Wimbledon 2017: All you need to know about the Championships

Wimbledon 2016: Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic to take second titleWimbledon on the BBCVenue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 JulyCoverage: Follow on BBC TV, BBC Radio and online with further coverage across Red Button, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website.

“There’s a certain beauty and majesty to Wimbledon – the elegance, the way the grass looks on TV.”

Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe sums up the Championships at the All England Club rather well.

Pristine surfaces, the all-white dress code, strawberries and, most importantly, the world’s best tennis players all striving for one of sport’s most prestigious prizes.

And it is all about to start again. Here are the key things you need to know.

The wait is almost over…

The gates do not open at Wimbledon until Monday, 3 July, but the fun starts a week earlier.

Qualifying begins on Monday, 26 June as lower-ranked players not automatically in the draw compete for the 16 remaining men’s places and 12 women’s spots.

The seedings, given to the top 32 players in each singles draw, are announced on Wednesday. Although the women’s seedings directly follow the world rankings, the men’s system takes into account previous grass-court performances.

Things start getting real on Friday, when the draw is made.

Play begins on the outside courts at 11:30 BST on 3 July, before Britain’s Andy Murray, the reigning men’s champion, has the honour of opening on Centre Court at 13:00 BST.

Watch qualifying for the first time

For the first time, the BBC will bring you live coverage of the Wimbledon qualifying tournament at Roehampton.

The tournament takes place from 26-29 June at the Bank of England Sports Grounds and you can see all the action on BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app.

It was an unticketed event with limited media facilities, but this year 1,000 tickets were put on sale at £5 each, with proceeds going to the Wimbledon Foundation.

There is also video coverage of one court, inflatable covers on two courts and an improved player lounge.

Britain’s Marcus Willis has been awarded a wildcard into qualifying after his fairytale run at last year’s tournament.

He won six matches to qualify last summer before beating world number 54 Ricardas Barancas in the first round and losing to seven-time champion Roger Federer on Centre Court in the second.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, who returned from a 15-month drugs ban this year, will not be at Roehampton or Wimbledon after pulling out of the grass-court season with a thigh injury.

Wimbledon 2016: Marcus Willis – The incredible story of GB qualifier WillisWill Murray win again?

World number one Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, is well short of his blistering form 12 months ago.

Before last year’s tournament, he had won 33 matches and lost only six, helping him reach two Grand Slam finals and win a Masters title in Rome.

This year he has won 21 contests and lost nine, while the French Open is the only Grand Slam or Masters tournament where he has reached the quarter-finals.

The Scot’s start to the grass-court season has not been ideal – he lost his only match on the surface so far this year.

Murray, 30, won the Queen’s title before both Wimbledon triumphs, but this month he suffered a surprise first-round defeat against Australian world number 90 Jordan Thompson at the Aegon Championships.

“There is no guarantee that I won’t do well at Wimbledon, but it certainly would have helped to have had more matches,” said Murray.

I can still have great Wimbledon despite Queen’s exit – MurrayFederer chasing record eighth title

Seven-time champion Roger Federer, fresh from winning his fourth title of the year on Sunday, is still seen by many as the man to beat.

The 35-year-old Swiss might be coming towards the end of his career but, as he proved by winning the Australian Open in January, he still intends to add to his record haul of 18 Grand Slam titles.

Another success at Wimbledon will put him clear of the men’s record of seven singles titles he shares with Pete Sampras, and move him to within one of Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of nine.

* correct on 25 June

Federer’s long-time rival Rafael Nadal is also among the Wimbledon favourites after winning his 10th French Open crown at Roland Garros this month.

Nadal, 31, has overcome his own injury problems to climb back up to second in the world rankings.

Novak Djokovic held all four Grand Slam titles going into last year’s Championships. Now he holds none.

The 30-year-old Serb, who is hoping to rediscover his form with a rare appearance at Eastbourne, has dropped to fourth in the world rankings after a turbulent year in which he has won only one title and split with his coaching team.

Queen’s finalists Feliciano Lopez and Marin Cilic are hoping to continue their fine form in London, while Austria’s world number eight Dominic Thiem, who beat Djokovic at Roland Garros, Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Germany’s Alexander Zverev are all showing signs of fulfilling their potential.

