When Wimbledon ended last year, there were two great takeaways from the tournament: Novak Djokovic would soon be pulling away in the grand slam title race and Ash Barty was beginning a new era of dominance.

Both seemed to be knock-ins, and yet neither has come to pass. Djokovic missed out on a calendar Grand Slam in New York before being banished from Australia, and despite drawing level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 grand slams with his Centre Court triumph, he now finds himself two adrift of the Spaniard again.

Barty, meanwhile, has left her own party. The then world number one stunned the tennis world by retiring in March, having added the Australian Open she so craved to her trophy cabinet.

Djokovic and Iga Swiatek head into Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, as the top seeds.

Stats Perform has used Opta facts to consider what the men's and women's singles might deliver.

 

KING ROGER'S REIGN IS OVER, BUT DJOKOVIC AND NADAL KEEP GOING STRONG

There will come a time when the Wimbledon favourite is not one of the 'Big Three'. That time is not now.

Djokovic is the man most likely, as he targets his fourth straight Wimbledon title and seventh overall; since 2011, when he beat Nadal in the final, the Serbian has only been absent from the trophy match three times (in 2012, 2016 and 2017).

His winning run of 21 matches at Wimbledon is the fifth-longest in the men's singles. Bjorn Borg holds the record (41 between 1976 and 1981).

The last player other than Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray to win the Wimbledon men's title was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. Federer is absent this year and may have played his last Wimbledon.

Nadal has won Wimbledon twice, in 2008 and 2010. He won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, the only season of his career when he has won three slams. This year, at the age of 36, he has the Australian and French Open trophies already locked away, potentially halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, last achieved in men's singles in 1969 by Rod Laver.

Should Nadal pull off another major coup, it would make him only the second man in the Open Era (from 1968) to win the season's first three singles slams, after Laver in 1969 and Djokovic last year.

Can the rest hope to compete?

What of Murray? Well, only Federer (19), Sampras (10), Laver and Jimmy Connors (both nine) have won more ATP titles on grass than the Scot in the Open Era. If he recovers from an abdominal strain, he has a shot at reaching the second week. He will of course have the full backing of the Wimbledon crowd.

Last year's runner-up Matteo Berrettini is fancied more than Nadal by many, having won Stuttgart and Queen's Club titles in the build-up.

There has not been an American men's singles champion since 2000, and although the United States has six players seeded, more than any other nation, it seems a safe enough assumption we will be saying a similar thing again in 12 months' time.

Third seed Casper Ruud has never won a singles match at Wimbledon, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has not had a win since reaching the fourth round in 2018. Daniil Medvedev, the world number one, cannot compete at The All England Club after their contentious decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

IF SERENA CAN'T CHALLENGE SWIATEK, WHO CAN?

From the jaws of retirement, Serena Williams is back. Silence from the 40-year-old about her intentions had become almost deafening, and yet here she is, back at Wimbledon on a wildcard, hoping to rekindle the old magic.

Because she has pushed back against the doubters for over two decades now, you have to take this seriously. Her haul of 23 grand slams is one short of Margaret Court's all-time record and Williams would dearly love to at least match it.

Three years ago, Williams became the oldest player to reach Wimbledon's women's singles final when she lost to Simona Halep. Six years ago, she was the oldest champion when she beat Angelique Kerber.

Only four women in the draw this year besides Williams have been champion before: Petra Kvitova (in 2011 and 2014), Garbine Muguruza (in 2017), Kerber (in 2018) and Halep (in 2019).

World number one Iga Swiatek starts as favourite. Junior Wimbledon champion four years ago, she has scooped two women's French Open titles since then and is on a 35-match winning streak.

After triumphing at Roland Garros in early June, Swiatek will hope to become the first woman since Kerber in 2016 (Australian Open and US Open) to win two singles slams in the same season.

