Wimbledon 2015: ‘Lucky’ Federer Sets Slam RecordBy and
The 2015 Wimbledon Championships begin on June 29 until July 12. Follow our rolling coverage for all the latest news both on and off the courts.
TUESDAY JUNE 30
1:20 pm: The Big Heat
Temperatures are set to soar to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) today at Wimbledon, and 35 Celsius tomorrow. This being England, it pales compared with other majors, such as the Australian Open, where water bottles melted and players collapsed in 2014 from 42 degree heat.
The sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber made sure she wasn't exposed to the heat for too long, beating fellow German Carina Withoeft, 6-0, 6-0 in 44 minutes on Court No. 18.
1:16 pm: Federer to Break (Another) Record
Seven-time winner Roger Federer will break another record when he plays Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in the opening round Tuesday. That match will mark his 63rd consecutive appearance in a major, the most in both the men’s and women’s games. Federer, who hasn't missed a Grand Slam tournament since the 2000 Australian Open, is tied now with Japan’s Ai Sugiyama at 62 straight majors.
10:02 am: Order of Play
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic opens play on Centre Court against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, followed by seven-time winner Roger Federer of Switzerland against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur. Andy Murray, the 2013 winner from Britain, plays Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, while two-time winner Rafael Nadal of Spain faces Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Wimbledon Top Seeds Advance as Djokovic, Williams Sisters Win
MONDAY JUNE 29
8:08 pm: Lleyton Hewitt's Farewell
Australian Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of his last Wimbledon with a five-set loss to Finland's Jarko Nieminen. Hewitt, the 2002 champion and a former world No. 1, will end his long career at next year's Australian Open.
“One of the greatest things about winning this championship is becoming a member of it,” Hewitt said after the match. “For me to be able to go in the member’s locker room four weeks before Wimbledon, sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat, it’s a lot of fun. That’s something I can always come back and enjoy.”
5:00 pm: Drake is in the house
An unusual guest appeared at Serena Williams’s post-match press conference. In the back of the main interview room sat the Canadian rapper Drake. He quietly watched 15 minutes of questioning between reporters and the 20-time major singles champion, who beat Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan in straight sets earlier Monday.
Topics included the famous “queue” of people waiting to enter the grounds (Williams thinks she’d be good at waiting for hours for a ground pass), dancing on stage with Taylor Swift in London’s Hyde Park Saturday (“I really was really nervous. I didn’t really want to do it. Taylor was like, ‘Oh, you have to come out,’” she said), and a possible match against sister Venus in the last sixteen (Williams said she didn’t know).
Brit Watch: Liam Broady Wins
Host nation Britain has 10 players in the men’s and women’s singles draws. Liam Broady became the first Briton to move to the second round, coming back from two sets to love down to beat New Zealand’s Marinko Matosevic.
Broady, a 21-year-old wild card, got a message of support from 2013 winner Andy Murray who tweeted: “Well done @liambroady. Big comeback win.”
Liam’s sister, Naomi, plays Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino later today.
2:09 pm: The first upset
The tournament started two-and-a-half hours ago and here is the first upset. No. 24 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy is knocked out 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 by Zarina Dyas of Kazakhstan.
1:50 pm: A heatwave (of sorts) is coming
It's a hot (for London) and sunny day at the All England Club, where temperatures have soared to 27 degrees Celsius (79 Fahrenheit) on the first day of the championships. It'll be sunny all week, with temperatures climbing to the mid-30s Celsius on Wednesday. Unlike the Australian Open, there is no heat policy at Wimbledon.
Murray's acing his training partner
A busy morning on the practice courts Monday, where Andy Murray could be seen hitting with Davis Cup teammate James Ward. Watched from the baseline by his heavily pregnant coach, Amelie Mauresmo, Murray stunned Ward with a sliced ace out wide on the deuce side. ``That's just a joke,'' muttered Ward, shaking his head.
Next to Murray was former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, hitting serves under the watchful eye of her father and coach. Wozniacki had been on stage with Taylor Swift and Serena Williams Saturday night in Hyde Park. Also practicing: reigning women's champion Petra Kvitova, 2008 and 2010 winner Rafael Nadal, and former finalist Sabine Lisicki.
6:34 am: 28 Tons of Strawberries and 54,250 tennis balls
SUNDAY JUNE 28
5:28 pm: Edberg Thinks Federer Can Win
Roger Federer is playing vastly improved tennis, and has a good shot at winning his eighth Wimbledon title, his coach Stefan Edberg said.
