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Wimbledon 2021: When is the draw, when does it start and how to watch on TV in the UK - PA

Wimbledon 2021: When is the draw, when does it start and how to watch on TV in the UK – PA

After being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, tennis returns to Wimbledon this summer and the scene is set for another historic occasion.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic arrives at the tournament aiming to win his third Grand Slam of the year and the 20th of his illustrious career. The Serbian has made no secret of his desire to hold the most Grand Slam titles and is the clear favourite to claim a sixth Wimbledon title.

The chasing pack in the men’s draw includes the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and recent winner at Queen’s, Italian Matteo Berrettini.

Meanwhile, 39-year-old Roger Federer is gearing up for a possible final attempt at winning Wimbledon after a mixed season in his comeback from two knee operations last year.

In the women’s draw, world No 1 Ashleigh Barty will be hoping she’s fully recovered from the hip injury which forced her to retire at the French Open against Magda Linette.

2019 Wimbledon winner Simona Halep missed Roland Garros with a torn calf muscle but is set to defend her title while Serena Williams is once again targetting a record-equalling 24th major singles trophy.

And after her stunning debut as a 15-year-old two years ago, American sensation Coco Gauff will be aiming for another memorable run.

When does Wimbledon start?

Wimbledon begins on Monday, June 28. As per tradition, the defending men’s champion (Djokovic) will open proceedings on Centre Court at 1pm.

When is the draw?

The draw for Wimbledon is due to take place on Friday, June 25.

Will Andy Murray play at Wimbledon?

Yes. After skipping the majority of the clay-court season and the French Open, the former British No 1 will compete at SW19 after being handed a wildcard into the tournament as his ranking is outside the top 100.

The 34-year-old’s last singles match at Wimbledon was four years ago when he was hampered by a hip injury and eventually beaten by Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals.

Which big names are missing?

Two of the biggest names in the sport – Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka – will be absent.

After a gruelling clay season, Nadal announced he was withdrawing from the tournament and the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” said Nadal in a statement. “With the goal to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.”

Osaka’s decision not to play at Wimbledon comes after she withdrew from the French Open following a backlash over her intention to not take part in press conferences and the subsequent reveal she had been struggling with her mental health and needed to take time away from the sport.

Milos Raonic, David Goffin, Borna Coric, Kyle Edmund and Stan Wawrinka are among the other names not competing

Where to watch Wimbledon on TV

The BBC has exclusive coverage of the tournament. Sue Barker will lead the coverage with the likes of Tim Henman, Andrew Castle and David Lloyd from the opening day.