That time of year has come around again. British hopefuls wonder if this will be their year. It’s been three years since Andy Murray won the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon and eight years since Laura Robson won the Girl’s Juniors Single (Robson is still recovering from a long-term wrist injury but is expected to appear at Wimbledon). British wins are thin on the ground but we do have a fine pool of talent for this year.
Men’s Wimbledon Hopefuls
Naturally, all eyes will be on the Men’s British Number One. The only British Wimbledon Winner this century, he took the crown in 2013. It had been 36 years since any Brit won Wimbledon (Virginia Wade in 1977) and 77 years since a British winner of the men’s game. He’s only reached the semi-finals since then, but looking stronger this year since claiming some Grand Slam titles. He recently hired Ivan Lendl as his new coach. The team are looking forward to a potential showdown with Novak Djokovic.
Born in Slovenia, in 2015 Aljaž Bedene switched his allegiance to the UK when he gained full citizenship. He immediately became the British men’s number 2. He has yet to win a Grand Slam title. Nevertheless, he has won five ‘Futures’ tournaments and nine ‘Challengers’ tournaments making him a hot prospect for the next few years. Until 2015, he failed to get past the first round at Wimbledon but his first win came last year and he exited in the second round.
The 21-year-old British Number Three has potentially a great future ahead of him. Younger than Murray by eight years, he already has an impressive array of awards. In 2012, he won the Junior US Open (boys’ doubles). A year later, he followed that up with the Junior French Open (doubles). Both victories were with Frederico Ferreira Silva as his partner. Most notably, he was part of the Davis Cup winning team of 2015. They won the Team of the Year Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In six tournaments this year, he has won four and been runner up in two.
Ladies’ Wimbledon Hopefuls
The British Ladies number one was born in Australia. She became a British citizen in 2012 and has enjoyed the support of the crowds ever since. In the last two years, she has broken into the top 100, the 50 and now the top 20. Her start to 2016 has been nothing short of remarkable. Konta beat Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round at the Australian Open. Her run took her to the semi-finals where she lost to Angelique Kerber. She became the first British woman in 32 years to reach a semi-final of any Grand Slam. A good run of form has seen her move to rank 18 in the world.
Watson made a good name for herself on the Junior’s circuit. Since moving to the Ladies Seniors game, she has won several tournaments. Most notably, in 2012 she won her first WTA Singles title, the first British woman to do so since 1988. She has had a good run in the last 18 months. Her second WTA title came in 2015 at the Hobart International tournament. Heartbreak at last year’s Wimbledon saw her come close to beating Serena Williams but the American veteran managed to claw back and win. In 2016, Watson won her third WTA at the Monterrey Open. Following this year’s Wimbledon, she will lead Team GB at the Olympics.
Despite having won 9 singles titles and 13 doubles title, Broady is ranked just 76 in the world. The 26-year-old won her most recent title this year – the 2016 Midland, coming back from one set down in the final to claim the tournament. Also at Midland, she was runner up with her doubles partner Shelby Rogers. As far as Wimbledon is concerned, Broady has never made it past the second round. She is known for having a powerful serve with which she dominates play and puts the opponent on the back foot.
Update: Laura Robson and Kyle Edmund lost their first round matches on Monday. Andy Murray plays today, 28th June. Come on Tim!