The only competitive warm-up for Williams came in two doubles matches at Eastbourne, having not played since sustaining a hamstring injury at Wimbledon last year. The seven-time champion might consider it a challenge that there has never been an unseeded Wimbledon women's singles finalist during the Open Era.

The women's top two seeds have not met in the final since Serena faced her sister Venus in the 2002 title match, so don't hold your breath for a Swiatek versus Anett Kontaveit showpiece on July 9.

Could Gauff be best of the rest?

Coco Gauff made a breakthrough with her run to the French Open final. Although she was blown away by Swiatek, for the 18-year-old American it was another mark of progress. Gauff reached the fourth round in Wimbledon in 2019 (lost to Halep) and 2021 (lost to Kerber).

Fitness is likely to be the key factor in how US Open champion Emma Raducanu fares at her home grand slam, given her injury problems. Raducanu reached the fourth round on a wildcard last year and the 19-year-old will attempt to become the first British woman to reach that stage in back-to-back seasons since Jo Durie (1984, 1985).

Ons Jabeur, meanwhile, should not be discounted. The world number three reached the quarter-finals at SW19 last year and heads to Wimbledon having won on grass at the Berlin Open, albeit Belinda Bencic had retired hurt in the final.

The likes of Gauff, Raducanu and 21-year-old Swiatek will attempt to become the youngest woman to lift the trophy since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova triumphed in 2004.

A first-round exit for Swiatek would leave the event wide open, but don't count on it. In the Open Era, only three times has the top-seeded woman lost in round one: Steffi Graf in 1994 and Martina Hingis in 1999 and 2001.

Novak Djokovic says he has "nothing but respect" for Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard strives to create "even more of a successful legacy".

Nadal now has 22 majors to his name after winning the Australian Open and French Open this year – two more than Djokovic and Swiss great Roger Federer.

Victory at the French Open earlier in June was Nadal's 14th at Roland Garros, which is a whopping eight more than anyone else in the open era.

Djokovic, who kicks off his bid for a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title against Kwon Soon-woo on Monday, is in awe of Nadal's achievements, describing the 36-year-old as an "amazing champion".

"He had a surgery in the second part of the last year and coming back after that and winning a grand slam right away is something that is really impressive," the Serbian told a media conference on Saturday.

"[He is] making history with grand slam wins and at Roland Garros, the tournament where he has won most titles.

"Just for what he has achieved, keeps on doing on the court; he has a great fighting spirit, and he is an amazing champion.

"Just in general, the things he is trying to do to create even more of a successful legacy is something you have to respect and admire even though I am one of his biggest rivals. I have nothing but respect for what he has achieved."

Djokovic's refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccination has hampered his playing time this year, yet the 35-year-old is confident that will not hold him back as he bids for a seventh title at The All England Club.

"I didn't have any lead up tournaments but I've had success at Wimbledon before without having any official matches," he added.

"I had success with adapting quickly to the surface so there is no reason to believe why I cannot do it again. I'm very pleased and happy to be back at the tournament that was always my childhood dream, the one I wanted to win. Hopefully I continue that run.

"I would love to be in the position to fight for another trophy, I would like to be in the last match and eventually make history at this tournament.

"As a seven, eight-year-old boy I dreamed of winning Wimbledon and becoming number one. That was the biggest motivation I had as a kid.

"Pete Sampras, when he won his first Wimbledon, was the first tennis I watched on the TV. Pete has won it seven times. Hopefully I can do the same this year."

Novak Djokovic has accepted it is unlikely he will play at the US Open, as the Wimbledon top seed insisted he has not changed his mind on the COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic was unable to compete at the Australian Open earlier in 2022 after he was deported – following a drawn-out legal case with Australia's federal government – for not being vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Serbian has spoken out against mandatory vaccinations and when asked on Saturday by reporters at Wimbledon if he had closed his mind to the idea of being vaccinated before the US Open begins, he said "yes".

That means, as it stands, Djokovic will be unable to enter the United States due to being unvaccinated.

