Updated: Jul 19
Few aspects this year may appear off to a viewer who is used to watching tennis at the All England Championships since the competition, which is entrenched in tradition and is recognized as one of the world's most elite sporting spectacles, is venturing into uncharted territory.
Wimbledon is the sport's elite. Legends are made at the competition. However, the political machinery around the lawn tennis championship was kicking into high gear even before the first group of competitors arrived in the renowned SW 19 area.
When talking about the approaching spectacular, bringing up the sanctions placed on Russia as a result of the current conflict in Ukraine could be a good place to start. Due to their respective countries' involvement in the conflict, Russian and Belarussian players are not permitted to compete in this year's competition.
The result of this was that the world tennis governing bodies stripped the coveted competition of its international circuit ranking points.
The fate of World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, who has competed in numerous other tournaments since the year's beginning, was thus sealed.
The 100th Wimbledon will not see Roger Federer, the most decorated man in the tournament's illustrious history, mount a challenge for the first time since his legendary debut back in 1999, as the Swiss great's path to recovery following his surgery continues to take longer than anticipated.
The German tennis player Alexander Zverev, who recently reached a career-high world ranking of number two, is out of the running while he recovers from a nightmare ankle injury sustained during the French Open semifinal match against the eventual champion and 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.
Therefore, it falls on the big shoulders of Nadal and the tough Novak Djokovic, who is thought to be his psychological equal, to handle the "celebrity" weight.
The Serbian icon's 2022 hasn't been particularly noteworthy, especially in light of the achievements he's made over his lengthy career. Due to a "no vaccine" stance, he was denied the chance to defend his season-opening championship in Australia, and Nadal profited to win the first grand slam of the 12-month cycle.
As the unvaccinated Serb entered the fray to attempt to protect yet another title he held heading into the main draw, Paris was more accepting of him. The match versus Nadal in the quarterfinals, though, turned out to be his final match on clay courts as the veteran Spaniard ushered him out.
The World No. 3's chances of winning the US Open have already been eliminated due to his continued refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, so Wimbledon could be his last chance to salvage his year.
Apart from his precise shots and technical proficiency, Djokovic is most likely known for his mental toughness. The six-footer will start the match at center court against South Korean Kwon Soon Woo to match Pete Sampras' record of seven victories at the All England Club.
Before the conclusion of the two-week competition, Nadal, who rose to World rank number four on the strength of yet another excellent performance at Roland Garros, will have the chance to make it 3 in 3 for the grand slam victories this year.
Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion who won on his preferred clay court while competing in the final match of the Paris tournament after having his problematic left foot anesthetized, received pulsed radiofrequency stimulation therapy in Spain in preparation for the grass-court season. The record-breaking 22-time grand slam winner reported that after receiving treatment in Barcelona, his foot pain dramatically decreased and that he anticipates continuing to be pain-free going into the English championship.
Nadal will have the exceptional potential to become just the third man, following American Don Budge and Australian tennis icon Rod Laver, to complete a calendar grand slam if he can manage to win the highly sought-after Wimbledon title this time around.
Djokovic and Nadal begin the men's event on grass as the top two seeds, and can only face off in the final round because the world Nos. 1 and 2 (Medvedev and Zverev) are unavailable.
Neither of the legendary players will participate in any warm-up competitions before entering the stadium. However, it's interesting to note that Djokovic has previously won 5 of his 6 titles in London after a similar situation.
On Monday, July 27, 2022, the action at the All England Club is scheduled to get underway.