Women’s favourites

No Serena Williams and no Maria Sharapova. The ladies’ draw might be lacking a bit of stardust without the sport’s two biggest names – 22-time Grand Slam champion Williams is pregnant and Sharapova is injured – but that does not mean it will be any less exciting.

Will we see a new ladies’ champion this year? More than likely. Only two former winners – Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova – are playing at SW19.

Kvitova – champion in 2011 and 2014 – would be a fairytale winner as she continues her return from a career-threatening hand injury sustained when she was stabbed by an intruder at her home.

The new girl on the block, 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko, might just stun everyone again by winning her second Grand Slam in as many attempts.

And then, of course, there’s Britain’s Johanna Konta (more on her next).

“There are about 15 women who could win this year, It is one of the most open ever,” John Lloyd, former British number one and BBC Sport commentator, said.

* correct on 25 JuneKonta aiming to end barren British run

While Murray is expected to go far in the men’s draw, Johanna Konta is aiming to raise hopes of a first female British winner since Virginia Wade in 1977.

British number one Konta, ranked seventh in the world, is the first top-10 home woman at Wimbledon since Jo Durie reached the quarter-finals in 1984.

No British woman has gone as far as the last eight since Durie, Laura Robson going closest when she reached the fourth round in 2013.

However, Konta has only ever won one match in the main draw, beating Monica Puig last year before losing to 2014 finalist Genie Bouchard in the second round.

Her build-up to this year’s tournament began with a run to the Nottingham Open final, where she lost to world number 70 Donna Vekic, in her first grass-court event.

But the top seed suffered a rapid straight-set defeat by Coco Vandeweghe in the second round of Birmingham’s Aegon Classic.

Plenty of Britons – but no Evans

Already guaranteed to join Murray and Konta in the main draw are nine other British players.

Kyle Edmund and Aljaz Bedene qualified automatically as they are ranked inside the world’s top 100, while seven players have been given wildcards.

Naomi Broady, Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Katie Boulter go into the women’s draw, along with Brydan Klein, Cameron Norrie and James Ward in the men’s.

However, Dan Evans – ranked 50th in the world – will not play after revealing on Friday that he failed a drugs test in April.

‘I made a mistake’ – Evans admits failed drugs testWimbledon in numbers

9 – record number of singles titles, by Martina Navratilova

250 – the number of ball boys and girls

14,979 – the number of seats on Centre Court

39,000 – capacity in the grounds at any one time

54,250 – number of balls used during the Championships

140,000 – servings of strawberries sold

320,000 – glasses of Pimm’s sold

31,600,000 – total prize money (£) for 2017

The queue

Wimbledon remains one of the few major UK sporting events where you can still buy tickets on the day of play.

That means, unless you’ve already bagged one in the ballot, you’re going to have to join the famous queue.

Thousands of people gather daily in nearby Wimbledon Park to wait for a limited number of tickets which are available for Centre Court, Court One and Court Two (except for the last four days on Centre Court when all are sold in advance).

Several thousand ground passes, meaning fans can use unreserved seating and standing room on courts three to 18, are available each day at the turnstiles.

But don’t rely on using your debit card to pay for them – it is cash only.

Don’t miss a thing…

Not got a ticket? Can’t be bothered with the queue? Don’t worry, because there will be over 150 hours of coverage on BBC One and BBC Two over two weeks, plus 100 hours of action on BBC Radio 5 live.

Sue Barker will once again be at the helm, while three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker returns to our commentary team alongside Pat Cash, Annabel Croft, Tim Henman and John McEnroe and many more.

You can also take control of the coverage yourself by choosing between up to 15 live HD streams on your smartphone, tablet and connected TVs.

World number one Andy Murray will once again give us an exclusive insight into his Wimbledon campaign with his column for the BBC Sport website.

There will also be a range of content on BBC Sport’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts – and, as always, we want you to get involved.

Wimbledon on the BBC turns 90

This year is a special anniversary as The Championships marks 90 years of coverage on the BBC.

Coverage of the Championships started on radio in 1927, and a decade later TV viewers were able to switch on and catch the action.

Sue Barker sets off around the world in a special BBC One documentary to find out what is it about the green grass of Wimbledon that makes us all become tennis fans for two weeks every summer.

“I still get goose-bumps when I walk into the All England Lawn Tennis Club at the start of tournament and that will never change,” says the 1977 semi-finalist.

Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon will be broadcast on Sunday, 2 July at 17.20 on BBC One.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/40253272