However, while frustrated that he will likely miss out on another grand slam this year, the 35-year-old suggested he is now even more motivated to go on and win Wimbledon for a seventh time, which would take him level with Pete Sampras and behind only Roger Federer, who has eight All England Club titles to his name.

Djokovic told reporters: "As of today I'm not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances. That is an extra motivation to do well here.

"Hopefully I can have a very good tournament as I have done in the last three editions. Then I'll have to wait and see.

"I'd love to go to the States but as of today that's not possible. There's not much I can do any more. It's up to the U.S. government on whether they allow unvaccinated people to go into the country."

Djokovic was at the centre of the controversy ahead of the season's first major, but the third grand slam of 2022 has been contentious for other reasons.

The All England Club made the decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian players, including men's world number one Daniil Medvedev, from competing, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The call received criticism and, as a result, Wimbledon has been stripped of any ranking points by the WTA and ATP.

However, Djokovic is no longer as concerned about those points as he once was, as he instead looks to move back to within one major title of Rafael Nadal, whose tally stands at 22.

"I don't want to say ranking points are not important for me, of course they are, but they are not as important as they were for me," he said.

"Now I'm not really chasing the ranking as much as I have. I was breaking the record for longest weeks at number one and after that it wasn't as important for me in terms of priority.

"Of course, I understand that 90 per cent of players will be more affected by the points. Of course this year I did not have the chance to defend 4,000 points in Australia but my priorities now are different so I’m not as affected."

Djokovic, though, does feel it is harsh that Russian and Belarusian athletes are unable to play at SW19.

He said: "I just don't see how they have contributed to anything that has happened. I don't feel it’s fair. 

"I feel like they deserve to win, compete, they are professional athletes. None of them have supported any war or anything like that. 

"I understand both sides. It's hard to say what is right and wrong. Putting myself in a position where someone would ban me from playing because of circumstances that I have not contributed – I do not think that is fair."

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic will take centre stage on day one at Wimbledon along with home hopes Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray.

The All England Club has announced the schedule of play for Monday, when the 2022 tournament will get under way.

As is tradition for the defending champion, Djokovic, who defeated Matteo Berrettini in last year's men's singles final, will take part in the first match on Centre Court when he plays against Kwon Soon-woo.

Djokovic will be bidding for a fourth Wimbledon title in succession following triumphs in 2018, 2019 and 2021, after the cancellation of the 2020 championships.

US Open champion Raducanu has also been selected to appear at Centre Court on the opening day.

Raducanu will take on Alison Van Uytvanck hoping to kick off a successful campaign in front of her home crowd, having burst onto the scene at Wimbledon last year with a shock run to the fourth round.

And another Briton, two-time winner Andy Murray, will be involved in the third and final match on the prestigious court when he faces James Duckworth of Australia.

Murray will be hoping to better last year's third-round berth at SW19 after impressively reaching the Stuttgart Open final this month, losing to Berrettini after notable wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios.

Ons Jabeur, Angelique Kerber and Carlos Alcaraz are the big names selected for action on Court One on Monday.

And it has been confirmed that, in the absence of retired champion Ash Barty, women's number one seed Iga Swiatek will open the action on Centre Court on Tuesday when she plays Jana Fett. Swiatek said she felt "very privileged" to be opening the proceedings on day two.

Rafael Nadal, who has won the opening two men's grand slams this year, is also expected to begin his campaign on day two, as is seven-time women’s champion Serena Williams on her return from injury.

Rafael Nadal does not know how long his troublesome foot will hold up and cannot be "super happy" while the threat of injury lingers, but he is ready to attack Wimbledon.

Nadal, the 22-time major champion, is halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, having won the Australian Open and French Open.

Yet those successes have come despite a long-term foot problem he has battled, requiring pain-killing injections before every match at Roland Garros.

