Alastair McIver is getting us in the mood for one of summer’s and Tennis’ biggest events – Wimbledon
June is bustin’ out all over sang Richard Rodgers. And while I can’t guarantee that even as you read this it won’t be tipping it down with rain, we are, believe it or not, about to enter the heady heights of summer.
How do I know that? Because Wimbledon is on its way (the tournament runs from July 1-14). Yes, we’re just a Federer lob away from it thrilling the nation’s tennis enthusiasts in their living rooms once again. That is, of course, unless you have secured a ticket via the Wimbledon draw. Or from one of the 14 LTA affiliated Staffordshire club ballots.
But either way, we can’t escape the fact that when Wimbledon arrives and knocks on our door, there is only one response: let it in, and enjoy it! Because whether we live in Staffordshire or Scotland, Wimbledon cannot be avoided.
And as the matches begin, we know our lives are – for a fortnight at least – about to change. It doesn’t really matter that we might switch on to hear: “Ladies and Gentlemen, play is suspended.” Because watching the covers come on is as much a part of Wimbledon as seeing Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal lift that trophy.
Who will grab the winning titles this year?
Incredibly, one of those four players has won the Wimbledon men’s title since 2003. But, time and injuries have taken their toll on some of the favourites. Murray and Serena Williams, for example, are not the forces they once were.
And this might leave the door open for others to perhaps snatch an unexpected win. But who can realistically stop Djokovic and Federer in their tracks this year?
The women’s singles, however, offers up a slightly more varied bag of champions, with Germany’s Angelique Kerber, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, the Czech Republic’s Petra Kivitova and France’s Marion Bartoli all interrupting the Williams sisters’ 12 victories since 2000.
And let’s not forget 2019 French Open champion, Ashleigh Barty. Last week she became the first Australian World No 1 for 43 years following her victory in Birmingham…
Where will you be watching
The scene is set, but if you are ticketless, stranded in Staffordshire, don’t despair. There are lots of ways you enjoy this huge summer event.
Inviting a neighbour or friend around for a tennis party is as good a way of watching The Championships as any. And even in your living room, the TV coverage is so good these days, it’s as if you are seated right there on Centre or No 1 Court.
Alternatively, you could, of course, wander down to your local tennis club to watch Jo Konta or Kyle Edmund fly the flag for Britain.
Put your feet up, tune in to national treasure Sue Barker and have a cup of tea or pint of Titanic at the ready.
Oh, and did I mention that great and enduring doubles pairing? No, not the Bryan brothers, but… strawberries and cream! What Wimbledon party would be complete without these champions of summer?
The Wimbledon fortnight starts right here, right now – where will you be watching?
Alastair McIver is features editor of Tennis Threads magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @alastairmciver.
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