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Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July


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Sunday, 2 July 2017 17:01 PM BST
Who to look out for on Day 1
Mark Hodgkinson highlights some of the talking points from Monday's order of play READ MORE

A newly-crowned French Open champion, Tommy Haas' final Wimbledon, the return of Victoria Azarenka, last year's Boys' Singles winner and the ever-entertaining Dustin Brown all feature as storylines on Day One...

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko's forehands would break the speed limit on British motorways (where you mustn't travel faster than 70mph). They are also quicker on average than Andy Murray's forehands, with a mean of 76mph on her improbable run to the Roland Garros title (the word 'mean' seems far more appropriate when discussing the shot than 'average'). It's not just the ferocity that makes the 20-year-old Latvian such a menace; it's her fearless approach. Whatever else happens for Ostapenko this fortnight, of this you can be certain: the former junior champion is going to be taking giant, uninhibited swings.

Any spectator who buys a can of used tennis balls on their visit to Wimbledon should be able to determine if they have ended up with ones that have been on Ostapenko's strings: the felt will be all roughed up. No one, not even a ballroom dancing enthusiast like Ostapenko, ever waltzes to a Wimbledon title. You're going to need some power. But when was the last time that this tournament saw a young woman hitting tennis balls with this much force and ambition and with no fear? After ripping her way through the draw in Paris, she's going to be trying to do just the same in London, starting with her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. No inhibitions, no regrets, no dips or lulls in the narrative.

Tommy Haas
The greybeards are taking over men's tennis. All of the top five seeds are aged 30 or over, with most people's favourite for the title, Roger Federer, just a month or so short of his 36th birthday. And then there is Haas who, at 39 years old, can still cause opponents some difficulties, even those of Federer's grass-court ability. Federer's only defeat of the grass-court season so far came in Stuttgart against an opponent four years older - a certain Tommy Haas.

Twenty years - that's an entire lifetime for the German wunderkind Alexander Zverev. It's also the length of time that has passed since Haas first competed in The Championships, with his progress in 1997 blocked in the second round by Britain's Mark Petchey. Haas, whose best result at the tournament was a run to the 2009 semi-finals, and who needed a wild card this summer, plays Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans. The prize on offer is an expected second-round match with Stan Wawrinka.

Victoria Azarenka
Babies have been near the top of the news agenda at the All England Club. And not just because the men's defending Andy Murray's wife, Kim, is pregnant with their second child, or because of the absence of the ladies' defending champion Serena Williams, who is seven months pregnant with her first child. This fortnight is also seeing the return of Azarenka, who is playing her first Grand Slam tournament since the birth of her son, Leo, in December.

No one would be at all surprised if a father were to win Wimbledon, as four of the top five are dads (Rafael Nadal is the only of those yet to breed). A win for a mother, though, would be historic, as a mum hasn't been the Wimbledon champion for 37 years, going back to Australia's Evonne Goolagong Cawley's triumph in 1980. Williams is almost certain to be taking an interest in the progress of Azarenka, who opens against American CiCi Bellis.


Denis Shapovalov
As Tim Henman can tell you, smacking a ball away in anger and accidentally clattering an official or ball girl doesn't have to define your tennis career. Henman inadvertently walloped a ball girl during a doubles match at the All England Club in 1995, but made it up to her the next day with flowers and an awkward kiss on the cheek, and in subsequent years he turned this tournament into Timbledon. For his part, Denis Shapovalov is now friends with the umpire whose eye socket he accidentally fractured when thrashing a ball away at a Davis Cup tie against Great Britain in Ottawa in February. And the 18-year-old Canadian will doubtless be hoping to show the British tennis public how he can find the lines as well as score direct hits on umpires.

Shapovalov, who was given a wild card, clearly knows what he is doing on a grass court, as he won last summer's junior title at Wimbledon, and last month he came through qualifying at Queen's Club before beating Kyle Edmund and then troubling Tomas Berdych.

Dustin Brown
"Organised chaos," is how one of Brown's advisers has affectionally described his game (others prefer 'Dreddy Tennis'). Should Brown defeat Portugal's Joao Sousa, he will play Andy Murray in the second round, assuming Murray's hip doesn't trouble him too much against Alexander Bublik, a Kazakhstani lucky loser. But the possibility of Brown facing Murray isn't the only reason to take an interest in this serve-and-volleying Jamaican-born German with a tongue piercing, a tattoo of his father on his rib cage and a fondness for playing unorthodox shots. For now, put aside that possible Murray-Brown match, or memories of when Brown beat Rafael Nadal in 2015, and just enjoy the "chaos" for its own sake.

Elina Svitolina
If potential upsets are your thing, No.3 Court might be the place to head when the world No.5 Elina Svitolina goes up against dangerous Australian Ashleigh Barty. Despite being one of the form players so far this season – Svitolina has won titles in Taipei City, Dubai, Istanbul and Rome – the All England Club has never been a particularly happy hunting ground for the 22-year-old from Ukraine. In four visits to SW19, she has never made it past the second round. In contrast, Barty thrives on the grass and arrives after reaching a recent final in Birmingham where she scored wins over Barbora Strycova and Garbine Muguruza en route. She also won the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles in 2011 and reached the doubles final with fellow Aussie Casey Dellacqua two years later.

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