While names like Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova continue to rest atop the tennis landscape, the journey to crowning recent Grand Slam winners has been anything but predictable—meaning the 2014 iteration of the Wimbledon Championships will provide more classic action.
The fixture of each calendar season in London always draws the sport's top names, but does not always see the usual suspects emerge from the grass courts as winners of the bracket (Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli won in 2013).
The 128th Wimbledon kicks off on Monday, and if recent events like the French Open are any indication, fans won't want to miss out on the opening round this time.
Let's take a look at the complete Day 1 info.
|Date||Time (ET)||Round||Watch||Live Stream|
|June 22||7:00 am - 11:30||First||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
|June 22||11:30 am - 4:00 pm||First||ESPNews||Watch ESPN|
|June 22||2:00 pm - 3:30 pm||First||ESPN2||Watch ESPN|
Note: Tournament can be viewed online at WatchESPN.
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Paula Kania||vs.||Na Li||Centre Court||Na Li|
|Victoria Azarenka||vs.||Mirjana Lucic-Baroni||No. 1||Victoria Azarenka|
|Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor||vs.||Venus Williams||No. 2||Venus Williams|
|Andreea Mitu||vs.||Agnieszka Radwanska||No. 2||Andreea Mitu|
|Yanina Wickmayer||vs.||Samantha Stosur||No. 3||Samantha Stosur|
|Petra Kvitova||vs.||Andrea Hlavackova||No. 3||Petra Kvitova|
|Johanna Konta||vs.||Shuai Peng||No. 12||Johanna Konta|
|Caroline Wozniacki||vs.||Shahar Peer||No. 12||Caroline Wozniacki|
|Sloane Stephens||vs.||Maria Kirilenko||No. 18||Sloane Stephens|
|Svetlana Kuznetsova||vs.||Michelle Larcher De Brito||No. 18||Svetlana Kuznetsova|
|Mona Barthel||vs.||Romina Oprandi||No. 8||Romina Oprandi|
|Naomi Broady||vs.||Timea Babos||No. 16||Naomi Broady|
|Sara Errani||vs.||Caroline Garcia||No. 16||Sara Errani|
|Kimiko Date-Krumm||vs.||Ekaterina Makarova||No. 17||Ekaterina Makarova|
|Kurumi Nara||vs.||Anna-Lena Friedsam||No. 17||Kurumi Nara|
|Elena Vesnina||vs.||Patricia Mayr-Achleitner||No. 4||Elena Vesnina|
|Jana Cepelova||vs.||Flavia Pennetta||No. 4||Jana Cepelova|
|Stefanie Voegele||vs.||Jarmila Gajdosova||No. 5||Stefanie Voegele|
|Tereza Smitkova||vs.||Su-Wei Hsieh||No. 5||Tereza Smitkova|
|Ana Konjuh||vs.||Marina Erakovic||No. 6||Ana Konjuh|
|Vania King||vs.||Yvonne Meusburger||No. 6||Vania King|
|Polona Hercog||vs.||Paula Ormaechea||No. 7||Polona Hercog|
|Lauren Davis||vs.||Alisa Kleybanova||No. 7||Lauren Davis|
|Coco Vandeweghe||vs.||Garbine Muguruza||No. 7||Coco Vandeweghe|
|Alla Kudryavtseva||vs.||Barbora Zahlavova Strycova||No. 9||Alla Kudryavtseva|
|Anett Kontaveit||vs.||Casey Dellacqua||No. 9||Casey Dellacqua|
|Lucie Safarova||vs.||Julia Goerges||No. 10||Lucie Safarova|
|Misaki Doi||vs.||Elina Svitolina||No. 11||Misaki Doi|
|Johanna Larsson||vs.||Bojana Jovanovski||No. 11||Johanna Larsson|
|Monica Niculescu||vs.||Alison Van Uytvanck||No. 19||Monica Niculescu|
|Aleksandra Wozniak||vs.||Dominika Cibulkova||TBD||Dominika Cibulkova|
|Tsvetana Pironkova||vs.||Varvara Lepchenko||TBD||Varvara Lepchenko|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Andy Murray||vs.||David Goffin||Centre Court||Andy Murray|
|Novak Djokovic||vs.||Andrey Golubev||Centre Court||Novak Djokovic|
|Grigor Dimitrov||vs.||Ryan Harrison||No. 1||Grigor Dimitrov|
|Jurgen Melzer||vs.||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||No. 1||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|
|Victor Hanescu||vs.||Tomas Berdych||No. 2||Tomas Berdych|
|Andrey Kuznetsov||vs.||Daniel Evans||No. 2||Daniel Evans|
|Mikhail Youzhny||vs.||James Ward||No. 3||James Ward|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||vs.||David Ferrer||No. 3||David Ferrer|
|Dustin Brown||vs.||Marcos Baghdatis||No. 12||Dustin Brown|
|Andreas Haider-Maurer||vs.||Kyle Edmund||No. 12||Kyle Edmund|
|Jeremy Chardy||vs.||Daniel Cox||No. 18||Jeremy Chardy|
|Alex Kuznetsov||vs.||Fabio Fognini||No. 18||Fabio Fognini|
|Marinko Matosevic||vs.||Fernando Verdasco||No. 8||Fernando Verdasco|
|Bernard Tomic||vs.||Evgeny Donskoy||No. 8||Evgeny Donskoy|
|Konstantin Kravchuk||vs.||Gilles Simon||No. 16||Gilles Simon|
|Kevin Anderson||vs.||Aljaz Bedene||No. 16||Aljaz Bedene|
|Marin Cilic||vs.||Paul-Henri Mathieu||No. 17||Marin Cilic|
|Samuel Groth||vs.||Alexandr Dolgopolov||No. 17||Samuel Groth|
|Andreas Seppi||vs.||Leonardo Mayer||No. 4||Leonardo Mayer|
