Wimbledon watch: What to keep at eye on at SW19 this year
Here are five things to look out for at the grass court major, including famous coaches, Juan Martin del Potro, a former champion returning and rising stars
Andy Murray was part of the first wave of top tennis players who hired former stars of the game as coaches, striking up a successful partnership with Ivan Lendl that resulted in two grand slam titles, including at Wimbledon in 2013.
And after splitting, Murray and Lendl are back together – and back at the All England Club.
Milos Raonic, the Canadian who is seeded sixth and faces Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the first round, has brought seven-time major champion John McEnroe aboard.
Stan Wawrinka also recently employed 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajiceck.
Juan Martin del Potro is back in the draw at the All England Club for the first time since 2013. The 2009 US Open champion has been troubled by wrist problems over the years, requiring three operations.
“It’s great he’s back on the tour, that’s for sure. He’s (an) amazing player,” said Wawrinka, who could face del Potro in the second round. “He’s going to be, for sure, dangerous.”
For a guy who supposedly retired, Lleyton Hewitt sure is seeing a lot of court time. The former world number one and winner of two grand slam singles titles, including at Wimbledon in 2002, received a wildcard entry for doubles at the All England Club, playing with Jordan Thompson. Hewitt had announced that the Australian Open in January would be the final tournament of his career, but he picked himself to play Davis Cup doubles for Australian in March and now will be in action again.
So, Petra Kvitova, as the winner of two of the past five Wimbledon titles, who do you consider the likeliest champion this year? “It’s Serena. Well, definitely it is,” Kvitova said.
“I mean, of course, she’s the biggest favourite.” Williams is seeking her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would equal Steffi Graf’s Open-era record.
Keep an eye on some of the up-and-coming men who could be ready to have a regular impact at major tournaments. There’s eighth seeded Dominic Thiem, a 22-year-old who was a semi-finalist at the French Open, for example, and 19-year-old Alexander Zverev, who this month became the first teenager to beat Roger Federer since Murray did it a decade ago.