Wimbledon: Date, venue, draw and everything you need to know

Centre Court

Tennis’ only grass-court major gets underway in less than a fortnight as the tournament returns for the first time in two years.

After the 2020 Championships were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this will be the 134th edition of the competition, with crowds set to be permitted as it stands.

There are question marks, however, surrounding the inclusion of the world’s top players. Ashleigh Barty retired from the French Open through injury, Naomi Osaka is currently taking time away from the game for mental health reasons and defending champion Simona Halep has been battling a calf problem.

Despite this, there are still plenty of storylines that make for worthy viewing. Serena Williams is vying for a record-equalling 24th major, Coco Gauff will look to build on reaching the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros, while British number one Johanna Konta appears to have rediscovered her form at the perfect time.

Here’s everything you need to know about the British Grand Slam:

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What is it?

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is often regarded as the most prestigious competition in the sport.

The event was founded in 1877 and since 1884 both men and women have taken part in the Championships.

It is the third major on the tennis calendar each season, falling after the Australian Open and French Open, but before the US Open.

Traditionally, competitors are required to follow an all-white dress code, while the tournament is also famous for serving strawberries and cream. In 2017, fans are said to have consumed 34,000 kg of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream.

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Where is it?

The Championships have been held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London since 1877.

There are 18 grass courts at the venue, with both Centre Court and Court Number One boasting retractable roofs in case of rain or bad light.

Centre Court holds just less than 15,000 people in total, making it the 10th biggest tennis stadium in the world.

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When is it?

The tournament has traditionally been held over a two week period, beginning at the end of June and finishing in early July.

Since 2015, the competition has been pushed back to the start of July, but this year will see the Championships return to its former schedule.

The event officially starts on Monday 28th June and runs through till Sunday 11th July, when the gentlemen’s singles final will take place.


Who’s playing?

Reigning champion Halep was absent from the French Open due to a calf problem but is expected to be back in time to challenge for back-to-back Wimbledon titles.

Similarly, world number one Barty was forced to withdraw from Roland-Garros because of a hip strain, yet the details surrounding the extent of her injury are still unclear.

Four-time major winner Osaka is another who could be absent as she continues to recover from ongoing mental health problems.

However, the likes of Williams, Konta and former winners including Petra Kvitová and Garbiñe Muguruza will almost certainly be part of the draw.


How many fans are allowed?

Wimbledon has confirmed that the men’s and women’s finals will be played in front of full capacity crowds.

This will be the first UK sporting event to do so since the beginning of the pandemic, with the final of Euro 2020 set to be just 50 percent still.

The Championships will begin with 50 percent capacity that will rise throughout the tournament, before 15,00 pack centre court each day on the final weekend.

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How to watch?

UK fans can watch the action on BBC or by signing up to Amazon Prime Video.

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