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Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Central makes 100 years, Wimbledon opens its doors

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The 135th edition of the Wimbledon tournament, starting next Monday, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Center Court, the iconic stadium of the All England Club which since 1922 has been located in Church Road, a green suburb in south London. An anniversary that also marks the public’s return to the Championships, with no more limitations or green passes, after the cancellation of 2020 and last year’s edition, with reduced capacity. When, in the men’s final, the Serbian Novak Djokovic imposed himself on Matteo Berrettini. Tomorrow, the draw for the scoreboard will tell which route is reserved for the protagonists.
The Serbian returns on the noble London grass as a great favorite (rated 4/5 by the bookmakers from the top of his six triumphs, three in the last four editions) despite the vicissitudes for his no-vax positions. But behind him, the local bookmakers are betting on Berrettini (11/2), able in the last month to win two tournaments in a row on the grass (Stuttgart and Queen’s) on his return after the operation on his wrist.
Third favorite Rafa Nadal, who pursues the dream of the Grand Slam after the triumphs in Australia and France. Illustrious absent, vice versa, Roger Federer, winner here eight times: in Wimbledon the Swiss champion played his last match, 11 months ago, before the long stop for the knee injury that interrupted the streak started last year millennium (1998).
For the first time since the introduction of the ATP ranking (1973), the top two of the world ranking will also be missing from the London draw, the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the German Alexander Zverev. But if the latter was blocked by an ankle injury, Medvedev was excluded – like all other Russian and Belarusian tennis players – from a controversial decision taken by the organization of the Championships, under pressure from the British government, in the context of the UK’s retaliation against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Decision that led the ATP not to assign valid points for the ranking to the tournament, de facto downgrading it – according to some observers – to a rich and prestigious exhibition. In any case, a Russian tennis player will participate, the doubles player Natela Dzalamidze who circumvented the rule by acquiring the Georgia passport on the eve of registration. In the race – thanks to a due wild card – there will also be Serena Williams, who returns to the field after an absence of one year, in pursuit of the dream of improving her record of 23 Grand Slam titles (queen seven times at Wimbledon).

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Source: Ansa

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