The Wimbledon Championships 2021 – the final Grand Slam before Tokyo 2020 – gets underway at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London from Monday.
Having been cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prestigious Wimbledon event is returning to the tennis calendar after a gap of a year.
This is the first time since the World War II era (1940-1945) that Wimbledon is being held after a break.
Serbian ace Novak Djokovic will be the centre of attraction at Wimbledon 2021 as his hunt for the elusive Golden Slam continues.
A Golden Slam is when a player wins all four Grand Slams - the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open - in addition to the Olympic gold medal in the same year. Steffi Graff is the only player in tennis history to have achieved the feat in 1988.
Novak Djokovic, a five-time Wimbledon champion, has already secured the Australian Open and French Open this year.
Winning Wimbledon 2021 will also hand Novak Djokovic his 20th Grand Slam title, bringing him level with current record-holders Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – the other two of modern tennis’ Big Three.
It’ll also be hard to bet against the Serb considering he won the previous two Wimbledon titles - 2018 and 2019.
With world No. 3 Rafael Nadal withdrawing from Wimbledon 2021 and Tokyo Olympics due to an injury, the Serb’s chances only seem brighter. World No. 5 Dominic Thiem, David Goffin and Milos Raonic will also be missing from this year’s Wimbledon start list.
However, Novak Djokovic will have stiff competition from Swiss icon Roger Federer, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, and French Open 2021 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title.
Two-time winner Andy Murray will also be back on his home turf, playing in his first Wimbledon since 2017. Australian ace Nick Kyrgios is also set for a return since the Australian Open in February.
For Roger Federer, who has been struggling with his fitness of late, Wimbledon 2021 will be a crucial tournament heading into the Tokyo Olympics.
Federer, the record eight-time Wimbledon winner, was out injured for most of 2020 and had to pull out of the fourth round of the French Open to safeguard his injured knee.
Drawn in opposite brackets, a Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer final is a possibility at Wimbledon 2021.
Record-seeking Serena Williams looks to end title-drought
In the women’s section, reigning champion Simona Halep and world No. 2 Naomi Osaka have already withdrawn from Wimbledon 2021. Halep, the world No. 3, is nursing a calf injury while Osaka pulled out owing to personal reasons.
In Halep and Osaka’s absence, world No. 1 Ashley Barty comes across as the overwhelming favourite to clinch the title. However, the Australian may still run into seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the semi-finals.
Serena Williams, with 23 Grand Slams to her name, is looking to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 titles. The American tennis star’s last Grand Slam win, however, dates back to the 2017 Australian Open.
Surprise French Open 2021 champion Barbora Krejčíková will be another player to look out for in women’s singles.
Indians at Wimbledon 2021
The Indian challenge at Wimbledon 2021 will be restricted to doubles events after Ankita Raina, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan failed to qualify for the singles.
The highlight will be on Sania Mirza, who will be playing her first Grand Slam tournament since the Australian Open 2020. Sania Mirza has teamed up with American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands for women's doubles.
The Indo-American pair faces the sixth-seeded team of USA’s Desirae Krawczyk and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi in the first round.
Ankita Raina, who is set to pair up with Saina Mirza at Tokyo 2020, will be teaming up with USA’s Lauren Davis to face the all-American team of Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula.
In men’s doubles, the all-Indian team of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan begins its campaign against France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Finland’s Henri Kontinen.
Mixed doubles draws aren’t out yet.
Wimbledon 2021 tennis schedule for India
Broadcast of the Wimbledon 2021 main round matches in India starts from 3:30 PM IST (India Standard Time) on Monday, June 28, and will run till Sunday, July 11.
Monday, June 28 - singles first round
Tuesday, June 29 - singles first round
Wednesday, June 30 – singles second round and doubles second round
Thursday, July 1 - singles second round and doubles second round
Friday, July 2 - singles third round, doubles second round, mixed doubles
Saturday, July 3 - singles third round, doubles second round, mixed doubles
Sunday, July 4 – No play
Monday, July 5 – singles and doubles Round of 16, mixed doubles
Tuesday, July 6 – women’s singles quarter-finals, men’s doubles quarter-finals, mixed doubles
Wednesday, July 7 - men’s singles quarter-finals, women’s doubles quarter-finals, mixed doubles
Thursday, July 8 - women’s singles semi-finals, men’s doubles semi-finals, mixed doubles
Friday, July 9 - men’s singles semi-finals, women’s doubles semi-finals, mixed doubles semi-finals
Saturday, July 10 - women’s singles final, men’s doubles final
Sunday, July 11 - men’s singles finals
Women’s doubles finals and mixed doubles finals will be scheduled on either July 10 or July 11.
Where to watch Wimbledon 2021 live in India?
Select Wimbledon Championships 2021 tennis matches will be telecast live in India on the Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD TV channels.
Live streaming of the Wimbledon 2021 will be available in India on Disney+ Hotstar.