Forget the 2018 World Cup — The Championships, Wimbledon are almost upon us as once again the British public prepares to go tennis crazy for precisely two weeks.
It promises to be another thrilling tournament, as both Roger Federer and Garbiñe Muguruza look to defend their crowns. However competition will be fierce, particularly from the likes of French Open champions Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep. But will the former be fit enough to challenge for the title?
Nadal isn’t the only leading man facing a race against the clock to prove his fitness. Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is yet to fully complete his comeback and could yet miss out. Step forward Kyle Edmund?
In fact, British hopes largely rest on the shoulders of Johanna Konta, who enjoyed a fine run to the semi-finals of last years tournament. Can she go two better this time around? Here’s everything you need to know about Wimbledon 2018.
When is Wimbledon 2018?
The main draw will begin on Monday 2 July and is set to finish on Sunday 15 July.
Qualifying meanwhile gets underway on Monday 25 June.
Is it possible to still buy tickets?
Yes it is! Unlike most major sporting events, it is still possible to buy a ticket to The Championships on the day you want to attend. But to do that you will have to survive ‘The Queue’ — waiting patiently at Wimbledon Park for a ticket to Centre Court, Court 1 or Court 2. Queues begin at 6am.
You can also snap up a day pass which allows you to take in action for Court 3 to Court 18. Ticket prices start from £25, but be aware it’s cash only.
And where can I watch it?
As usual, all games will be shown live on the BBC. BBC One and Two will have the pick of the action, but if you’re a devoted Damir Džumhur super fan — fear not. You’ll be able to follow every match from around the courts on the red button.
The Independent will also be live blogging every day of The Championships, so make sure you join us for the optimum second screen experience.
When is the draw?
The draw will take place on Friday 29 June.
And when is the order of play announced?
After the main draw, the Order of Play for each day of The Championships will be announced the previous evening.
What is the prize money?
Earlier this year, The All England Club announced that they award a total of £34m in prize money to competitors at The Championships.
The Gentlemen's and Ladies' Singles Champions will each receive £2.25m.
Meanwhile first-round losers this summer will earn £39,000 – an increase of 11.4 per cent – but confirmed that they will be implementing a new “50-50” rule which was first used at this year’s Australian Open.
Remind me what happened last year?
Will Andy Murray play?
He certainly intends to. The former world number one has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon last summer and has twice aborted comeback attempts, first at the US Open and then in Australia in January.
After the second of those he went under the knife in Melbourne and was initially very positive about his prospects. Following a successful period in the gym, he expressed hope he would be able to return before the grass-court season and the Lawn Tennis Association created two new second-tier tournaments in Glasgow and Loughborough, partly with Murray's comeback in mind.
But the Glasgow event came and went last week without him, throwing his entire grass court season into doubt. The latest from the Murray camp is that he will announce his plans for Queen’s and Wimbledon next week.
Who are the favourites?
Surprise, surprise: Roger Federer is the favourite to triumph in the Gentlemen’s Singles. Rafael Nadal is currently the second favourite although faces a fitness battle to appear at The Championships, potentially opening the door to the likes of Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic.
Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams are both highly fancied in the Ladies’ Singles, although the likes of Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber — not to mention defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza — are all likely to be in the mix.
And what are the odds?
Roger Federer: 13/8
Rafael Nadal: 6/1
Novak Djokovic: 9/1
Alexander Zverev: 11/1
Marin Cilic: 14/1
Petra Kvitova: 6/1
Serena Williams: 6/1
Garbiñe Muguruza: 7/1
Angelique Kerber: 11/1
Maria Sharapova: 14/1