Who will rival Williams and Federer? Is Murray fit? Your Wimbledon guide

  • Posted: Jul 01, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text updates online. Full details.

Roger Federer begins his quest for a record-extending ninth Wimbledon men’s singles title when the 2018 tournament begins on Monday.

The Swiss great, 36, opens against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic on Centre Court from 13:00 BST.

Seven-time champion Serena Williams, back at SW19 for the first time since giving birth, also plays on Monday.

Britons Andy Murray, who is returning from a long-term injury, and Johanna Konta play on Tuesday.

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Is Murray fit enough to play?

Murray looks set to feature after saying he is “most likely” to be fit enough to continue his comeback from almost a year out with a hip injury.

However, he also said “it is possible” that he could pull out because he is “literally taking it day by day”, adding “in terms of winning this event, I have no belief or thoughts that that’s going to happen”.

The 31-year-old Scot returned at Queen’s last month, losing to Nick Kyrgios.

Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, then took a wildcard at Eastbourne. There he beat fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka before losing to compatriot Kyle Edmund.

“I’m practising at a high intensity every day with some of the best players in the world,” said the former world number one.

“Wimbledon is the most important tournament of the year but my main priority is my health and I’ve got to have that at the front of my mind.”

Edmund leads British men

Murray has been replaced by Edmund as the British number one.

The 23-year-old Yorkshireman has broken into the world’s top 20 after reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

However, the world number 18 has only won one main-draw match at Wimbledon, reaching round two last year.

Murray has also been overtaken in the rankings by 22-year-old Cameron Norrie.

He has enjoyed a memorable breakthrough year, which started with an epic win on his Davis Cup debut, continued with his first ATP semi-final, and resulted in a ranking of 79.

Two other Britons – Liam Broady and Jay Clarke – have been awarded wildcards.

Federer and Nadal the men to beat

Federer is the favourite after moving clear of Pete Sampras with victory last year.

He decided to skip the clay-court season again, returning triumphantly at the Stuttgart Open.

Federer looked on course to continue his unbeaten run at Halle last week, but lost in the final to Borna Coric.

That meant Nadal, fresh from winning his 16th Grand Slam and 11th French Open, regained the number one ranking.

Nadal, 32, and Federer have won the past six Grand Slams between them.

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Who could stop them?

Novak Djokovic: The three-time champion is working his way back after a year disrupted by an elbow injury but showed glimpses of his best form at the French Open and Queen’s.

Marin Cilic: The Croat is a proven force on grass, having reached last year’s final and won Queen’s last month.

Alexander Zverev: Only Federer and Nadal have outperformed the 21-year-old this year.

Dominic Thiem: The Austrian reached his first major final on his favoured surface at Roland Garros.

Seeded Serena is back

Williams missed last year’s tournament as she was pregnant with her first child. She returns amid controversy about whether she should have been seeded.

The 36-year-old American has been given the 25th seed, a decision world number 32 Dominika Cibulkova – who has made way – described as unfair.

Williams, who has not lost a singles match at Wimbledon since 2014, has only played four events since returning after giving birth to daughter Alexis in September.

“You can never underestimate a champion like her,” said Muguruza.

Konta hoping to replicate memorable run

British number one Konta reached the semi-finals at the All England Club last year.

That helped the 27-year-old climb to a career-high fourth in the rankings, but she has since fallen to 22nd.

“I’m really excited to be back,” she said.

A record six British women have been given wildcards – Katie Boulter, Naomi Broady, Harriet Dart, Katy Dunne, Katie Swan and Gabriella Taylor.

Who are the favourites?

Simona Halep: The world number one won her first Grand Slam at the French Open.

Petra Kvitova: The Czech has won Wimbledon twice, and has secured five titles this year – more than anyone else.

Garbine Muguruza: The Spaniard has reached either the French Open or Wimbledon final in each of the past three years but her grass-court season began with defeat by Barbora Strycova at Birmingham.

Caroline Wozniacki: The world number two won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open and warmed up for Wimbledon by winning Eastbourne on Saturday.

Order of play – Monday, 2 July

Federer’s match against Lajovic is followed on Centre Court by second seed Wozniacki’s meeting with American Varvara Lepchenko.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov is then scheduled to play Wawrinka.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens – seeded fourth – opens proceedings on Court One against Croat Donna Vekic.

British wildcard Broady is the second match on the show court, against 13th seed Milos Raonic of Canada.

Serena Williams is then due on Court One against world number 107 Arantxa Rus.

Elsewhere, Dart takes on seventh seed Karolina Pliskova on court 12 at 11:30, while Swan is third on court 14 against Romanian world number 36 Irina-Camelia Begu.

Norrie’s match against Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene will be allocated a court on Monday, with the match not scheduled to start before 17:00.

What is the weather forecast?

How can I follow the Championships?

Wimbledon returns to the BBC with comprehensive coverage across TV, radio, online and the mobile app.

Viewers can watch the best of the action on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Red Button.

There are also up to 18 available courts to choose from through Connected TVs, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app.

BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra will also be at the heart of the action, with live commentary and expert analysis every day.

Today at Wimbledon on BBC Two each night takes an in-depth look at the day’s best matches and biggest talking points.

Stay up to date with all the latest SW19 news and go behind the scenes via BBC Sport’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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