Federer won the last of a men’s record 17 Grand Slam singles championships in London in 2012.
“I believe even at this stage, towards the end of his career here, he’s improved over the last year,” Edberg, a six-time major singles champion, said in an interview Friday.
See the full story here.
1:57 pm: Djokovic, Kvitova Coming in Cold
Both defending champions, Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova, will start Wimbledon without any match practice on grass.
Kvitova, the No. 2 seed, pulled out of Eastbourne last week with a cold, while the top-seeded Djokovic needed time to recover from a stinging loss against Stan Wawrinka in the finals of the French Open three weeks ago.
"I needed some time to just mentally recover, rest - more than physical rest, I needed that emotional, mental rest to recharge my batteries and get myself in a proper state of mind,'' Djokovic told reporters at Wimbledon Sunday.
Instead of practicing, Djokovic took some time off after Roland Garros to spend time with his wife and newborn son, Stefan.
He faces former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber Monday.
"Hopefully tomorrow when I get on the court I'll be able to perform my best because that's something that is going to be very much needed in order to win against Kohlschreiber, who is a very tricky, very good opponent on any surface, but especially on grass,'' the Serb said. "It's one of the toughest first rounds I could get.''
Kvitova said she's already nervous for Tuesday, when the women's champion traditionally opens play on Centre Court. The Czech plays Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
"The pressure, the nerves going to be there for sure,'' Kvitova said in a news conference at Wimbledon Sunday. ``Doesn't matter whether I was sick or not. Still, when I am going to step on the court on Tuesday will be the same feelings. Will be very tough and nervous.''
1:38 pm: David Ferrer out of Wimbledon
Spain's David Ferrer has pulled out of Wimbledon with an elbow injury, the All England Club announced. The No. 8 seeded Spaniard will be replaced in the men's singles draw by Luca Vanni of Italy. The seedings won't be changed, because Ferrer withdrew after the draw was made.
1:27 pm: Monday's Order of Play
The All England Club has given 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia an outing on Centre Court, while five-time winner and women's top seed Serena Williams of the U.S. starts her quest for all four majors in a row on Court No. 1. Serena's sister Venus, also a five-time winner, plays on Court No. 3. Defending men's champion Novak Djokovic opens play on Centre Court.
Centre Court (1 pm local time start)
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia v Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany
Maria Sharapova (4), Russia v Johanna Konta, Britain
Stan Wawrinka (4), Switzerland v Joao Sousa, Portugal
No.1 court (1 pm local time start)
Serena Williams (1), U.S. v Margarita Gasparyan, Russia
Simone Bolelli, Italy v Kei Nishikori (5), Japan
Grigor Dimitrov (11), Bulgaria v Federico Delbonis, Argentina
No. 2 court (11:30 am local time start)
Nick Kyrgios, Australia v Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
Jarkko Nieminen, Finland v Lleyton Hewitt, Australia
Alison Riske, U.S. v Lucie Safarova (6), Czech Republic
Heather Watson, Britain v Caroline Garcia, France
No. 3 court (11:30 am local time start)
Marin Cilic (9), Croatia v Hiroki Moriya, Japan
Yi-Fan Xu, China vs Ana Ivanovic (7), Serbia
Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Spain vs Milos Raonic (7), Canada
Madison Brengle, U.S. v Venus Williams (16), U.S.
7:01 am: How to Become a Wimbledon Member
If you want to join the All England Club, your best bet is to win the Wimbledon title.
Apart from worldwide fame, all singles champions become honorary members of the private All England Club in southwest London. The club, which organizes the annual Wimbledon Championships, counts the Duchess of Cambridge - the former Kate Middleton - ex-Bank of England governor Mervyn King and singer Cliff Richard among its members. With some 565 members, and a waiting list of about 1,000, the odds of joining the club founded in 1868 and best known for its immaculate grass courts and green-and-purple colors aren’t good. The tournament starts Monday.
“The easy way to get in is to win it,” said former British No. 1 Tim Henman, who joined 15 years ago.
Read the full explanation of how to join in our story here.
SATURDAY JUNE 27
8:56 pm: Nadal's Handicap
Rafael Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, plays tennis left-handed. On the golf course however, he plays right-handed.
When he retires, he could perhaps try and make it on the senior golf tour. The 29-year-old Spaniard has a handicap of "2.8, 2.7, more or less,'' he said in a news conference at Wimbledon Saturday.
