Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
GREEN JACKET GARCIA NOT QUITE BLAZING A TRAIL
The dress code in the Royal Box proved no problem for Masters champion Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard, who finally claimed one of golf’s majors at Augusta National in April, turned up in his champions’ Green Jacket to watch Rafael Nadal defeat Karen Khachanov in straight sets, joining Vogue editor Anna Wintour, rugby greats Dan Carter, Dylan Hartley and Chris Robshaw, and sharing a hug with David Beckham.
Garcia, who was also spotted supporting Roberto Bautista Agut during his four-set victory over Kei Nishikori, is not the first Masters champion to don his Green Jacket in the Royal Box – just last year, 2016 champion Danny Willett wore his famous blazer while visiting The Championships along with fellow golfers Lee Westwood and Jack Nicklaus.
WATSON v AZARENKA: CALL IT A DRAW?
It is one of the rare quirks in tennis: the prospect of facing an opponent twice in the same day, as Heather Watson and Victoria Azarenka found on Friday. The British No.2 stretched the two-time Grand Slam champion to three sets before bowing out in the third round of the Ladies’ Singles, but returned to take revenge in the Mixed Doubles, where she and Henri Kontinen launched the defence of their 2016 title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Azarenka and Nenad Zimonjic.
“I definitely didn't want to lose to her twice in one day, so I was very pleased to get through that, finish on a good note,” Watson said, though she was still smarting over events earlier in the day. “Obviously I would have wanted to get the singles.”
OLD BALLS PLEASE, BUT MAKE IT SNAPPY
If you think the players are treated like royalty at Wimbledon, you should see how they look after the match balls. Keen to stay loose ahead of the third set on Centre Court while Nadal bunked off for a bathroom break, Khachanov asked umpire Mohamed Lahyani if he could hit a few practice serves. Sure, he was told – but not with the match balls.
Without missing a beat, the ball kids leapt to action, collecting the ‘live’ balls and emptying two old tins for the Russian to play with. Khachanov returned to the base line and fired down a delivery…only for Nadal to emerge, sprinting back to his chair. Cue the same rigmarole to switch back to the match balls for the sake of that one serve.
On the plus side, it seemed to do the trick – Khachanov didn’t drop serve again in the match, bowing out after losing the third set in a tiebreak.
CILIC PAYS TRIBUTE TO GRIEVING JOHNSON
Gut-wrenching is a term too loosely thrown about in a sporting context, but for Steve Johnson the past two months have been just that. The American, seeded at No.26 for The Championships, lost his father, Steve Snr, suddenly in early May and made an emotional run to the third round of the French Open. The 26-year-old played on through the grass-court swing and as No.7 seed Marin Cilic closed in on a straight-sets result in their third-round match on Friday, the American began to sob uncontrollably. The magnitude of dealing with such a loss after so many weeks away from home was a heavy burden.
“I actually didn't see before he came to the net to shake my hand, and I saw that he was extremely emotional at that moment,” Cilic said. “You know, for me, it's impossible to compare that to anything, because I have never experienced something like that, and to have such a loss. So, you know, for me to see him still playing and still fighting in that way, it's just amazing.”
OSAKA BOWS OUT IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY
They say never meet your heroes, but when you’re a prodigious young talent on the WTA Tour, it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Wimbledon debutant Naomi Osaka may have bowed out of The Championships in the third round, but the Japanese 19-year-old’s disappointment was tempered by the fact she got to face one of her heroines, Venus Williams, at the All England Club.
“This is sort of a dream of mine, to play her,” Osaka said of facing the five-time champion. “I can check that off my list. I actually feel like it's better that she beat me, because I can learn more from her, and there's something more I can look forward to. There's more of a goal for me to practice every day.
“I think I started tennis because of them,” Osaka said of Venus and her sister Serena Williams. “Going into the match, I tried not to think of her that much of how I normally do. I tried to think of her as a normal opponent, so that I don't hold her on that high of a pedestal. That would make me too nervous to play her.”