Novak Djokovic aims to defend his crown after Paris disappointment

Number one seed opens play on Centre Court against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber

Novak Djokovic of Serbia during a pratice session prior to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic of Serbia during a pratice session prior to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

 

The Wimbledon winners this this year will get €2,650,820.96 each. Being equal opportunity employers, the prize money awarded to the men’s and women’s

champions is the same. Get to the final and you’re a euro millionaire with €1,325,000, give or take, going to the singles finals losers on July 12th.

Only Wimbledon winners can have the luxury of saying the money doesn’t matter and today as the championships open on the outside courts at 11.30am and dreams will begin. The top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, however, will share the first day’s billing in the show courts.

Defending champion Djokovic, beaten earlier this month by Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final, opens play on Centre Court against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber at 1pm with Williams, half way to a possible calendar Grand Slam, meeting Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan on Court One.

Sharapova challenge

Fourth seed Maria Sharapova takes on Britain’s Johanna Konta, a quarter finalist at Eastbourne and Nottingham, in the second match on Centre Court.

Konta is hopeful, with the €40,000 losers’ fee likely to ease the sting. The ice queen in the first round . . . tough break.

But it’s lucky Sharapova has made it to Wimbledon. After a sickly run in Paris that was ended in the fourth round by Lucie Safarova, she returned to the USA to conduct some health tests.

The teenage winner here in 2004 has not played any of the warm up events but has declared herself fit to compete.

That expected rollicking is to be followed by Wawrinka against Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Andy Murray, and what’s he bidding to become this year? The first British man to win multiple Wimbledon titles since Fred Perry in 1934-36, stupid. There’s Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Petra Kvitova and for local fans Laura Robson, who with Murray will be among those in action on Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to rise over the course of a scorching week.

Muggy on Sunday and clearing to sunshine in the evening, forecasters expect the mercury to hit 30 degrees as hot weather is expected for the opening days.

Djokovic is hoping to win his third Wimbledon title and equal his coach Boris Becker, who won the title here in 1985, 86 and 1989. Because he is in the player’s box, Becker will not be with the BBC commentary team this year.

Federer record

Roger Federer and Pete Sampras lead the way in the Open Era with seven Wimbledon titles each, ahead of Bjorn Borg (five) and John McEnroe (three).

On that issue Wimbledon champions have historically had more success in retaining their titles than at the other three Grand Slam events. Seven players have successfully defended their crown on 17 occasions, with Federer becoming the seventh in 2004.

His last successful defence was in 2007, making this the longest period without a successful title defence at any of the majors. Federer is also bidding to become the second man in history to win eight titles at any Grand Slam. Nadal became the first by winning his eighth Roland Garros title in 2013.

An interesting player to watch is Kei Nishikori, who comes on after the opening Williams match on Court One. The Japanese player is already one of the biggest sporting names in Asia and is Japan’s highest seeded player (5) in the Open era.

Having reached the Australian and French Open quarter-finals this year, Nishikori is aiming to go at least one better than his career-best fourth-round exit at Wimbledon in 2014.

  • Wimbledon Order of play
All England Lawn Tennis Championship, Wimbledon
(All times BST, seeds in brackets)
 