|Bradley Klahn||vs.||Sam Querrey||No. 4||Sam Querrey|
|Pablo Andujar||vs.||Blaz Rola||No. 5||Blaz Rola|
|Filippo Volandri||vs.||Edouard Roger-Vasselin||No. 5||Filippo Volandri|
|Steve Johnson||vs.||Roberto Bautista Agut||No. 6|
|Donald Young||vs.||Benjamin Becker||No. 6||Benjamin Becker|
|Teymuraz Gabashvili||vs.||Tim Puetz||No. 7||Tim Puetz|
|Jimmy Wang||vs.||Alejandro Gonzalez||No. 9||Jimmy Wang|
|Radek Stepanek||vs.||Pablo Cuevas||No. 9||Radek Stepanek|
|Sergiy Stakhovsky||vs.||Carlos Berlocq||No. 10||Carlos Berlocq|
|Tobias Kamke||vs.||Jan Hernych||No. 10||Tobias Kamke|
|Luke Saville||vs.||Dominic Thiem||No. 11||Dominic Thiem|
|Ernests Gulbis||vs.||Jurgen Zopp||No. 19||Ernests Gulbis|
|Robin Haase||vs.||Vasek Pospisil||No. 19||Vasek Pospisil|
Top Matchups of Day 1
Andy Murray vs. David Goffin
It's no small caveat to enter a bracket that includes the likes of Nadal—even if it does not take place on clay—and other names before advancing to the final and taking down Novak Djokovic in a classic.
Alas, that is the weight Murray has placed on himself as the reigning champ as he enters Monday's action.
For his part, Murray seems more than ready to tackle a daunting field once more, as captured by Wimbledon's Twitter account and Ben Rosenthal of The New York Times:
Andy Murray enters press wearing a shirt reading "Break Your Own Record." It's been 11 months since a British man won #Wimbledon, after all.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 22, 2014
To be somewhat brutally honest, David Goffin—ranked No. 104 in the world—won't put up much of a fight. The Belgian just seems happy to be in the bracket, as he told Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian:
It is a tough draw but a great match to look forward to. It should be a nice moment, a real experience for me. Andy is the defending champion, a great champion. I can only hope that I am able to play well and enjoy what happens. To play on this court, on this beautiful grass, on the first day, it is a dream really.
The real story is watching what sort of form Murray is in as he preps for a title defense. Momentum gained or lack thereof could speak volumes about his chances of making it far enough to encounter a Nadal or Djokovic. Bank on a strong showing with the future in mind.
Prediction: Murray wins, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe vs. Garbine Muguruza
Yes, heavyweights like Li Na are in action Monday, but with how unpredictable the women's draw has been as of late, it is time to narrow in on some possible upset specialists who can run the bracket given the right factors.
How about American Coco Vandeweghe, who started out in qualifiers before running the table just days earlier to emerge triumphant at the 2014 Topshelf Open?
After navigating a draw that included five top 20 opponents, it is hard to bet against the momentum established by the 22-year-old upstart.
Garbine Muguruza is another fast riser in the sport, but Vandeweghe took down the Spaniard in the quarterfinals on the way to her title with relative ease. Given the quick turnaround, expect the American to keep her hot streak and new-found confidence alive as she kicks off what may be another surprising campaign.
Prediction: Vandeweghe wins, 6-4, 6-2
Pablo Carreno Busta vs. David Ferrer
Normally David Ferrer would not get the nod as a highlight match, but a recent bout with illness that saw him bow out of the Topshelf Open has him under the microscope as an upset candidate on Monday.
Fortunately for all involved, Ferrer is healthy once more and ready to compete, per Sports Illustrated:
Translation of LRT: David Ferrer saw the doctor and he’s good to go. Headed to London for Wimbledon. #atp— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) June 18, 2014
For an additional layer of intrigue, look no further than Pablo Carreno Busta, who is the up-and-comer in this all-Spanish matchup. Just 22 years old, Carreno Busta will play his first-ever main draw match on the London grass as he hopes to secure somewhat of a passing-of-the-torch moment a season removed from a staggering 92-18 record.
The spectacle in London is the only Grand Slam Ferrer has failed to reach the final four in, although he has made the quarterfinals in each of the past two years—career bests and a steady improvement.
Something has to give, so be sure to catch the showdown.
Prediction: Ferrer wins, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
Note: All info courtesy of Wimbledon.com unless otherwise specified.