ANKARA – The 2023 Wimbledon Championships will kick off on Monday, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the oldest one in the world.
Regarded as one of the most important tennis tournaments alongside the Australian Open, French Open (Roland Garros) and US Open, the 2023 Wimbledon main draw gets underway on July 3, with the sporting event coming to an end with the men's singles final on July 16.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London has been the venue for Wimbledon since 1877, and it is the only Grand Slam played on grass courts.
In addition, the 2023 Championships will be the first Wimbledon to be played during the reign of King Charles III.
Britain's longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept. 8, 2022, two months after that year's Wimbledon finals.
Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic and Kazakh player Elena Rybakina were crowned singles champions in the men's and women's categories respectively last year.
Djokovic bidding for 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court
Second seed Djokovic, who won Wimbledon seven times in his glorious career, is targeting another Grand Slam triumph.
The 36-year-old has so far secured an all-time record 23 Grand Slam titles in men's singles tennis and will be aiming to equal Margaret Court's all-time singles mark.
With his 24th Grand Slam title, Australian former world No. 1 Court is still the record holder for a male or female player in tennis.
If Djokovic wins the 2023 Wimbledon tournament, he will also tie Swiss legend Roger Federer, who won it eight times.
One of the tennis greats, Federer quit playing the game in 2022.
However, men's top seed Carlos Alcaraz (Spain), Daniil Medvedev (Russia), Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) and Casper Ruud (Norway) are among those who can pose trouble for Djokovic in London.
Spain's Rafael Nadal, who claimed the Wimbledon title in 2008 and 2010, will miss the tournament due to an injury he sustained earlier this year.
The 37-year-old failed to recover from a hip injury that he suffered during the 2023 Australian Open in January and missed the French Open in June, which was won by Djokovic.
Swiatek, Sabalenka, Rybakina considered favorites in ladies’ category
Meanwhile, the best three in women's singles rankings -- Iga Swiatek (Poland), Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) and Rybakina -- were regarded as favorites for the ladies.
Top seed Swiatek has never won Wimbledon but is a three-time French Open champion in 2020, 2022 and 2023. She also secured the 2022 US Open title.
World No. 2 Sabalenka, regarded as one of the most powerful athletes in tennis, won the 2023 Australian Open in January after defeating Rybakina.
Kazakh third seed Rybakina won the 2022 Wimbledon, her sole major title.
But Rybakina will step on the courts to retain her title in London.
Russian, Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals
Separately, Russian and Belarusian tennis players will play as neutrals in this year's Wimbledon as it previously lifted a ban on them.
In 2022, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from the competition after Moscow launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24 that year.
Prize money rises to £44.7 million
Organizers confirmed in June that the total prize money on offer at Wimbledon has increased to a record £44.7 million ($56.52 million) this year.
The 2023 Wimbledon champions in men's and women's singles will earn £2.35 million in prize money each and their championship trophies.
The runners-up will bring home £1.175 million. (Anadolu)