Nadal's Wimbledon participation was in question for some time, but he underwent two courses of radiofrequency injections in a bid to ease the pain and be fit enough to challenge at the All England Club.

That is now the case, he says, even if he has to accept his status is unpredictable day to day.

"It's obvious that if I am here, it's because things are going better," the Spaniard told a news conference. "If not, I would not be here.

"So I'm quite happy about [how] the things have evolved. I can't be super happy because I don't know what can happen.

"First of all, I can walk normal most of the days, almost every single day. That's for me the main issue. When I wake up, I don't have this pain that I was having for the last year and a half, so I'm quite happy about that.

"And second thing: practising. I have been overall better.

"Since the last two weeks, I didn't have one day of these terrible days that I can't move at all. Of course, [some] days are better; [some] days are little bit worse."

He added: "I can't tell you if I'm going to be in that positive moment for one week, for two days, or for three months.

"Of course, the treatment that I did didn't fix my injury. It is not improving my injury at all but can take out a little bit the pain. That's the main goal.

"Sometimes the things in the medical world, mathematics is not predictable 100 per cent.

"But in theory, that can help the foot because it's about the nerve. You touch the nerve, so then the nerve is like asleep in some way for a while, but then recovers.

"So how long the nerve is going to be that way, I can't tell you. It's something that we need to discover."

Taylor Fritz earned his third ATP Tour title and second at the Eastbourne International as he defeated fellow American Maxime Cressy 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) in Saturday's final.

Three years on from Fritz's breakthrough tour triumph against Sam Querrey – another compatriot – at the same event, the world number 24 was celebrating again in the last tournament before Wimbledon.

Paris-born opponent Cressy had defeated a trio of home hopefuls in succession in Britons Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper to reach this stage, but Fritz had just too much.

While the Indian Wells Masters champion had not lost a break all week and maintained that record through the decider, he was taken all the way.

"I played about as well as I could possibly play today, and it still came down to the final couple of points," Fritz said afterwards. "It couldn't have been much closer."

That had not appeared likely after an opener in which Fritz's return game dominated 6ft 6in serve-and-volley specialist Cressy, who was broken immediately following a double-fault.

That was one of four in the first set – as many as in three against Draper – as Cressy won just half of his service points, broken again to love.

Yet neither player faced another break point, with a pair of tie-breaks required to settle the title.

The first went the way of Cressy, forcing a decider as a pair of powerful forehands finally broke down Fritz, but he required treatment between sets and had clearly tired by the closing stages.

The latest in a series of Fritz lobs proved beyond Cressy, not that the result should have come as any surprise – improving the champion's career record in deciding tie-breaks to an astonishing 20-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut stands in the way of Stefanos Tsitsipas and his first grass-court title.

Making his debut at the Mallorca Championships, Tsitsipas sealed his maiden appearance in a grass-court final by cruising past Benjamin Bonzi 6-4 6-4 on Friday.

The world number six has now reached four finals this season, having lost two of the previous three – winning on clay at the Monte Carlo Masters.

It was the second meeting between the pair in as many weeks, with the Greek having also downed Bonzi at the Halle Open.

And Tsitsipas now has a chance to warm up for Wimbledon in winning fashion.

"It was a good match. I am very happy today," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "I have played a final a week before a grand slam before. It was the year I made the final at Roland Garros, in Lyon.

"It worked out pretty well to have that final and consistency of matches. It is different this time. We are talking about a different surface, so we will see."

Tsitsipas has now claimed a tour-leading 39 wins this season, but standing between the 23-year-old and silverware is Spaniard Bautista Agut, who reached a 20th career final by beating Antoine Bellier 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Like Tsitsipas, Bautista Agut is aiming for a second title of the season.