CENTRE COURT
13:00: (1) Novak Djokovic (Ser) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger), (4) Maria Sharapova (Rus) v Johanna Konta (Gbr), (4) Stan Wawrinka (Swi) v Joao Sousa (Por)
No.1 COURT
13:00: (1) Serena Williams (USA) v Margarita Gasparyan (Rus), (31) Simone Bolelli (Ita) v (5) Kei Nishikori (Jpn), (11) Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) v Federico Delbonis (Arg)
No.2 COURT
11:30: (26) Nick Kyrgios (Aus) v Diego Schwartzman (Arg), Jarkko Nieminen (Fin) v Lleyton Hewitt (Aus), Alison Riske (USA) v (6) Lucie Safarova (Cze),Heather Watson (Gbr) v (32) Caroline Garcia (Fra)
No.3 COURT
11:30: (9) Marin Cilic (Cro) v Hiroki Moriya (Jpn), Yi-Fan Xu (Chn) v (7) Ana Ivanovic (Ser), Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Spa) v (7) Milos Raonic (Can), Madison Brengle (USA) v (16) Venus Williams (USA)
COURT 12
11:30: Anett Kontaveit (Est) v (23) Victoria Azarenka (Blr), Go Soeda (Jpn) v (17) John Isner (USA), Danka Kovinic (Mne) v (22) Samantha Stosur (Aus), Lucas Pouille (Fra) v (14) Kevin Anderson (Rsa)
COURT 18
11:30: Liam Broady (Gbr) v Marinko Matosevic (Aus), (30) Belinda Bencic (Swi) v Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul), Luke Saville (Aus) v (21) Richard Gasquet (Fra), Shelby Rogers (USA) v (14) Andrea Petkovic (Ger)
COURT 5
11:30: Timea Babos (Hun) v Petra Cetkovska (Cze), Alexandra Dulgheru (Rou) v Kristina Mladenovic (Fra), Juan Monaco (Arg) v Florian Mayer (Ger), Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) v Kaia Kanepi (Est)
COURT 6
11:30: Andreas Haider-Maurer (Aut) v Ricardas Berankis (Lit), Vitalia Diatchenko (Rus) v Anna-Lena Friedsam (Ger), Victor Estrella Burgos (Dom) v Benjamin Becker (Ger), Daria Gavrilova (Aus) v (29) Irina-Camelia Begu (Rou)
COURT 7
11:30: Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) v Marcel Granollers (Spa), Darija Jurak (Cro) / Ana Konjuh (Cro) v Jelena Jankovic (Ser) / Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Cro), Edina Gallovits-Hall (USA) v Urszula Radwanska (Pol), (28) Pablo Cuevas (Uru) v Denis Kudla (USA)<QA0>
COURT 8
11:30:Dudi Sela (Isr) v (32) Dominic Thiem (Aut), (9) Carla Suarez Navarro (Spa) v Jelena Ostapenko (Lat), Dusan Lajovic (Ser) v Tommy Haas (Ger)
COURT 9
11:30: Horacio Zeballos (Arg) v (16) David Goffin (Bel), Alison Van Uytvanck (Bel) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA), Kenny De Schepper (Fra) v John-Patrick Smith (Aus), Nicole Gibbs (USA) v Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr)
COURT 10
11:30: (24) Flavia Pennetta (Ita) v Zarina Diyas (Kaz), Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spa) / Andreas Seppi (Ita) v Jonathan Erlich (Isr) / Philipp Petzschner (Ger), Pierre-Hugues Herbert (Fra) v Hyeon Chung (Kor)
COURT 11
11:30: Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) v Annika Beck (Ger), (9) Casey Dellacqua (AUS) / Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz) v Gabriela Dabrowski (Can) / Alicja Rosolska (Pol),Matthew Ebden (Aus) v Blaz Rola (Slo), (19) Tommy Robredo (Spa) v John Millman (Aus)
COURT 14
11:30: Martin Klizan (Svk) v Fernando Verdasco (Spa), Aleksandra Krunic (Ser) v Roberta Vinci (Ita), Polona Hercog (Slo) v Lauren Davis (USA), Teymuraz Gabashvili (Rus) v Alexander Zverev (Ger)<QA0>
COURT 15
11:30: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Svk), Lin Zhu (Chn) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr), Lukas Lacko (Svk) v Steve Johnson (USA), Marsel Ilhan (Tur) v Jerzy Janowicz (Pol)
COURT 16
11:30: (24) Leonardo Mayer (Arg) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (Aus), Jan-Lennard Struff (Ger) v (27) Bernard Tomic (Aus), Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) v Dominika Cibulkova (Svk)
COURT 17
11:30: (11) Karolina Pliskova (Cze) v Irina Falconi (USA), (19) Sara Errani (Ita) v Francesca Schiavone (Ita), Joao Souza (Bra) v Santiago Giraldo (Col), Donald Young (USA) v Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp)
Court 19
11:30: Sam Groth (Aus) / Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) v (3) Vasek Pospisil (Can) / Jack Sock (USA), (9) Rohan Bopanna (Ind) / Florin Mergea (Rou) v Tim Smyczek (USA) / Jiri Vesely (Cze), Richel Hogenkamp (Ned) v Qiang Wang (Chn), Marina Erakovic (Nzl) v Yulia Putintseva (Kaz)
TBC.
NOT BEFORE 17.30: Mariana Duque-Marino (Col) v Naomi Broady (Gbr), (27) Barbora Strycova (Cze) v Sloane Stephens (USA)
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