It’s Not All About Football, Wimbledon Starts On Monday. Here’s What You Need To Know

Sports writer Kate Dobinson gives us the facts to drop during Wimbledon 2015


by Kate Dobinson |
Published on

Now Murray has won Wimbledon, the pressure is off and so is his hair. Shorn is the Scottish tangle and in it’s place, a ‘dramatic image transformation’ apparently. A sign, as subjective as the shape of some tea leaves, that something is stirring at SW19, according to various bored news outlets.

Things have certainly changed since the no 3 seed became the first Brit to win the tournament since Fred Perry in 1936; we fellow Brits have nothing to particularly angst over anymore. And articles written about the significance of Murray’s short back and sides are symptomatic of the fact that we have lost what was our main way into Wimbledon. Now he’s gone and won, we’re groping around for a new way in which to watch, and not in the context of the will-he-won’t-he pop the question to K-Middy lookey-likey Kim Sears on court afterwards. Will Murray win again, is of course the question, but where is the nail biting intrigue and drama that we had last year? What can we get all weepy over? Here’s some ways into what’s going on at the All England Club this year:

1. Murray’s secret weapon Amelie Mauresmo

The ex women’s world no 1 is the cog turning the Murray machine in the post-Ivan Lendl era. Her hiring as his coach has caused consternation in the tennis camp – Mauresmo is only the second women to coach a top 10 male player. The effect she will have on his game and his psyche is set to be revealed. If he does successfully defend his title, and the odds are 5/2, it’s set to be emotional and historic for a woman to coach a World Class Player to win a grand slam. More importantly, who will he hug first – Amelie, Judy or Kim?

2. Maria Sharapova touted as queen bee to sting Serena

The Russian is stronger than ever, and has been busy winning the French open, lazily pooh-poohing rumours of a Djokovic affair and opening a pop-up sweet shop ‘Sugapova’ in Wimbledon village until July 6. The little-known Romanian Simona Hale, so narrowly defeated by Sharapova in the French Open, is a fading threat as she nurses a right shoulder injury. But it’s five-time champion Serena Williams who looms large on Sharapova’s horizon, though she didn’t make the second round in Paris. While we’re on the subject of super females, let’s hope that Caroline Wozniacki’s tournament is not analyzed in the context of her recent split from her finance, the golfer Rory McIllroy, whose own game has significantly improved.

3. Heather Watson leapfrogs Laura Robson as British No.1

Watson is ruled out of Wimbledon with a wrist injury and so can be found goofing around taking selfies in Sugapova and taking her seat on the commentary team instead. Meanwhile, 22-year-old Heather Watson showed flashes of aggressive brilliance in the presence of the big guns at the French Open, and has come a long way since losing in straight sets in the first round of Wimbledon last year. Having battled glandular fever Watson is back with a clean bill of health and a new game plan this year.

4. Sexism squashed before it can start

As for the pundits, Clare Balding will host this year’s BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wimbledon coverage, replacing John Inverdale who was previously criticised for making sexist comments about the retired 2013 Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli.

5. Battle of the fantastic four

No 1 seed Novak Djokovic, is the bookies favourite to win at 15/8, and is hell bent on making this prediction come true after cancelling potentially distracting nuptials to long-time girlfriend Jelena Ristic. What about Rafael Nadal? Well he may have swept aside the Serbian in the French Open final, but his last visit to Wimbledon was humiliating. The Belgian Steve Darcis, or ‘The Shark’ as the 135th ranked player was christened, sent Nadal packing last year in the first round. Again, dangerous threat Stan Wawrinka dethroned Nadal at the Australian Open and the fact that he most recently broke his racket over his knee at Queen’s Club shows he’s still ravenous for success. And Federer? There’s whisperings the 33-year-old is stalling and this may be his last chance to win his 18th grand slam. But the main thing, is that there’s no chance that Murray will have to play Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in back-to-back matches before the semi-finals.

Kate Dobinson is Deputy Editor at Women’s Running magazine and writes about sport for the Telegraph. She can be found tweeting @katedobinson

Picture: Molly Cranna

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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