Wimbledon at a glance: Murray opens defense at Centre Court

BY AP • July 2, 2017

A look at Wimbledon , the year's third Grand Slam tennis tournament:

SURFACE: Grass courts.

SITE: The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

SCHEDULE: Main-draw play begins Monday. The 14-day tournament closes with the women's singles final July 15, and the men's singles final July 16. There are no matches scheduled on the tournament's middle Sunday, July 9.

2016 MEN'S SINGLES CHAMPION: Andy Murray of Britain.

2016 WOMEN'S SINGLES CHAMPION: Serena Williams of the United States.

MISSING FROM THE FIELD: Williams is pregnant and taking the rest of this season off. Also absent: 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, who is sitting out the tournament for the second straight year. She missed the 2017 grass-court circuit with an injured left thigh; the Russian would have needed to try to qualify because her ranking was too low to get into the main draw after her return from a 15-month doping suspension that sidelined her during Wimbledon a year ago.

BACK IN THE FIELD: Rafael Nadal, fresh off his record 10th championship at the French Open, returns to Wimbledon after being out last year with an injured left wrist. Former No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka sat out Wimbledon last year with an injured right knee and missed time more recently while pregnant. Now a mom to son Leo, Azarenka will be participating in her first Grand Slam tournament since the 2016 French Open.

KEY STATISTIC I: 14 - Consecutive Wimbledon men's titles won by Roger Federer (7), Novak Djokovic (3), Nadal (2) or Murray (2).

KEY STATISTIC II: 2 - Number of past Wimbledon women's champions in the draw, Venus Williams (5) and Petra Kvitova (2).

PRIZE MONEY: Total is 31.6 million pounds (about $40 million), with 2.2 million pounds (about $2.8 million) each to the men's and women's singles champions.


Murray will open the defense of his title with the tournament's first match on Centre Court, facing Alexander Bublik, a ''lucky loser'' in qualifying who turned 20 last month and is a real character known for his unorthodox style of play. They've never faced each other on court, but they did have an off-court encounter at Indian Wells, California, this year when Bublik interviewed players to promote a new ATP World Tour event. Murray, who says his sore left hip is well enough for him to play, is one of seven past Grand Slam champions on the Day 1 schedule. That includes Rafael Nadal (against John Millman), Stan Wawrinka (against Daniil Medvedev) and Marin Cilic (against Philipp Kohlschreiber) among the men, and Venus Williams (vs. Elise Mertens), Petra Kvitova (vs. Johanna Larsson) and Jelena Ostapenko (vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich) among the women. Five-time Wimbledon champion Williams' match on No. 1 Court will be her first competition since a June 9 car accident in Florida; she is being sued by the estate of a man who died at age 78, 13 days after the crash that police say Williams caused.


Cloudy. High of 72 degrees (22 Celsius).


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