At the Eastbourne International, two Americans will vie for the title after Indian Wells Masters champion Taylor Fritz saw off a tough challenge from Alex de Minaur while Maxime Cressy defeated home favourite Jack Draper 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

Fritz, who triumphed at Eastbourne in 2019 – similarly against an American, in Sam Querrey – but has found his best form hard to come by of late, also needed three sets to get the better of De Minaur, eventually succeeding 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

"It's amazing," Fritz said. "I was having a bit of a rough start coming back from injury to the grass season, and then I came here and the first day I was here I just immediately felt like I was playing good tennis again.

"I just have a lot of confidence being here, obviously great memories, so I'm really excited to come back out and play for the title again."

Carlos Alcaraz does not believe he should be considered among the favourites to win Wimbledon given his lack of experience playing on grass. 

The teenage Spaniard is enjoying a breakout season, having won a pair of ATP Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid and picked up further silverware in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. 

Alcaraz has been seeded fifth for just his second main-draw appearance at Wimbledon. Last year, he beat Yasutaka Uchiyama in five sets before falling to a straight-sets defeat against Daniil Medvedev. 

They are Alcaraz's only ATP Tour-level matches on grass, so his main focus heading to the All England Club is to simply improve his feel for the surface. 

"I don't mind being in the spotlight, I don't see it as pressure, but I've seen that I'm considered one of the favourites for Wimbledon. I don't see it that way at all," Alcaraz told the Spanish media. 

"There are many players who play better than me on grass. [Novak] Djokovic, Rafa [Rafael Nadal], [Matteo] Berrettini... We are going to try to gain experience on this surface. 

"Knowing how to move well on grass is very important. I think it's the key to being able to get good results. We're trying to improve in mobility and the small details that are more important on this surface. 

"Being more aggressive, trying to take advantage of the fact that I volley well – those things." 

Alcaraz is playing an exhibition tournament at Hurlingham this week and lost his opening match against Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-2 on Thursday. 

The world number seven has been struggling with an elbow issue, but experienced no discomfort during his defeat. 

"A week ago, I couldn't train at all," he added. "I came here unsure if I was going to be able to play normally.

"The days I've been able to train I've felt quite well – zero pain in the elbow – and today there was no pain in the match with Tiafoe."

Nick Kyrgios has lamented the ATP Tour trialling off-court coaching, warning tennis will lose one of the "unique traits that no other sport had".

The ATP announced on Tuesday that off-court coaching will be tested in the second half of the season, with coaching permitted by a designated person in qualifying and main draw matches.

Verbal coaching will be permitted when players are at the same side of the court as their coach, with non-verbal instructions – for example hand signals – allowed at any time.

Patrick Mouratoglou coached former world number one Serena Williams and now works with Simona Halep, and was quick to welcome the introduction.

Mouratoglou suggested the coaching methods have been used at "almost every match for decades".

While Mouratoglou was a vocal supporter of the ATP decision, Kyrgios – who pulled out of the Mallorca Championships with injury – hit back and slammed the proposed changes.

"Completely disagree. Loses one of the only unique traits that no other sport had," Kyrgios responded to Mouratoglou's post on Twitter.

"The player had to figure out things on his own. That was the beauty of it. What happens if a high-profile player versus a low-ranked player who doesn't have or [cannot] afford a coach?"

The trial commences on July 11 and will be evaluated at the end of the 2022 season, to assess the potential inclusion of off-court coaching in subsequent seasons.

Daniil Medvedev eventually mastered the windy conditions as he came from behind to keep his Mallorca Championships defence alive, but Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman crashed out in Eastbourne. 

World number one Medvedev fought back from a set down to defeat Aslan Karatsev 3-6 6-4 6-2 and advance to a quarter-final against fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who was granted a walkover after Nick Kyrgios pulled out with an abdominal issue. 

The Russian got just 48 per cent of his first serves in during a blustery opening set before improving to 68 per cent in the second and controlling the decider as Karatsev struggled with injury. 

"It was tough to play [in] rhythm. It felt like many points were just whoever managed to put the ball in the court was going to win the point," Medvedev said of the tricky conditions. 

