2022, Djokovic the first big triumph of the year. Even without Zverev and the exiled Russians, Wimbledon offers many stories.

World number one Daniil Medvedev is not allowed to be there. Alexander Zverev as number two cannot start. And there are other things that are different at Wimbledon than usual.

After the start of the tournament on Monday, a long tradition will be broken with the grass classic. The answers to the most important questions about the third Grand Slam tournament (June 27th to July 10th) of this tennis year.

What is the impact of the exclusion of professionals from Russia and Belarus?

Because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Medvedev (26) and all other professionals from Russia and Belarus are excluded. In response to this step, the professional organizations ATP and WTA are denying world ranking points at this Wimbledon edition. But the prestige and prize money are so high that almost no player forgoes participation for this reason.

Who are the contenders for the title?

Even without a preparatory tournament on grass, Serbian Novak Djokovic (35) is the top favorite for his seventh Wimbledon title. After the victories in Stuttgart and Queens, last year’s Italian finalist Matteo Berrettini (26) is in excellent form and could meet Djokovic again in the final. Whether Rafael Nadal (36) is in shape for his third Grand Slam title of the year and his 23rd overall remains to be seen given the foot problems. For women, the only way to the title is through Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old Pole has never reached a WTA final on grass, but has won her past six tournaments and is unbeaten in 35 games.

And the German chances?

In the absence of Zverev, who had his foot operated, Angelique Kerber (34), as the winner of 2018, has the best prospects of the 13 German professionals in the main draw. However, the dress rehearsal at their home tournament in Bad Homburg failed with a quarter-final elimination. In the round of 16 there could be a duel with Berlin winner Ons Jabeur from Tunisia. After the semi-finals in Stuttgart and in Halle, Westphalia, Oscar Otte is seeded in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career. Should the 28-year-old reach week two like he did for the first time at the US Open 2021, it would be a success.

What’s new at Wimbledon?

For the first time, regular games will be played on Church Road on the so-called “Middle Sunday”, the Sunday of the first week of the tournament. So far, this day has remained free and has only been used if delays had previously occurred due to rain interruptions. This should equalize the “Manic Monday”, on which all round of 16 have taken place so far. According to the official justification, the aim is to give more people the opportunity to attend the tournament – which of course also means higher income. Another novelty: Selected professionals were allowed to train on the Center Court before the start of the tournament. This should reduce the risk of slipping at the start. For example, Serena Williams was injured in the first round a year ago.

Can Serena Williams equal the Grand Slam record?

Even the comeback of the US superstar at the age of 40 and after a year’s break is a small sensation. In the meantime, Williams has slipped to world number 1204, but initially avoids the top players thanks to a lucky draw. In doubles during the preparation, she indicated the joy of playing and the power of earlier days. In order to match the record of Australian Margaret Court with the 24th Grand Slam title, Williams’ body has to play along permanently.

Where can the tournament be seen on TV?

Unlike the other three Grand Slam tournaments, there are no live images on free-to-air TV for German fans. The pay channel Sky broadcasts on up to five channels simultaneously and shows a conference of the most important games. There will be highlights and a live game on opening day via a free stream.

dpa

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