Who will win Wimbledon? Who is even competing? When does Wimbledon start? These are fair questions to those who are not avid followers of tennis, which you very well may not be. And if you’re not then there aren’t many better starting points for watching the exciting sport of tennis than the oldest and most prolific tennis tournament of all time. However, you likely don’t want to go in blind and will require some knowledge beyond “it’s a big tennis tournament,” such as the Wimbledon seedings, structure, and expectations in regards to the players. Read on to learn more, including our Wimbledon predictions for the tournament and a look at some potential Wimbledon 2016 winners.
The Championships, Wimbledon, more commonly called just “Wimbledon,” began in July of 1877—that’s 139 years ago—in London, England. The first tournament, held by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, attracted only 200 spectators, compared to the 39,000 people in attendance to watch the prior tournament in 2015. In fact, so many people come out that Wimbledon hold the record for the single largest annual sporting catering operation with 1,800 people required to keep everyone fed.
Wimbledon is one of the four tournaments—along with the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open—that make up the “Grand Slam” group of major annual tennis events; only 22 people can claim to have won all four, with three of them having done so more than once.
The Wimbledon 2016 dates have the event set to begin on June 27 and end on July 10; the All England Tennis and Croquet Club will once again be serving as the venue. The Wimbledon draw, which is the event determining who will play whom in the bracketed tournaments, will take place three days earlier, on June 24. This will be after the Wimbledon seeds are determined, as players must be given a ranking for the sake of the draw. The seeds for this year’s tournament are set to be announced today, June 22, while the order of play for opening day will be announced 24 hours beforehand, on June 26.
Wimbledon 2016 Predictions
It’s impossible to make any Wimbledon 2016 predictions without considering the chances of the defending champions. The defending champ of the Gentlemen’s singles, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, has won the prior two tournaments and is looking to win a third. As a two-time defending champ, he’s an obvious frontrunner to win this year, especially as he is just coming off a French Open victory in which he once again looked completely dominating on the court. Also in contention is the world’s number two, Andy Murray, who recently lost to Djokovic at the Australian Open and French Open, but beat him prior to those at the Italian Open and at Wimbledon three years prior.
On the Ladies singles side, Serena Williams will be the defending champ going into this year’s competition. However, we are now approximately halfway through 2016, and Williams has yet to win a single major this year, including back-to-back failed attempts to win the Australian and French Open tournaments, putting her ability to successfully defend at Wimbledon into doubt. Once seen as unbeatable, this tournament could prove the end result of a long slide for the tennis star, or a Renaissance in which she returns to form and takes her seventh Wimbledon championship.
While the current state of tennis has the same ace players dominating the semifinals and finals of every major tournament, Wimbledon is noted for being a contest that is prone to major upsets every year. There’s no reason for Wimbledon 2016 to be any different, so it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if even Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the tournament early.