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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2016

Qualifying begins: 20 June

The Draw: 24 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June

Order of Play: 26 June

Championships begin: 27 June

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Friday 21 April 2017 13:57 PM BST
Becker assesses Federer's Wimbledon chances
According to the three-time Wimbledon champion, Federer's chances of winning a record eighth Wimbledon crown have only increased... READ MORE

Where better than Wimbledon's Centre Court this July for Roger Federer to play what Boris Becker calls "old-school tennis"? 

Such an approach has already brought Federer great rewards on hard courts in 2017, with the 35-year-old Swiss scoring the three biggest tournaments of the year so far with titles at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami.

So who's to say that Federer won't also prosper on the grass at the All England Club for what would be a record eighth Wimbledon triumph? "I think there have been some big changes in Roger's game. The positioning, how early he takes the ball, how short the rallies are," Becker told Wimbledon.com. "He's really playing old-school tennis. It's funny, we're in 2017 and old-school tennis is dominating the circuit. That puts a smile on my face." 

In Becker's analysis, Federer could be a greater force at Wimbledon this summer than he has been in years. While Federer hasn't won Wimbledon for five years, he ran deep into the draw on his last three trips to south-west London, including finishing as the runner-up to Novak Djokovic, who was then Becker's employer, in 2014 and 2015.

Then last year Federer made the semi-finals, where he lost a five-setter to Milos Raonic. But Becker suggested that Federer, currently tied with Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles apiece, could be even stronger this summer. 

"We are a few weeks away from the grass-court season as we are just starting on the clay. Roger is not going to play many clay-court tournaments, if any at all. Now's the time for Nadal, Djokovic and Murray and the rest of the players to make their mark.

"But when the grass comes around, obviously Roger is one of the gifted players of all time on the surface, and he has already won seven Wimbledon titles," Becker noted.

"Even last year, he was one of the favourites, and this year he has been playing so well and has won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami, and you would think that his chances of doing well at Wimbledon have increased. This has already been an amazing story."

Having started the year at 17th in the rankings, Federer is now back in the top four and there must be a chance of a return to the summit. "Yes, I would say there's a possibility of Federer going back to number one in the rankings. I'm sure Andy and Novak are going to have something to say about that.

Let's see how the clay-court season unfolds. A lot can happen. Four months ago, who would have thought that Federer would be the most dominant player of 2017 so far? So who knows what is going to happen next? We should hold our horses. But it's definitely a possibility," said Becker.

Becker has also been impressed by Nadal, but suggested that Andy Murray and Djokovic "haven't really played yet" this season. "Rafa has had a spectacular year so far but he has been overshadowed by Roger. He could have won the Australian Open - remember how he was a break up in the fifth set against Roger.

"He also reached the final of Miami. He's had a very strong year. I feel as though Andy and Novak haven't really played yet. They have both struggled with injuries and also from fatigue after last year. You can't blame them for that - they played a lot of matches last season. It's their time to start the season on a good note and I wish them the best." 

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