Wimbledon prepares to welcome tennis fans to a socially-distanced grand slam

·1-min read
 (AP)
(AP)

Wimbledon is limbering up for a championship like no other with social distancing and masks to the fore.

Fans arriving at the historic event on Monday will be greeted by signs calling for social distancing and mask wearing while they will also be urged to have their Covid status certificates ready.

The certificates - either showing a negative test or proof of double vaccination - form part of the event’s Covid-19 measures which also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all areas, expect when eating or drinking.

Wimbledon’s singles matches begin on Monday, June 28. The doubles draws then kick off on June 30 - with mixed doubles not starting until July 2.

The tournament’s finals weekend - on July 10 and 11 - will welcome full houses after the Government boosted capacities to an assortment of summer sports events.

It was announced on Friday that Andy Murray will make his Wimbledon return with a tricky-looking clash against 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili while teenage wild card Jack Draper has drawn defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Murray is playing singles at the All England Club for the first time since his hip problems became acute in 2017 and has ongoing concerns over a groin issue.

He has played only four tour-level matches this year and will have his work cut out against Georgian Basilashvili, who has won two titles in 2021 and reached the semi-finals of the grass-court event in Halle last week.

Draper, 19, showed he loves the big stage by winning his first two ATP Tour matches at Queen’s Club last week and he will find himself on the biggest stage of all against Djokovic.

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