Dan Ripley for MailOnline

  • Dan Ripley

    Host commentator

‘First day of Wimbledon, the usual air of expectation as they let the punters enter in orderly fashion. I did notice some extra security today when coming in.

‘Tenniswise I’d say Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are joint faovurites, with Murray shading it if anything. It’s hard to look beyond Serena Williams but I also have a sneaking feeling for Maria Sharapova, who will benefit from the extra week’s preparation.

‘I expect her to get a proper test today from Jo Konta, closer than expected, but that could set her up perfectly for the fortnight on the assumption she survives.

‘I am also hopeful that one of the Broady combination will win, overall the British contingent have reasonable draws.’

Ground staff add the finishing touches on the courts at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is about tennis. Of course it is, to many. Roger Federer only truly cares about the numbers on the scoreboard.

But Wimbledon is about a great day out too, and the extraordinary lengths to which organisers go to stage the world’s premier tennis tournament.

On the above link is a look, in numbers, at how the All England Club is transformed from a private club to the site of a sporting jamboree for a fortnight each year.

Click here for more

People queue to enter, before the start of the of the first day at Wimbledon

Liam Broady takes on Marinko Matosevic on Court 18 at 11.30am while, Naomi will take on Mariana Duque-Marino after 5.30pm on a court yet to be decided

‘What a feeling for those at the front of the queue who are about to head towards their seats when the gates open at 10:30am.

‘The queue started on Saturday morning, more than 48 hours before the start of play. Actually it was the queue for the queue as it officially does not open at Wimbledon Park until 8am.

‘When I walked past on Saturday around 12 noon, there was a man with a Serbian flag at the front of a line of around 20 people all lying back on the hard pavement outside Wimbledon Park. Dedication!’

Security check the bags of spectators shorty before Wimbledon fans were allowed into the All-England Tennis Club

Not long until SW19 opens at 10.30am, with play commencing an hour later. Just enough time for supporters to take their desired spots and get some strawberries and cream too. 

Security officers with their dogs patrol the grounds before the start of the Championships

Mounted police patrol the perimeter of SW19 on day one

People queue to enter ahead of the start of the Wimbledon Championships

Ground staff prepare the courts ready for play on the opening day

‘The guy trying to entice tennis fans to take taxis to the All England Club from Southfields tube station has dyed his hair tennis ball yellow to attract more business.’

You may want to scroll down to 9.16am to see exactly what Charles is referring to…

Looking forward to The Championships but don’t know your way around The All England Club? Haven’t got tickets but you’re desperate to grace the grounds of SW19?

Well look no further, as Sportsmail has put together the ultimate guide to watching the world’s best at Wimbledon. Click here for more.

Ground staff prepare the courts during day one of the Wimbledon Championships

And I don’t just mean the video technology for points. Rufus the Harris Hawk will be at SW19, with his job to scare away other birds.

Rufus the Harris hawk looks on at Centre Court with owner Imogen Davis

It seems like the 2002 champion has been around forever. Sadly the end is nigh for the 34-year-old though who is making his final trip to SW19 this year (at least as a player.)

Hewitt will face Jarkko Nieminen of Finalnd on Court 2

Lleyton Hewitt won the Wimbledon mens’ title in 2002

‘What a scorcher! The official forecast is plenty of sunshine today. Up to 26 deg C/ and 79F by mid-afternoon. Winds light.

‘Tue/Wed: Temperatures climbing into the low to possibly mid 30s on Wed. Heat and humidity may trigger late afternoon/evening thunderstorms on Wed/Thurs.’

Thanks, Jon. To pinch a phrase from Baz Luhrmann, ‘if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.’

STUART FRASER: Tim Henman insists that Andy Murray is in the best form of his career – but feels that Novak Djokovic is still favourite for Wimbledon.

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman agrees with Murray’s own verdict after winning the Aegon Championships at Queen’s that he is playing better than when he won Wimbledon in 2013.

Speaking to Sportsmail, Slazenger ambassador Henman said: ‘When you reflect on 2013, he didn’t even play at the French Open, he was injured. And his form coming into Queen’s that year was very unpredictable.

Click here for more

‘In some ways the most beautiful morning of the Championships. Day one. Courts immaculate. Green-clad ball boys and girls gathering.

‘The line markings being painted. They sparkle pristine white. The ivy timelessly in place. The weather is ludicrously good.

‘I’ve been here for an hour or so, even then the streets outside were starting to get thronged as people queued. I managed to get in without having my bag searched – that won’t happen again.

‘Fire alarm starting now. Gates yet to be opened to the public.’

Stella Riley who has queue card number one and is first in the queue for day one at Wimbledon

The British No 2 takes on Maria Sharapova following Novak Djokovic’s opener on Centre but she has a tough job on her hands.

Sharapova is ranked 142 places above her in the world so it would be an enormous upset if the 24-year-old could dump out one of the favourites for the tournament.

Sportsmail’s Mike Dickson assesses Konta’s chances on the opening day.

Britain’s Johanna Konta sits at the practice courts at The All England Tennis Club on Sunday

Plenty of big hitters in Brad Gilbert’s 10 contenders for the womens’ title, including defending champion Petra Kvitova and veteran Serena Williams. As ever it looks too close to call in the ladies’ singles. Click here for more.

Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic is the defending womens’ champion at Wimbledon

I’m going with 8/10 for effort but marks are deducted for final presentation. Less yellow and more green needed

A tennis fan sporting a tennis ball hairstyle is ready for the opening day of the championships

No surprises to see Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal on this list (it would really be foolish to leave them out as obvious as they are) but who joins them in the top 10? Click here for more.

Novak Djokovic is the defending Wimbledon champion after beating Roger Federer in the 2014 final

Great Britain’s Johanna Konta has been handed a Centre Court slot for her Wimbledon first-round match against former champion Maria Sharapova.

Konta, who reached the quarter-finals of Eastbourne, will tackle 2004 Wimbledon winner Sharapova in the second match on the main show court. Sharapova is the fourth seed this year.

Their tussle follows the tradition of the men’s champion opening play on Centre Court. Click here for more across SW19 on the opening day.

Fans enjoy the early morning sunshine at Wimbledon ahead of day one

Selfie sticks are banned! Excellent news from SW19, where fans have been camping out in tents over the weekend hoping to bag a ticket for day one.

Selfie sticks have been banned from the Wimbledon grounds

Outside the All-England Club, Wimbledon fans are warned not to buy tickets from touts

A small tent city is based in Wimbledon Park ahead of the Championships’ opening day

…but don’t expect the baselines to have a lush green look for that long.

Yes, that’s right, Wimbledon is back and we have a smashing day lined up on day one!

The defending mens’ champion Novak Djokovic will serve up on Centre Court, there will be Brits in action, strawberries and cream and even the sun looks like it is here for the duration.

Play begins at 11.30am, but fans have been queuing up since Saturday for this one!

Tennis fans queue up to get in during day one of the Wimbledon Championships

Under the morning sun, fans form a queue desperate to get an early spot at SW19



Follow Sportsmail’s coverage of all the action from Wimbledon as Novak Djokovic opens up on Centre Court to begin the defence of the title he won last year. 

The world No 1 defeated Roger Federer to claim glory at SW19 in 2014, and faces Philipp Kohlschreiber from 1pm on day one of the championships.

Maria Sharapova follows on Centre as she takes on Brit Johanna Konta, while Serena Williams is also in action as she opens up play on Court 1 against Russian Margarita Gasparyan. 

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