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No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

There is still time to get involved with Wimbledon’s interactive game, virtually playing on the pristine Show Courts to advance through the seven rounds of The Championships and attempt to land at the top of the global leaderboard. wimbledon.com

This weekend marks the end of the first week of ‘The Greatest Championships’, the round-by-round retelling of some of Wimbledon’s greatest matches.

By going online to wimbledon.com, fans can take a fond trip down memory lane, while revisiting some of the most iconic Week 1 Wimbledon matches in history, witnessing favourites that set the crowd alight, old adversaries producing classic showcases of skill and defending Champions having to dig deep.

All the matches are still available to view in full, accompanied by point by point commentary, match statistics, interviews and features.

Coming up on Saturday’s Order of Play is the 1985 match between Boris Becker and Joakim Nystrom, Serena Williams’ 2012’s battle against Jie Zheng and Venus Williams contest with Petra Kvitova from 2014.

The first, second and third round matches shown over the previous week can also be streamed, plus a visit to the Video section presents a host of inspiring stories, including ‘The Impossible Dream – A Journey to Glory’ narrated by Ash Barty that traces the 10,000 mile journey of Evonne Goolagong Cawley which took her from her humble origins in the Australian outback to become Wimbledon Champion at her second appearance at The Championships.

Barty relates the tale of determination and inspiration, bringing hope to indigenous families across Australia through her legacy which lives on today.

Andy Roddick narrates ‘The Golden Era – When Pete Dominated Wimbledon’ about Pete Sampras’ reign at Wimbledon for nearly a decade before the Big 3 appeared in men’s tennis.

Sampras won 53 of the 54 matches he played between 1993 and 2000 after the American started out finding the grass unfair and unpredictable but then made Centre Court his own back yard.

There is still time to get involved with Wimbledon’s interactive game too, virtually playing on the pristine Show Courts to advance through the seven rounds of The Championships and attempt to land at the top of the global leaderboard.

The player with the highest score will win a pair of tennis shoes signed by a Wimbledon Champion, while 9 runners-up will receive an exclusive luxury gift bag from the Wimbledon Shop.


(L-R) Olympic silver medalist Roger Federer, gold medalist Andy Murray and bronze medalist Juan Martin Del Potro pose during the London 2012 medal ceremony at Wimbledon, revisited on the BBC

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The BBC is also ensuring we don’t forget this is Wimbledon fortnight.

On Saturday Sue Barker presents the first part of ‘Andy Murray’s Greatest Hits’ that gives us a look back at the career of the British former World No 1, including winning his first Gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, and his first historic win at Wimbledon in 2013 against Novak Djokovic that ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion.

The programme starts at 1.15 on BBC 1, and iPlayer, and continues on Sunday at 2.05pm with a look at the 12-month spell from late 2015 during which Murray won the Davis Cup, Wimbledon and a second gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Look out for further BEEB tennis coverage with repeats of ‘Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon’ at 3.15pm and ‘John McEnroe’s: Still Rockin’ at 60’ at 11.30pm, also on BBC 1 on Saturday.

While there may be no fireworks at Wimbledon this year, many champions are to be celebrated for winning on the 4th July.


Maria Bueno and Billie Jean King (R) both won singles titles on the 4th July and played each other in the final of 1966, which King won

© Central Press/Getty Images

On this Day – 4 July

  • 1907 – Australian Norman Brookes becomes the first non-Englishman and left-hander to win Wimbledon beating Arthur Gore, 6-4 6-2 6-2
  • 1913 – In an all-British final Dorothea Chambers beats Winifred McNair, 6-0 6-4
  • 1914 – Dorothea Chambers wins her 7th and last Wimbledon singles title beating Ethel Larcombe, 7-5 6-4, and Norman Brookes defeats 4-time defending champion Anthony Wilding of New Zealand, 6-4 6-4 7-5 in the men’s final
  • 1924 – Kitty McKane of England beats American Helen Wills, 4-6 6-4 6-4, for her first of two Wimbledon singles titles
  • 1925 – In an all-French final René Lacoste beats Jean Borotra, 6-3 6-3 4-6 8-6
  • 1930 – Helen Moody wins 4th straight Wimbledon singles beating fellow American Elizabeth Ryan, 6-2 6-2
  • 1931 – Sidney Wood Jr beats fellow American Frank Shields in a walkover – ankle injury
  • 1936 – American Helen Jacobs wins her only Wimbledon title beating Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling, 6-2 4-6 7-5
  • 1947 – Jack Kramer wins his only Wimbledon singles title beating fellow American Tom Brown, 6-1 6-3 6-2
  • 1952 – Australian Frank Sedgman wins his only Wimbledon singles title beating Czech Jaroslav Drobný, 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2
  • 1953 – Maureen Connolly wins 3rd leg of her Grand Slam beating fellow American Doris Hart, 8-6 7-5
  • 1958 – In an all-Australian final Ashley Cooper wins his only Wimbledon singles title beating Neale Fraser, 3-6 6-3 6-4 13-11
  • 1959 – Maria Bueno of Brazil wins her first of three Wimbledon singles titles beating Darlene Hard, 6-4 6-3
  • 1964 – Brazilian Maria Bueno earns a third Wimbledon singles title with a 6-4 7-9 6-3 win over Margaret Smith of Australia
  • 1969 – Home favourite Ann Jones upsets 3-time defending champion Billie Jean King, 3-6 6-3 6-2
  • 1970 – In an all-Australian thriller, John Newcombe beats Ken Rosewall, 5-7 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1
  • 1975 – Billie Jean King outclasses Evonne Goolagong, 6-0 6-1, for her sixth Wimbledon singles title
  • 1980 – Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley beats Chris Evert, 6-1 7-6, for her third Wimbledon singles crown
  • 1981 – John McEnroe ends Björn Borg’s streak of five straight Wimbledon titles with a famous, 4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4, victory
  • 1982 – In an all-American classic final, Jimmy Connors beats John McEnroe, 3-6 6-3 6-7 7-6 6-4, for his second and final Wimbledon title
  • 1987 – Martina Navratilova earns eighth Wimbledon singles title with a 7-5 6-3 win over Steffi Graf
  • 1988 – Stefan Edberg of Sweden wins his first of two Wimbledon singles titles beating Boris Becker, 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-2, in a rain-affected final
  • 1992 – Steffi Graf wins her fourth of seven Wimbledon singles titles outclassing Monica Seles, 6-2 6-1
  • 1993 – Pete Sampras beats fellow American Jim Courier, 7-6 7-6 3-6 6-3, for his first of seven Wimbledon titles
  • 1998 – Czech Jana Novotná beats Nathalie Tauziat of France, 6-4 7-6, for her first and only Grand Slam singles title
  • 1999 – In an all-American final, Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi, 6-3 6-4 7-5, for his third straight Wimbledon title
  • 2004 – Switzerland’s Roger Federer wins the second of five straight Wimbledon singles titles beating American Andy Roddick, 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-4
  • 2009 – Serena Williams beats older sister Venus, 7-6 6-2, for her third Wimbledon singles title
  • 2010 – Spaniard Rafael Nadal beats Tomáš Berdych, 6-3 7-5 6-4 for his second Wimbledon title

The new grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis Club at Church Road, Wimbledon during The Championships in 1922. The Centre Court building, designed by Stanley Peach, is the focal point

© AELTC


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