The first days of a major are always hectic, combining a handful of compelling matchups with checking the form of the top players. With so many intriguing matches as Wimbledon kicks off, let’s get straight to an expanded look at the schedule, counting down the top 10 Monday matchups:
Day 1 Marquee Matches
10. Simona Halep vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova: Halep didn’t play a grass tune-up due to injury, while Schmiedlova has followed up a breakthrough 2015 by going a ghastly 3-16.
9. Marin Cilic vs Brian Baker: After a career almost completely sabotaged by injury, Baker is back yet again. The 31-year-old is a heavy underdog even against an out of form Cilic, but he did make the second week here in his lone appearance four years ago.
8. Venus Williams vs Donna Vekic: Unlikely to be a competitive match, as Vekic is steeply outmatched, but one never knows how many more times there will be to watch the perfect marriage of Venus Williams and the lawns of Wimbledon.
7. Jack Sock vs Ernests Gulbis: While both men have had more success on clay than grass, this is Monday’s best combination of noteworthy male players and uncertainty as to who will prevail.
6. Madison Keys vs Laura Siegemund: Although Keys lost to Siegemund in Charleston, a huge imbalance in grass track records tilts this heavily towards the American.
5. Gael Monfils vs Jeremy Chardy: After being hospitalized due to illness and missing his home Slam in Paris, Monfils returns to face a fellow Frenchman. Wimbledon is La Monf’s worst Slam though the draw could have dealt him much tougher opponents than Chardy.
4. Novak Djokovic vs James Ward and Roger Federer vs Guido Pella: Cheating a bit to put two matches here, but the combined match times for Djokovic and Federer to win will probably equal a normal match anyway.
3. Angie Kerber vs Laura Robson: Likely to be a one-sided Kerber victory, though this all-lefty battle carries a bit more intrigue due to Kerber’s wobbly recent results and Robson playing in front of her home fans following a return from continued wrist problems.
2. Kei Nishikori vs Sam Groth: In any other circumstance, Nishikori would eat the one-dimensional Groth for breakfast. Here though? Groth’s flat serve is more potent and Nishikori again got nicked up in Halle. Kei has only made the second week once in London, withdrawing due to injury last year following a five set win in the first round.
1. Garbiñe Muguruza vs Camila Giorgi: Muguruza plays her first Slam match since winning the French Open, a pressure that many players have, at least temporarily, struggled to handle. This is peak power tennis, as Giorgi packs a major punch despite her size. Giorgi’s propensity for double faults and refusal to go for safer shots often gift-wrap games for her opponent, but grass is her most dangerous surface.
Also in action: Milos Raonic, Sam Stosur, David Goffin, David Ferrer, Ana Ivanovic