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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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Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:55 PM BST
Venus extends her stay
Venus Williams secures her place in the third round with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over China's Wang Qiang. READ MORE

Just like the Royal Box, the Queue or the sight of the hawk chasing the pigeons off the Centre Court grass,Venus Williams is a Wimbledon institution.

If Williams hasn't already spent a year of her life at the All England Club, she will probably get there this fortnight after she made the third round.

To put that into some context, the average Briton is said to spend six months of their life queuing (though that will be longer if they are a Wimbledon fan and like camping overnight for tickets).

This is Williams' 20th Wimbledon Fortnight - she has only missed one Championships since her first, in 1997. And when you consider all the pre-tournament practice days at Aorangi Park, that could easily add up to a year.

At 37, she is the oldest woman in the Wimbledon draw, and her three-setter against China's Qiang Wang was her 97th main draw appearance here, which is a record for active players of both sexes. And to think that her father and coach, Richard Williams, once remarked he wanted both of his daughters "out of tennis" by their mid-20s.

No chance of that. Why would Venus give up on a sport that she described the other day as "the love of my life"? For all the time she has spent at Wimbledon, she still seems as energised as ever by playing on these lawns. That was clear from the way she flipped this match for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over the world No.55, and from the smile that followed.

Wimbledon main draw matches

"I would love to get to 100 [appearances]," Williams said after stepping off No.1 Court, though presumably she would also wish to extend that number to 102, which would mean she had reached the final for the first time since 2009.

In the absence of her younger sister, Serena, who is seven months pregnant, this summer might be Venus's best opportunity in years to add to her portfolio of five Wimbledon titles, the last of which she took in 2008. Wherever you look, there are signs of her astonishing longevity - her next opponent, Japan's Naomi Osaka, was born a few months after the American's first appearance at The Championships.

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