Wimbledon 2022 Preview: All you need to know
The famous Wimbledon tennis tournament is coming up in June 2022, which means we’ve got two exciting weeks of exciting racquet action to look forward to seeing.
Wimbledon is the oldest of the four major Grand Slam tennis tournaments, with the first event taking place in 1877. The tournament is held in London, England, and is played on outdoor grass courts in summer.
Wimbledon is regarded as the most prestigious tennis event (expect to see a lot of celebrities here) and occasionally has members of the British Royal Family amongst the crowd. The two main courts have retractable roofs that can close in case of rain delays (after all, it is held in Britain).
The consumption of strawberries and cream is a typical sight at a Wimbledon match, so don’t be shocked if there are more bowls of fruit than cups of beer at this event!
Wimbledon 2022 will run from June 27th to July 10th and the prize money for the entire tournament is £40,350,000. The singles champions will receive a whopping £2,000,000, while the runners-up will earn a very nice £1,050,000.
Current men’s singles champion: Novak Djokovic
Most men’s singles titles: Roger Federer (8)
Current women’s singles champion: Ashleigh Barty
Most women’s singles titles: Martina Navratilova (9)
Major list of absentees from Wimbledon
When Wimbledon kicks off on June 27th, the tournament will be making headlines for those absent as much as which tennis stars are attending.
Both the men’s world No. 1 and No. 2 will not be participating at Wimbledon for different reasons. No. 1, Daniil Medvedev, won’t be allowed to enter due to the tennis event’s stance on banning Russian players in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (No. 8, Andrey Rublev, is also Russian and will not play).
No. 2, Alexander Zverev, is out due to a right ankle injury that he sustained against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open this year.
Roger Federer will not take part due to a lingering knee issue that has kept him out of major tournaments for two years. As well, current women’s singles champion, Ashleigh Barty, won’t be returning to Wimbledon after recently announcing her retirement from tennis competitions.
There is, unfortunately, also a fair amount of “maybes” on the Wimbledon entry list due to injuries, including Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal, and Brits Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu. Those are some hefty names that most likely won’t compete, especially for British hopes of a local champion, but as of now, nothing is set in stone and those names could turn up.
There is the news that this Wimbledon event in 2022 will not award player rankings earned at the tournament. The WTA and ATP made the decision after it was announced that players from Russia and Belarus would not be permitted to compete.
Of course, in a perfect world, we would simply have all players competing and not have to worry about injuries, pandemics, or wars to interrupt what should be a beautiful display of the best sporting talents on a tennis court. It’s rare that we ever have a perfect tournament, however, as there’s always apparently something to get in the way of a fantastic Grand Slam.
We just hope for some great tennis action and a few surprises along the way, not to mention a lot of smashed racquets and tantrums directed at the umpire.
Who is the current men’s title favourite? Will Djokovic play?
In short, yes, Novak Djokovic will be able to compete due to Wimbledon not having any COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Whether or not you like Djokovic’s stance on the vaccine, it’s nevertheless a huge boost for Wimbledon’s star power and TV viewings.
No Federer, Medvedev, Zverev, and potentially Nadal is a tough pill to swallow for tennis fans and Wimbledon’s organisers, but Djokovic turning up is great for at least one big-name player to compete on the grass courts.
Djokovic also played in the French Open earlier this year, but was knocked out in the quarter-finals to Nadal in a rather quick four sets. As a six-time winner of Wimbledon and current men’s singles champion, Djokovic’s presence at the tournament will still cause ripples of excitement in the tennis world.
Andy Murray’s abdominal strain at the Stuttgart Open last Sunday means he’ll be recovering and recuperating until Wimbledon begins on the 27th June. There’s a lot of optimism for the 35-year-old to compete on home turf, but Murray has struggled with injuries in the last five years and no one will be shocked if he’s unable to play.
