WIMBLEDON 2022 TENNIS PREVIEW
The big names are back and so are the crowds. The Wimbledon 2022 Championship will once again be shown with comprehensive free live streaming on BBC Sport.
The most prestigious event of the tennis calendar begins in earnest today, as the 135th edition of Wimbledon begins for real at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
The qualifiers have had their time in the Sun, and now it’s time for the big hitters to enter centre stage, or most of them anyway.
Stars Return for Wimbledon 2022
Defending men’s singles Champion Novak Djokovic returns in search of a seventh Wimbledon crown which would bring him level with Pete Sampras for the second most on the hallowed grass court, one behind Roger Federer. It would also be his fourth title in a row, having won in 2018, 2019 and 2021. 2020 was, of course, cancelled because of the pandemic. Djokovic has done his reputation untold damage this year with his anti-vax stance and attempts to lie his way into Australia, which caused him to be expelled from the country and miss out on the Australian Open.
His season since then has not gone to plan either, as he also lost his spot as World number one after losing at the quarter-final stage to Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Djokovic slipped to number 3, and risks falling even further if he doesn’t put forward a strong performance.
Djokovic does enter the tournament as the number 1 seed, in part because the number 1 and 2 ranked players in the ATP standings will not partake in the tournament. Number two ranked Alexander Zverev has been forced to withdraw because of injury, while World number one Daniil Medvedev is Russian and therefore has been barred from entry this year. World number seven Andrey Rublev, another Russian, has also been barred from entry and has been very vocal in his criticism of the decision.
Rafa Nadal will likely be Federer’s biggest rival, as has often been the case over the last 12 years or so. Nadal was initially expected to skip this tournament and rest, but after winning both of the earlier Grand Slam events this season the Spanish legend has decided to chase further glory. Those two Grand Slam victories have left Nadal alone on the mountain top. His 22 career Grand Slams put him two ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer. Nadal is chasing a third Wimbledon success, having previously won the title in 2008 and 2010. Nadal ended one long drought earlier this year when he won his first Australian Open since 2009, and now he looks to end his barren spell at Wimbledon.
Russians Absent at Wimbledon 2022
Along with Medvedev and Zverev, the third high profile absentee is of course Roger Federer. Viewed by many as the greatest tennis player of all time, Federer has not competed since last years Wimbledon and hasn’t been on the tour full time since undergoing knee surgery in early 2020. Given that he turns 41 later this year, we may well have seen the last of Federer on the biggest stage.
While a lot of the big ticket names will not take part, there are no shortage of top class competitors in the competition outside of Djokovic and Nadal. Two-time winner Andy Murray is an unseeded entrant, while two other Brits are ranked. World number 11 Cameron Norrie is the 9th seed, and Dan Evans will be the 28th seed. Norway’s Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece are two of the great hopes for tennis when the trio of all-timers, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, retire and pass the torch. Both Ruud and Tsitsipas are still chasing their first ever Grand Slam.
Two youngsters to keep a close eye on are 21 year old Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime who reached the quarter finals last year, and the 19 year old Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz. Both are top ten ranked players already, and are seeded within the top six for this tournament. Alcaraz is widely viewed as a future World number one, and the type of player who could have great success on all surfaces. Both have the talent to cause waves at this tournament, and Auger-Aliassime in particular has the type of power game that could bring great success on the smooth grass courts at Wimbledon.
Serena Comeback or Swansong Wimbledon 2022
In the women’s singles the defending Champion is Ashleigh Barty, or it would have been had Barty not stunned the sports world back in March by announcing her retirement at the age of 25. Barty, who had just won the Australian Open to give her the third Grand Slam title of her career. Having won in Australia, France and Wimbledon, Barty looked well positioned to be the dominant figure in women’s tennis in the post Serena Williams era, but decided it wasn’t what she wanted in life.
Serena Williams will take part in the tournament having received a wild card invite to take part. The greatest women’s player of all time is a seven time Wimbledon Champion but hasn’t played in single’s competition since injury forced her to retire in the middle of her first round contest at last years Wimbledon competition. While she is not expected to win the tournament, it’s great to see her back. Enjoy every minute that Serena is on the court, because it may well be the last time she competes.
The top seed in the tournament is Iga Swiatek, the two time French Open winner. Swiatek is yet to really make her mark on Wimbledon with her best outcome being a 4th round defeat last year, but her game should translate well to grass over time. She dominated the French Open this year, winning the tournament without dropping a single set. With Barty out of the picture, Swiatek appears the player best positioned to become the dominant force in women’s tennis, but there is plenty of talent in the field including a couple of former Wimbledon winners.
Simone Halep won the competition in 2019, and while she has suffered a lack of form over the past few years as a result of injuries there is no doubting her talent and pedigree. The Romanian is capable of beating anyone on her day and has looked more like herself this season. At 30, she’s on the older side for women’s tennis but can’t be overlooked ahead of this years tournament.
Likewise the 2018 winner Angelique Kerber, now 34, silenced her doubters earlier this season by claiming the 15th title of her career at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. Kerber is a three time Grand Slam winner and will be a tough out for any opponent this year.
As well as the two veterans there are two incredible talented youngsters who have really made a name for themselves over the past year and delivered on the hype that has surrounded them since they were juniors. Coco Gauff reached the final of the French Open this year and showed a new level to her game. Gauff has been highly touted since she began winning major under 12 competitions at the age of 10, and as a now 18 year old has matured to the point that she can now compete with the women on the tour on a regular basis. She has performed well at Wimbledon in the past and will be hoping to go deep into this years competition.
Raducanu Ready for Wimbledon 2022
And then there’s Emma. The great British hope Emma Raducanu. Winner of the 2021 US Open, her first career Grand Slam, Raducanu was the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the open era.
There’s no qualification for her anymore as she enters this competition as the World Number 11 and the 10th seed. She hasn’t impressed in the two previous Grand Slams of the year but was dealing with some personal issues and injuries and will be hoping to make her mark on her home tournament this week. Last year she reached the 4th round in her first crack at the competition and parlayed the confidence she gained into her US Open success. More of the same will be the goal this time!
Outside of the single’s competitions, there are of course the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles which are always exciting. The next two weeks should provide outstanding viewing as one of the real glamour events of the summer takes center stage, let’s just hope the weather is decent.
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How to watch the Wimbledon 2022 from anywhere…
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What channels are streaming Wimbledon 2022 Tennis?
The BBC has comprehensive live coverage of Wimbledon 2022 across TV, radio, online, iPlayer and the mobile app.
Viewers can watch the best of the action throughout the Championships on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 11:00 BST daily. There are also up to 18 courts to choose from on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
This year’s Championships will also be Sue Barker’s last before stepping down from her role as the presenter of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage, bringing to an end her 30-year career at the BBC.
Barker will be joined by a host of former Wimbledon champions including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Pat Cash, who head up a top-class line-up that also includes Johanna Konta, Caroline Wozniacki, Tim Henman, Tracy Austin and Annabel Croft.
Furthermore; BBC Sport isn’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like ITV, Sky Sports, All 4, Now TV, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!