• Home
  • Tennis
  • Five Wimbledon Talking Points: Iga Swiatek Factor, Andy Murray Doubts, Jack Draper Surprise

Five Wimbledon talking points: Iga Swiatek factor, Andy Murray doubts, Jack Draper surprise

Wimbledon begins on Monday with Carlos Alcaraz bidding to retain his title and Andy Murray battling to be fit for one last hurrah.

Jack Draper leads the British challenge, while some absent star names have left a big gap.

Here, we take a look at what to expect over the next fortnight at SW19.


Big (three) shoes to fill

Novak Djokovic’s expected absence means that, for the first time this century, none of the ‘big three’ – the Serbian, Rafael Nadal or the retired Roger Federer – will participate at the Championships.

With more than two decades of dominance coming to an end it will be down to young guns Alcaraz, world number one Jannik Sinner and, hopefully, Draper to provide the star quality.

“I am not nervous at all about that with the new generation coming through and the wonderful players they are,” said All England Club chair Debbie Jevans.


Murray plans in limbo

Plans are in place to pay tribute to Andy Murray but his appearance is now shrouded in doubt following the injury he suffered at Queen’s Club.

Plus, the two-time champion has yet to confirm whether, fitness permitting, this summer will be his final Wimbledon.

Nevertheless, All England Club chiefs are “ready to go” with a farewell ceremony once they get the green light from the 37-year-old.

“We’re clear about what we want to do but it’s really important that this is Andy’s call,” said CEO Sally Bolton.

Murray is also entered in the doubles with brother Jamie so his ‘final appearance’ could theoretically be anywhere in the grounds rather than Centre Court.


Jack the ace in British pack

Draper’s breakthrough fortnight – a first title in Stuttgart and a win over Alcaraz at Queen’s – has raised the excitement levels among British fans.

The 22-year-old has usurped Cameron Norrie as British number one and will be seeded at SW19.

On the women’s side, Emma Raducanu has deigned to show up for a tournament in between skipping the French Open and the Olympics.

Top-ranked Katie Boulter will also seeded and looking for a good run after retaining her Nottingham title.


Not so Iga

Iga Swiatek is, by some distance, the best female player in the world but the 22-year-old from Poland has shown no inclination to adapt her considerable talents the Wimbledon grass, where her best result was last year’s run to the quarter-finals.

World number two Aryna Sabalenka and 2022 champion Elena Rybakina remain live contenders but, as is often the case – never more so than last year when unseeded Marketa Vondrousova won the title – the women’s draw is a wide open field.

A wild card for Naomi Osaka, the only player to lay a glove on Swiatek during her march to a fourth Roland Garros crown earlier this month, should provide some added X factor.


Time violation

Last year Murray was on a roll against Stefanos Tsitsipas and on the brink of his best Wimbledon win in seven years when the match was suspended due to the 11pm curfew.

He came back the next day and lost. But AELTC chiefs have once again resisted calls for an earlier start than 1.30pm on Centre Court.

The reason? So that punters paying top dollar have time to finish their lunch.

However, at least Merton Council’s strict curfew means that, unlike the other three slams, matches will not be finishing in the early hours of the morning.

More Articles