Welcome to the ATP Wimbledon preview edition of "This Week in Tennis." Below you will be given a rundown of the top eight seeds, players to watch, and suggested some intriguing first round matches at SW19. This preview also features a collection of tennis writing and podcasts from the past week.
The 2017 edition of The Championships at Wimbledon features myriad storylines to watch over the next fortnight of tennis: can Andy Murray defend his title and/or hold off Nadal, Djokovic, and Wawrinka for the number one ranking? Will Milos Raonic build on his finals appearance last year and capture his first major title? What can we expect from Rafael Nadal on grass this season, especially after winning a 10th French Open weeks ago? Is a 19th Slam title in the cards for Federer, or will this be the first Wimbledon since 2002 to be won by someone other than the "Big Four?"
(1) Andy Murray
Best Result: W - 2013, 2016
2016 Result: W
A semifinal run in Paris seemed to quell concerns over Murray's inconsistent form in 2017. However, he will begin his title defence at the AELTC with only one match on grass, an opening loss to Jordan Thompson at Queens. His number one ranking is also up for grabs this fortnight with Nadal, Djokovic, and Wawrinka all defending few points from one year ago. A current hip injury is potentially another hindrance to his title defence.
(2) Novak Djokovic
Best Result: W - 2011, 2014, 2015 2016 Result: 3R
The good news for Djokovic: he has only second round points to defend from one year ago, putting him in position to potentially reclaim the world #1 rankings at the end of Wimbledon. He is also, as of this writing, slated to face Monfils in the Eastbourne final, a potentially last-minute boost of confidence heading into the tournament. The bad news: he is still nowhere near the player he was one year ago, and his last appearance at a Slam saw him lose in straight sets to Dominic Thiem, including a third set bagel.
(3) Roger Federer
Best Result: W - 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 2016 Result: SF
After taking the clay season off, Federer returned to the tour in Stuttgart with a surprising loss to Tommy Haas in his opening match. He recovered on the familiar lawns in Halle to claim his ninth title there, positioning him as a top favourite for an eighth Wimbledon crown. Ranked fifth in the world, Federer enters as the third seed due to Wimbledon's unique seeding formula.
(4) Rafael Nadal
Best Result: W - 2008, 2010 2016 Result: DNP
Nadal enters Wimbledon on the heels of a monumental clay court season, having won his tenth title at Roland Garros and rising again to the #2 world ranking. However, whatever confidence the Spaniard may carry with him into Wimbledon is mitigated by the fact he hasn't advanced past the fourth round at the AELTC since 2011. Still, he enters Wimbledon the healthiest he has been in years and is a two-time former champion and five-time finalist.
Welcome to the WTA Wimbledon preview edition of "This Week in Tennis." The world's best tennis players are completing their final preparations for the year's third major at The All England Lawn Tennis Tennis and Croquet Club. Below you will be given a rundown of the top eight seeds, players to watch, and suggested some intriguing first round matches at SW19. This preview also features a collection of tennis writing and podcasts from the past week.
Last year's champion, Serena Williams, will miss her second successive major tournament as she awaits the arrival of her first child. Thus, like the French Open, the women's field is ripe with possibility: the number one ranking is up for grabs; can Pliskova or Halep finally supplant Kerber? Since 2000, only six women have lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish: Serena (7), Venus (5), Sharapova, Mauresmo, Kvitova (2), and Bartoli; will someone new step to the fore like Ostapenko did at the French Open? Then there are the myriad comeback stories: Kvitova in her third event back after suffering a knife attack, Victoria Azarenka in her second after giving birth, and Sloane Stephens in her first after almost a year of being off tour.
Last year's finalist enters Wimbledon with 1300 points to defend and her number one ranking once again in serious jeopardy. She is without a title in 2017 and owns a paltry 21-13 match record on the season. Even less comforting for Kerber, she potentially faces Safarova in the third round before Muguruza in the fourth. On a more optimistic note, perhaps her pair of wins in Eastbourne over Kr. Pliskova and Arruabarrena will be enough to kick start her season and propel her into week two.
(2) Simona Halep
Best Result: SF - 2014
2016 Result: QF
Halep enters the Championships after another near miss at the French Open, losing in the final to Jelena Ostapenko. The last time Halep played Wimbledon after reaching the French final (2014), she scored her career best result at the AELTC, making the semifinals in 2014. If she is to match that result, she will likely have to go through Mallorca champion Sevastova in the fourth round, then either Kvitova or Konta in the quarterfinals.
Prior to the 2016 U.S. Open, the third seed had failed to advance past the third round at any major in her career. She's since managed to make the finals, semifinals, and quarterfinals at the last three Slams starting with a loss to Angelique Kerber at last year's U.S. Open. She has the game -- and now the confidence -- to keep that streak of strong Slam results going at Wimbledon. Also working in her favour is one of the easier draws to the quarterfinals of the top seeds.
(4) Elina Svitolina
Best Result: 2R - 2015, 2016 2016 Result: 2R
One of the breakout players of 2017, Svitolina finds herself bumped up to the fourth seed with Serena Williams not competing. The higher seeding did her no favours, however, as she draws popular darkhorse Ash Barty in the first round, and a potential fourth round meeting with French Open champ Ostapenko. Svitolina also enters the tournament with fitness concerns surrounding a heel injury. A first ever trip to the second week of Wimbledon would be a huge success for Svitolina considering all the obstacles she faces.
Episodes 81, 82 & 83 of The Body Serve Tennis Podcast
Relive the 2017 French Open from start to finish with The Body Serve Tennis Podcast. James and Jonathan take you through all the action, starting with a preview of the event, and finishing up with Rafael Nadal's 10th title in Paris and Jelena Ostapenko's big breakthrough.