3:30 pm: Federer Eyeing Title No. 8
The extra week off between the French Open and Wimbledon has been welcomed by pretty much everyone, including Roger Federer.
The 33-year-old Swiss, who narrowly lost to top-seeded Novak Djokovic in last year's finals, said the three-week break "changed everything.''
"A week is so much for us players,'' Federer, a father of two sets of twins, told reporters Saturday at Wimbledon. "Wimbledon comes around very quickly. You come in with many more doubts into the tournament. I could rest and relax and then really train and prepare properly for a change for a good grass court season.''
Federer, who hasn't won a major title since he reduced Andy Murray to tears in the 2012 finals, said he's improved since last year. "I could really aim for Wimbledon this year.''
Serena, Venus and The Golden Bear
While most players prepared for Wimbledon by playing a grass-court event somewhere in Europe, Serena and Venus Williams - who have 10 Wimbledon singles titles between them - found a grass court closer to home, in Florida.
"Me and Venus were at Jack Nicklaus's place,'' Serena Williams said in a news conference Saturday at Wimbledon. "It was fun. Very good courts.''
Nicklaus, an 18-time major golf champion nicknamed The Golden Bear, is an avid tennis fan who can often be seen enjoying the tennis from the royal box on Centre Court.
Stan Wawrinka Drops His Shorts for ESPN
Following in the footsteps of Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych, newly crowned French Open champion Stan Wawrinka will drop his famous red checked shorts for the Body Issue of ESPN Magazine.
Going naked in front of a room full of strangers took some getting used to.
"I did it because they do it in a good way,'' Wawrinka said in a news conference at Wimbledon Saturday. "They want to put athlete first, sport first, sport body. I think in general they find a good way to do some nice pictures. That's the only reason why I accepted.''
Wawrinka's infamous shorts, which became a talking point on social media during the clay court season, are being displayed at the Roland Garros Museum.
Reporting by Danielle Rossingh
FRIDAY JUNE 26
3:00 pm: Wimbledon Life
A week after Wimbledon organizers banned fans from streaming live video from inside the grounds of the All England Club, up pops Roger Federer strolling the All England Club Friday afternoon live on Periscope.
During his 15-minute walk, Federer visited Centre Court and chatted with Wimbledon Chief Executive Richard Lewis.
Federer's walkabout was done in accordance with tournament organizers, who said last week they'll be using apps such as Periscope and Meerkat to capture "unique moments" during the championships. As long as it doesn't compete with its broadcasters, who pay good money to show the tennis.
Judging from a conversation between Federer and a fan, it probably won't.
"Who is your favorite opponent?" asked one fan. "Anyone I beat, I guess?" answered the 17-time Grand Slam winner.
Reporting by Danielle Rossingh
2:00 pm: Fierce Competition
Competition between the four tennis majors - Wimbledon, the U.S., French and Australian opens - is fierce, ranging from the size of its retractable roofs, prize money pots and visitor numbers.
Even before a single ball had been struck, Wimbledon has aced the competition on social media.
According to the latest Adobe Digital Index, Wimbledon is the most talked-about tennis tournament of the year, receiving 1.5 times more daily mentions on social media than last month's French Open, and 3.5 times more than January's Australian Open.
Reporting by Danielle Rossingh
1:30 pm: Williams Chases Second ‘Serena Slam’
For the past two years, Serena Williams has found the grass courts of Wimbledon too much to handle.
Now the five-time champion needs to rediscover her touch on the game’s fastest surface to win a fourth straight major.
12:10 pm: Djokovic's (Bad) Luck of the Draw
Novak Djokovic may have to overcome three grand slam champions to successfully defend his Wimbledon title.
The world No. 1 was handed the toughest draw of the top four seeds Friday at the All England Club. Djokovic, who didn’t play any grass-court events after losing to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open finals three weeks ago, plays unseeded German and 2012 quarterfinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber Monday in the first round, followed by a potential second-round match against 2002 winner Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.
MONDAY JUNE 22
2:00 pm: Wimbledon Champ Kvitova Out of Warmup With Illness
A week before defending her Wimbledon title, Petra Kvitova withdrew from a warm-up event in Eastbourne because of illness.
The second-ranked Czech has been struggling with a sore throat since Thursday, she told reporters Monday at the event held on England’s south coast.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 29
1:00 pm: Holding Wimbledon a Week Later Benefits
Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook said players will benefit from the decision to move this year's tennis championships back a week.
He spoke Tuesday with Bloomberg's Danielle Rossingh at the All England Club.