"It was not easy but I'm happy to win because that's the most important [thing]. 

"Last year was amazing. I played great tennis. Hopefully I can do the same this year. I like it here in Mallorca, so hopefully I can stay as long as possible in the tournament." 

Alongside Medvedev and Bautista Agut, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the only other seed left in the draw after he overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4. 

Denis Shapovalov was a 6-4 6-1 loser against Benjamin Bonzi, Pablo Carreno Busta went down 6-3 6-4 to Antoine Bellier and Sebastian Baez's meeting with Daniel Altmaier ended in a 6-2 2-6 6-4 defeat for the Argentine. 

At the Eastbourne International, second seed Sinner suffered a 6-3 3-6 6-3 loss to Tommy Paul as he made his return from a knee injury sustained at the French Open.

World number 13 Sinner remains without a grass-court win in his ATP Tour career, while Paul will next face defending champion Alex de Minaur, who overcame Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in a repeat of last year's final. 

Jack Draper defeated fourth seed Diego Schwartzman 7-5 7-6 (7-3) to advance to the quarter-finals and Cameron Norrie cruised past Brandon Nakashima in straight sets.

There were also wins for Maxime Cressy, Alexander Bublik and Taylor Fritz. 

Ryan Peniston stunned French Open quarter-finalist Holger Rune at the Eastbourne International to continue his strong form on the grass.

Peniston beat world number five Casper Ruud as he reached the quarter-finals at the Queen's Club Championships last week, and followed that up by recovering from a set down against Rune to reach Eastbourne's last 16 in impressive fashion.

After wrapping up a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win, the 26-year-old told the home crowd: "I'm very happy with that. A tough start but I managed to fight, thanks to you guys.

"Since Queen's it has been madness. A couple of weeks ago was a lot different and things have changed, but I'm loving it."

Rune, who was twice two points from victory in an enthralling contest, was jeered by spectators after hitting a ball out of court and kicking his towel bin after being broken in the third set.

Peniston will face Pedro Martinez in the next round after he benefited from fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina being forced to retire at one set apiece, while Ugo Humbert fell to a 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4 reverse against Brazil's Thiago Monteiro.

Lorenzo Sonego posted a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) win over James Duckworth, while Tommy Paul recovered from a set down to beat Francisco Cerundolo and home favourite Dan Evans overcame Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3.

The seeds in action at the Mallorca Open endured mixed fortunes as Sebastian Baez cruised past Jordan Thompson in straight sets, but Botic van de Zandschulp was beaten by Marcos Giron.

The Dutchman succumbed to a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-6 (7-2) defeat, while Germany's Daniel Altmaier beat Dusan Lajovic 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

Nick Kyrgios set up an enticing last-16 meeting with fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut by knocking out Serbia's Laslo Djere in a marathon three-set contest, recovering to win 5-7 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-1).

Nick Kyrgios has become the first star to sign up to Naomi Osaka's sports agency. 

Australian Kyrgios was described by four-time grand slam winner Osaka as possessing an "unmatched style", while her business partner Stuart Duguid said the controversial ATP Tour player was "absolutely the icon" for young tennis fans. 

Osaka and Duguid, her long-time agent, announced the Evolve agency in May as both left IMG. 

Kyrgios, the extravagantly gifted world number 45, has won six career titles on the ATP Tour and has a world ranking high of number 13, with many considering him an unfulfilled talent. 

The 27-year-old won the Australian Open doubles title alongside countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis in January, and in singles he has reached consecutive semi-finals in his past three tournaments in Houston, Stuttgart and Halle. 

Osaka told Boardroom.TV that Kyrgios "embodies the types of athletes we want to work with". 

"He's got an unmatched style, passion and personality that is unlike any other in the sport," Osaka added. 

Duguid said: "Nick is the most talented and entertaining tennis player on the tour, bar none. His energy is infectious. And love or hate him, you definitely can't keep your eyes off him. For Gen Z and younger, he is absolutely the icon." 

