Wimbledon Tournament Kicks Off: Sinner and Sabalenka Favorites to Win; Prize Hike to $64 Million

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As the hands on the Big Ben and Clock Towers inch closer to the tennis calendar’s most anticipated fortnight, the vibrant English town of Wimbledon is teeming with excitement. Come Monday, the plush green pastures of the All England Club will unabashedly host the year’s most anticipated Grand Slam tennis event – the iconic Wimbledon tournament.

Serene in nature yet ferocious in competition, Wimbledon is where history is made and Champions are forged. A unique spectacle, it’s best to prepare yourself before noticing specks of tennis flavor in your English breakfast tea. Here’s everything you might need to know to enjoy this riveting affair.

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Residents in the United States can tune into the Tennis Channel and ESPN to watch the matches live. Folks residing in other parts of the world will have similar provisions; the list of broadcasters can be found on the tournament’s official website.

In the realm of betting, all eyes and bets are on Aryna Sabalenka and Jannik Sinner, the favorites to win the singles title according to BetMGM Sportsbook. Sabalenka, the third seed, has been a two-time Australian Open winner and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon. Ahead of the top seed, Iga Swiatek, Sabalenka reigns the charts as a +333 money-line pick.

Sinner, the top seed, is listed at +160, followed by defending Champion Carl Alcaraz and star player Novak Djokovic. A noteworthy gap separates them and the fourth choice, Alexander Zverev. The betting circuit is vibrantly musing over these probabilities.

The All England Club, the sacred turf where every intense rally unfolds, and grass courts mark the landscape of this two-week spectacle. Different from other Grand Slam tournaments, Wimbledon strictly abides by a curfew that halts any match, without night sessions, past 11 p.m. As an exception to this, retractable roofs on the Centre Court and No.1 Court ensure completion of matches that might otherwise be interrupted by England’s unpredictable weather.

The tournament usually spans 14 days, punctuated by occasional breathers like the middle Sunday, which, until recently, lay dormant. However, since 2022, to deal with any backlog of matches due to unscheduled rain, this day of rest has been repurposed for competition when required.

In the first match line-up for Monday, the crowd will be greeted with the defending Men’s champion, Carlos Alcaraz, marking the event’s commencement on Centre Court. The sight of Emma Radacanu, the 2021 U.S. Open Champion, featuring in the main stadium against Ekaterina Alexandrova will follow this encounter.

Two-time champion, Andy Murray, has of late sparked curiosity among fans, but his participation in singles remains uncertain as Murray awaits the results of further practice sessions and medical tests.

The timeline for Wimbledon is structured as follows: the initial rounds roll out on Monday and Tuesday, the elimination heats up through the second round and quart-finals in the subsequent week. The spectacle peaks with the women’s finals on July 13th and Men’s finals on July 14th.

Prize money for Wimbledon in 2024 has seen an increase, totaling a whopping 50 million pounds (~$64 million), up almost 12% from the previous year. With the singles Champions looking to pocket 2.7 million pounds (~$3.45 million) each, it’s beyond a Game, Set, and Match—it’s where champions fight for their share of glory and gold.

Looking back at the Wimbledon tale, there have been seven different women champions over the last seven years, and 12 British men, the most since 1978, have made it into the singles draw this year.

As preparations for Wimbledon are ramped up, Marketa Vondrousova, the 2023 Wimbledon Champion mused, “I think we can expect many surprises on the grass courts.” The spectators and players alike are looking forward to another remarkable fortnight in the history of Wimbledon. So sit back, charge your emotions, and get ready for an exhilarating roller-coaster ride on Wimbledon’s pristine turf.