We're breaking down the draws for Roland Garros 2017, perhaps the most unpredictable women's major in memory. We talk about the overarching themes (La Decima, Novak-Andre, notable absences, and the 10+ female contenders) but we also go in-depth with the draws. After that, we devote a long time to addressing Margaret Court's continued and unprovoked attacks on the lgbt community. We consider what exactly free speech means, the responsibility that comes with it, and the necessity to push back when our queer personhoods and families are under attack.
1:30 The themes of the Roland Garros draw: the wiiiide open women's draw 4:45 Some surprising favorites: Svitolina, Mladenovic, Stosur? 14:00 Going through the draw - which quarterfinals are most likely to happen? 24:00 Our bold and probably wrong predictions for the women's draw 27:15 Men's draw storylines: La Decima, Djokovic-Agassi, Thiem hopes to put a bow on his clay season 37:00 Men's draw analysis: follow along at home! 47:30 Men's bottom half: Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, and? 50:45 The Rant: Margaret Court gets personal with her bigotry 57:50 The meaning of free speech: why "Everyone is entitled to an opinion" falls short 1:01:00 Why we need to fight back 1:09:00 Finishing on a happier note: WTA players Tara Moore and Conny Perrin are engaged!
Welcome to our week one recap of the 2017 French Open. We kick things off with a look back at some of the big (albeit few) upsets, as well as the biggest surprises left in both singles draws. Rafa and Novak remain on course for a crackerjack semifinal, while Andy and Stan motor along under the radar on the other half of the men's draw. As for the women, your guess is still as good as ours. We talk about Kiki Mladenovic's possible role as villain on the WTA, before following up on our discussion from last time on the real villain at the moment, Margaret Court. 02:12 Kicking things off with the upsets: throwing Zverev in James' face
06:20 Can we talk about the tarp thing? James goes off
07:51 Petko goes to bat for Angie
10:20 Any bigger surprise than Caroline Wozniacki?
17:02 Women's Draw: your guess is still as good as ours
20:32 Talking the Venus-Timea matchup
28:22 Kiki refuses to lose but how much can she have left?
32:26 Men's Draw: marching right along to another Rafole humdinger?
42:42 Good sportsmanship/humanity the big motif of week one?
47:15 Is Kiki a villain? Is she the villain tennis needs? Does tennis need one?
50:15 Forza, Muguruza!
53:45 Margaret Court is definitely a villain
59:55 Why you say "no comment?"
Rafael Nadal motored through the French Open field to claim his 10th title at Roland Garros, or La Décima. While his latest French triumph was expected, the same cannot be said for Jelena Ostapenko, who rifled winners past her opponents at will to grab the Suzanne Lenglen trophy. Join us as we relive the most memorable and newsworthy moments from championship weekend at the year's second Slam.
02:20 La Décima, the men's final, and Rafa's annihilation of the field
19:22 Fearless Ostapenko did THAT!
28:20 Halep's missed opportunities on court and off
37:00 Nole lost at sea? We don't have any answers
40:50 Concerned about Dominic Thiem or nah?
43:48 WTA etceteras: Cash aboard the CoCo train, French drama, & Maria is out
51:04 ATP etceteras: Murray's "shock and awe" performance, Stan readies for Wimbledon
54:16 Our most expansive segment on doubles ever? We take some Canadian pride in Dabrowski
60:59 Watching the rankings, the various roads and races
66:38 Test your Nadal knowledge alongside James!
#ThisWeekInTennisrecaps the tennis happenings of the last week via news reports, social media, featured articles, rankings, and podcasts. This edition takes a look back at championship weekend at the 2017 French Open.
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: David Vincent/AP
Rafael Nadal returns to world #2 after winning his 10th French Open title. The Spaniard's 15th career Grand Slam also moves him one ahead of Sampras for solo second all-time. On the strength of four titles from seven finals in 2017, Nadal has also qualified for the year-end ATP Finals in London.
Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko won the French Open for her first career WTA title. She becomes the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the youngest Slam winner on the WTA since Iva Majoli in 1997. Ostapenko vaults to #12 in the WTA rankings and #4 in the Road To Singapore.
Stan Wawrinka reached his fourth career Grand Slam final in Paris. The Swiss lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal, winning a mere six games. Wawrinka remains at world #3, but moves up one spot to #4 in the Race To London.
Simona Halep held a set and 3-0 lead in the final against Jelena Ostapenko, three games away from capturing her first Grand Slam title and claiming the world #1 ranking. Instead, she settles at #2 in the new WTA rankings, but is the new leader in the Road To Singapore standings.
Dominic Thiem matched his semifinal showing from 2016 before bowing out to Nadal in straight sets. The Austrian avenged his straight-sets semifinal loss to Djokovic last year by winning a straight-sets quarterfinal against him this time around.
Andy Murray, short on form heading into the French Open, made his way to the semifinals before losing a five-set marathon to Stan Wawrinka. A rematch of their semifinal last year, Murray looked poised for a return to the final, but was unable to hold onto a 2-1 sets lead.
As she did in 2016, Timea Bacsinszky beat Venus Williams in the fourth round of the French Open; she went on to take out home favourite Mladenovic in the quarterfinals, before losing to the eventual champion in the semis.
Karolina Pliskova continued her solid play at Grand Slams, reaching her third successive quarterfinal. After never before advancing beyond the second round in Paris, Pliskova finished one set from making her second Grand Slam final. Had she beaten Halep in the semifinals, she would have claimed the world #1 ranking.