TENNIS

Wimbledon 2021 schedule and format: dates, games, times

Steady drizzle could not dampen the enthusiasm of spectators arriving on Monday for the start of the 134th Wimbledon Championships which were cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Wimbledon 2021 schedule and format: dates, games, times
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Murky skies and drizzle could not dampen the enthusiasm of spectators arriving on Monday for the start of the 134th Wimbledon Championships which were cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid protocols mean this year's tournament will look and feel a little different -- but one old Wimbledon tradition remained firmly intact with rain delaying the scheduled 1000GMT start on the outside courts.

Fittingly for the eagerly-awaited return of the tournament, Andy Murray will resume his role as flag-bearer for the home nation with a prime time engagement later on Centre Court.

The iconic "queue" for daily entry will not form, Henman Hill will be sparsely populated and fans will not have the thrill of bumping into famous players strolling to the grounds from plush rentals in the Village.

Players will all be staying in a central London hotel to minimise the risks of covid-19 infections.

Crowds will be thinner too with attendances limited to 50% of ground capacity, although hopefully rising to full houses on Centre Court for the men's and women's finals on July 10-11.

But after last year's cancellation, the first since the Second World War, excitement is brewing for a fortnight of grasscourt drama, even if there are notable absentees.

WimbledonTennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 28, 2021 Spectators take a photo in front of an order of play board before the start of play REUTERS/Toby Melville

No Nadal

Spaniard Rafa Nadal, whose 2008 final win over Roger Federer is part of Wimbledon folklore, is not playing. Neither is reigning women's champion Simona Halep nor Japan's four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

Men's defending champion Novak Djokovic is due to open proceedings on Centre Court against British teenage wildcard Jack Draper as he begins his quest for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title.

Sin tituloSerbia's Novak Djokovic practices on the Aorangi Practice Courts at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, south-west London, on June 27, 2021, ahead of the start of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament. (Photo by AELTC/David Gray / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Two-time women's champion Petra Kvitova is next up against former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the pick of the women's first-round action.

Wimbledon 2021

The competition commences on Monday, 28 June and runs through to Sunday, 11 July. 64 players will open combat in the first round of both men's and women's first round games which starts on 28 June.

With no play scheduled on the 'middle Sunday', Monday 5 July will see both competitions begin their respective Rounds of 16.

The women's singles final will be staged on Saturday 10 July with the men's final being staged the following day.

The Wimbledon fortnight will also stage men's and women's doubles, mixed doubles along with their respective wheelchair competitions.

Play starts each day at 11am (local time) on outside courts, 1pm on No.1 Court and 1.30pm on Centre Court.