While Kyrgios is planning to play at Wimbledon next week, Osaka will be absent, with the former world number one troubled by an Achilles injury. 

Ilya Ivashka earned a meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Mallorca Championships, while Alex de Minaur got his Eastbourne International defence up and running with a straight-sets win on Monday.

A comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory over Emil Ruusuvuori sent Ivashka into the second round, where world number six Tsitsipas awaits after receiving a bye.

Mallorca third seed Denis Shapovalov will face Benjamin Bonzi who benefited as Alejandro Tabilo retired while trailing 6-3 4-2 to the Frenchman.

Roberto Bautista Agut overcame Taro Daniel 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to advance, while Antoine Bellier defeated Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (8-6) and Feliciano Lopez fell to a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) loss to Tallon Griekspoor.

De Minaur took an hour and 23 minutes to get past Cristian Garin 6-3 6-3 for a strong start in his bid to retain the trophy in Eastbourne.

The Australian will either face compatriot James Duckworth or Lorenzo Sonego, who he defeated in the final last year, in round two.

Fifth seed Reilly Opelka fell to a 6-3 6-1 defeat against tournament debutant Maxime Cressy, while Alexander Bublik was three points away from losing to Frances Tiafoe before rallying back to win 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-0.

Bublik will face John Millman next after the Australian overcame Sebastian Korda 6-3 7-6 (7-5), while top seed Cameron Norrie awaits Brandon Nakashima and Diego Schwartzman is next in line for Jack Draper.

Korda withdrew from Wimbledon after the defeat to Millman, the 21-year-old American saying on Twitter he was suffering with "terrible shin splints and beaten up feet" and needed a rest.

World number one Daniil Medvedev is through to the quarter-finals of the Halle Open after beating Ilya Ivashka in a routine straight-sets win.   Medvedev only played and defeated the Belarusian six days ago at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships, and triumphed again as he came through in Germany 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.   After saving three set points to stay in the opening set, Medvedev sealed it on a tie-break, before easing through in the second.   "He is a great player," Medvedev said of Ivashka after the win. "He had a lot of bad luck with injuries at the beginning of the season. At the end of last season he was playing really great tennis.   "I've known him since I was very young, we actually played in Futures, Challengers, and on the ATP Tour. He beat me once in the Davis Cup, which is a really important tournament. So he knows how to play tennis, he knows how to play well on grass, so I'm really happy that two times in a row I managed to pass a tough test."   He will now play seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the last eight after the Spaniard beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2.   Eighth seed Karen Khachanov is also through after defeating Serbian Laslo Djere 7-6 (7-4) 6-4, and will face Oscar Otte after the German overcame Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-0 7-6 (7-3).

At the Queen's Club Championships, second seed Matteo Berrettini came from a set down to finally see off Denis Kudla, winning 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Defending champion Berrettini was troubled by the world number 82, and was just a tie-break away from suffering an upset, but the Italian came through as he belted down 22 aces in the match.

Berrettini faces Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals after the American beat Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets, 6-4 6-1.

Ryan Peniston carried on from knocking out number one seed Casper Ruud by beating Francisco Cerundolo 6-0 4-6 6-4, setting up a last eight clash with Filip Krajinovic after he came from behind to defeat Sam Querrey 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Serena Williams' return to Wimbledon represents a "great example" to other players, according to Nick Kyrgios, who said tennis fans should not take her or other fellow greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, for granted.

Comparing the quartet to four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, Kyrgios says sports fans should enjoy the legends' "amazing" exploits while they still can.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Williams – who has not played competitively since losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon last year – has been handed a singles wildcard to compete at the year's tournament, which begins later this month. 

Williams, now aged 40 and ranked 1,208th in the world, has won seven singles titles at Wimbledon, the last of which came in 2016, and 23 grand slams in total.

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