The most prestigious Grand Slam of the year has finally returned, after taking a hiatus last year due to the pandemic. New year, new courts, a fresh start. Storylines like Serena Williams’ quest for number 24, Roger Federer trying to reach the final yet again after a turbulent year, or Novak Djokovic’s streak of dominance were all fair game. However, as we’ve seen, things can change very quickly.
Injuries and Rain
Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game. Defending champion Simona Halep was forced to withdraw with a calf injury. However, it seems like there is a contributing factor to the injuries this year: rain. A handful of players have been forced to retire from matches after slipping on the grass and injuring themselves greatly. Serena Williams, Adrian Mannarino, and while he didn’t need to retire, Novak Djokovic slipped and fell quite a few times during his first match. There has been some criticism, but nothing has been done to improve conditions.
Canadians Still Standing
With an impressive straight-sets victory over Andy Murray in the third round, Denis Shapovalov is headed to the Round of 16. The young Canadian had a day of extra rest due to a walkover over to round three, which may have helped him. A well-rested Shapovalov is a lot more laser-focused and able to tighten up unforced errors. He’ll benefit from this when he faces Bautista-Agut on July 5, who is the eighth seed.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, another promising Canadian star, is set to face Nick Kyrgios on July 3, and will try to book his spot into the Round of 16 alongside his Canadian compatriot. Auger-Aliassime has had trouble breaking into Grand Slams early in his career, but he has a good chance to go far. Auger-Aliassime wouldn’t match up with Shapovalov until much later on, so this is a good chance to have maximum Canadian representation.
Matchups to Watch Out For
Three Men’s Matchups and Questions:
-Can Federer continue his Wimbledon trek?
-Battle of the serves, can Cilic outlast the consistent Medvedev?
-Can the 2020 MIP produce a solid match against a tough opponent in Fucsovics?
Three Women’s Matchups and Questions:
-Can Pliskova find some Grand Slam success against a player who has been hot recently?
-Okay, I don’t have any questions for this one. This is just going to be some really high-quality tennis.
-Can the teenager make some noise at Wimbledon? She lost to the eventual champion in Simona Halep back in 2019, and she has a chance to make a splash now.
-Juvan eliminated ninth seed Belinda Bencic, so this match is not out of reach for her.
Make sure to catch week two of Wimbledon, as matches continue and there is only one player left standing in each category. Follow myself (@crinamm) on Twitter and Unbenched Sports (@unbenched_) to stay up to date on Wimbledon news.