There’s a lot of buzz about Brit Ryan Peniston, who recently knocked out French Open finalist Casper Rudd at the Queen’s Club Championships earlier in June. 175 ranked places separated the two players, so this is no minor feat by Peniston and it bodes well for a Brit to storm up the tennis bracket.
There are several good-not-great players competing in Wimbledon 2022 that certainly have a chance at the title due to the many players not turning up, including the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov, and 2021 men’s runner-up, Matteo Berrettini.
Stan Wawrinka is also worthy of a quick mention, as the former world No. 3 star will play at Wimbledon for the first time since 2019 after he received a wild card entry.
Although it doesn’t have much bearing on Wimbledon 2022 as such, it was recently announced that the US Open this year will actually allow Russian players (under a neutral flag) to compete at the tennis event. However, Djokovic is again unlikely to play due to America’s rule of only allowing those vaccinated to enter the country.
What’s up with Nadal?
Despite recently winning the French Open in 2022, Rafael Nadal’s commitment to Wimbledon is still in a grey zone. Nadal has been dealing with chronic foot pain for some time now, but after receiving treatment and even being pictured on crutches, Nadal hasn’t ruled out playing just yet.
Nadal has reportedly been undergoing light training sessions on grass courts in his home of Mallorca, but it may well be the day before Wimbledon begins that we have any real knowledge of Nadal’s involvement in the tennis tournament.
Nadal, who has won Wimbledon only twice out of his 22 Grand Slam titles, also didn’t compete last year in the UK’s famous tennis event. There’s no doubt that if he can play, he will, but his many worldwide fans will be crossing fingers to hope for his participation at Wimbledon.
Who is likely to win the women’s singles title?
The great news for Wimbledon is that Serena Williams is back! The seven-time winner of the tournament will return to the court after nearly a year off due to injury rehab. Williams is always a major draw to any tennis event, and her incredible talent and past title experience make her a favourite to win again.
Williams, however, will have to look out for rising talent, Iga Swiatek. The Polish tennis star most recently won the French Open and is in fine form right now. Swiatek has been dealing with a shoulder injury of late, but has confirmed she’ll be fighting fit when Wimbledon kicks off.
The two players we absolutely hope will shrug off injury concerns are Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka. Both are some of the best and brightest female players to emerge on the scene in recent years, and it would be such a shame if neither could compete.
Like Nadal, we’re still waiting for official confirmation of Raducanu and Osaka to participate at Wimbledon.
Dates & where to watch on TV
Wimbledon will run from June 27th to July 10th. Coverage of the tennis event in the UK can be seen on BBC One and Two.
Predictions for who will win
For the men’s singles bracket, there are many up-and-comers with a solid chance at the title with a lot of big names out of the running. No one benefits more than a player like Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is currently ranked as No. 6 and is emerging into his prime tennis phase at age 23.
Tsitsipas is yet to win a Grand Slam, but this skilled and determined young player might just have the perfect timing to reach a final at Wimbledon in 2022. With all that, we still have to discuss who he’d have to beat to win his first Grand Slam title, and it’s hard to look past none other than Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian tennis ace is a threat in any major tournament, and his exclusion at the Australian Open and early exit in France means that Djokovic will be hungrier than ever for another championship.
We think Djokovic beats Tsitsipas in five sets for the men’s singles title.
For the women’s singles battle, it would be awesome to see 40-year-old Serena Williams pick up yet another Grand Slam title. That said, we believe the year off from major contests will be a big concern regarding Williams’ play on the court. However, tennis stars are able to compete at a high level in their late 30s and early 40s, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Williams reaches the final.
What seems more likely, now that Ash Barty is unable to defend her Wimbledon title, is that we’ll have a rematch of the French Open final with Swiatek taking on Coco Gauff. There are some concerns that Swiatek is more of a clay expert rather than grass, but that will be of little worry to Swiatek, who thrives on a good challenge.
We’re predicting Swiatek defeating Gauff in three sets.
Author: Joe Garland