When is Wimbledon 2021 and why is it popular?
Wimbledon 2021 will take place from Monday 28 June to Sunday 11 July, and hopefully it will be worth the wait.
The 2020 edition was cancelled following the COVID-19 outbreak and that has only heightened anticipation about the forthcoming tournament.
It is one of the four pillars of the tennis calendar – the Grand Slam tournaments, the others being the Australian, French and US Opens. It has therefore always attracted the best players and subsequently the crowds.
Sadly, there won’t be so many fans on the famous Wimbledon Centre Court this year but at least the organisers are expecting to allow a decent number – higher than the originally-anticipated 25% of capacity. Millions more will watch on BBC TV in the UK and other channels around the world.
For those who do attend, it is not always simply about the tennis. As with the likes of Royal Ascot and the Henley Regatta, Wimbledon is seen in many circles as a social gathering as much as a sporting one.
The tournament itself is arguably the most famous tennis event in the world and for most players it is regarded as the pinnacle of their sport. Its traditions – some might say quirkiness – set it apart from its Grand Slam ‘rivals’.
The famous All England Club venue has immaculate grounds and with commercial deals few and far between, you won’t find advertising plastered all over the place. On court, players must dress ‘almost entirely in white’ but probably the most distinctive aspect in modern-day tennis is that it is the only Grand Slam tournament played on grass.
Many players don’t like the faster, lower-bouncing courts and while it is no longer the case that serve-volley tactics are a must, it still takes certain skills to land the treasured prizes.
Briton Andy Murray, a winner of the title in 2013 and 2016, has such skills although whether he will play Wimbledon 2021 has to be in some doubt given the injury issues which have plagued his season.
So who will be winning the Wimbledon final 2021 and lifting the famous trophies?
In the men’s singles, world number one Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the final – which will take place on the same day as the Euro 2020 final. Djokovic will be defending his title having won one of the great finals against Roger Federer in 2019 – the first-ever Wimbledon singles match to go to a tie-break at 12-12 in the fifth set.
Djokovic, now a five-time champion in SW19, holds a 47% chance of victory, according to the Smarkets exchange. Federer, who has won the title a record eight times, is next at 17%, despite having played only a handful of matches since the pandemic began.
The women’s singles betting is far more open with US and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka a cool favourite having last traded as an 11% chance. World number one Ash Barty follows at 10%.
Serena Williams, still one title shy of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, holds a 9% chance. The American, who turns 40 in August, has won Wimbledon seven times – two fewer than record-holder Martina Navratilova. Simona Halep is the reigning champion but is a doubt to play this year after suffering a calf injury which forced her out of the French Open.