5 All England Club facts – Day 1

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LONDON: Five facts on the first day of Wimbledon at the All England Club on Monday (today in Manila):

• Former champion Lleyton Hewitt is playing his 17th—and final—Wimbledon this year and starts against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen on Court Two. Hewitt is one of nine Australian men in action. Eleven Australian men started the men’s main draw this year, the most at Wimbledon since 2000 when there were also 11.

• Hewitt was the only top seed to lose in the first round at Wimbledon in the Open Era when he was defeated by Ivo Karlovic in 2003. That was also the last time the defending champion lost in the first round at the tournament.

• Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic starts against Philipp Kohlschreiber and is bidding to maintain his record of always reaching the second round at Wimbledon. The last time he lost in the first round at any Grand Slam event was at the 2006 Australian Open where he was defeated by Paul Goldstein.


• Serena Williams, who faces Magarita Gasparyan, has almost as many majors as every other active player combined. The American has won 20 — every other active player combined has 21 Grand Slam titles (Venus Williams has seven, Maria Sharapova has five, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova two each, and Ana Ivanovic, Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur one each).

• If Maria Sharapova, who takes on Johanna Konta, wins the 2015 title, it will be the second biggest gap between Wimbledon titles in the Open Era. It has been 11 years since Sharapova won her first Wimbledon title. Only Martina Navratilova has won the tournament in a bigger time span—her first came in 1978, her last came in 1990.

AFP

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