Wimbledon 2021 Draw: Bracket, Schedule and Preview of Men's and Women's Events

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2021

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Novak Djokovic of Serbia with the winners trophy after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland (not pictured)  in the Men's Singles Final  at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)
Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty were revealed as the top seeds for the 2021 Wimbledon Championships as part of Friday's tournament draws.

Djokovic is the defending champion on the men's side after beating Roger Federer in a memorable five-set marathon final in 2019. Wimbledon was canceled last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simona Halep, the 2019 women's champ, announced Friday on Instagram she wouldn't be able to defend her title because of a calf injury.

Let's check out all of the important details for tennis' third Grand Slam event of the year. That's followed by an overview of some storylines to watch from both singles brackets.

Key Wimbledon Information

Location: All England Club in London

Scheduled Dates: Monday, June 28 β€” Sunday, July 11

Watch: ESPN and ESPN2

Live StreamWatch ESPN

Men's DrawOfficial Bracket

Women's DrawOfficial Bracket

Tournament Preview

Men's Draw

Djokovic is halfway to the calendar Grand Slam after capturing the Australian Open championship in February and the French Open title in mid-June. He'd become the first men's singles player to accomplish the feat since Rod Laver in 1969. Laver also did it in 1962.

The 34-year-old Serbian superstar has a highly favorable draw in the early rounds. Big-serving Kevin Anderson could pose a little bit of a challenge as a potential second-round opponent, but the No. 1 seed will be a heavy favorite to make it through to the event's second week without much drama.

Given his recent form, Djokovic probably won't face a serious test until a potential quarterfinal matchup with fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev.

Here's a look at all the possible quarterfinals if the seeds hold:

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Gentlemen's Singles - Projected Quarter-finals<br><br>Djokovic vs Rublev<br>Tsitsipas vs Bautista Agut<br>Zverev vs Berrettini<br>Medvedev vs Federer<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>

Federer's return to the All England Club will attract a lot of attention since he dropped out of the French Open after reaching the fourth round to focus on continued recovery from his knee injuries.

"After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation, it's important that I listen to my body and make sure I don't push myself too quickly on my road to recovery," Federer said June 6. "I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court."

The eight-time Wimbledon champion returned to action at the Halle Open in Germany last week, but he suffered a loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second match of the warm-up event.

Federer's uncertain form and fitness make him a longer shot than he'd typically be at Wimbledon, but if there's one major where he's capable of pulling off the unexpected, it's this one.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray was granted a wild card for the event and will look to progress beyond the second round of a major for the first time since 2017 as he's worked to overcome injuries of his own.

The 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner opens with a tough matchup against No. 24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, but there's a definite path for a run if he makes it through that match, especially if 10th-seeded Denis Shapovalov is upset before their possible third-round encounter.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are the other title hopefuls to watch on the men's side.

Women's Draw

Barty was in terrific form heading toward the French Open having won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Germany and reached the final of the Madrid Open in Spain. She was forced to withdraw from the Italian Open and at Roland-Garros because of injuries, however, and she didn't play a grass warm-up event.

It sets the stage for what could be another unpredictable women's draw after the French Open, which saw just one top-10 seed reach the quarterfinals.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Ladies' Singles - Projected Quarter-finals<br><br>Barty (1) vs Andreescu (5)<br>Svitolina (3) vs S.Williams (6)<br><br>Kenin (4) vs Ka. Pliskova (8)<br>Sabalenka (2) vs Swiatek (7)<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>

Serena Williams was among the notable players knocked out earlier than expected in Paris, losing in the fourth round to Elena Rybakina in straight sets.

Williams has captured 23 Grand Slam singles titles, leaving her one short of tying Margaret Court for the all-time record, but that next major championship has been elusive. Her last triumph on one of tennis' biggest stages came at the 2017 Australian Open, though she's reached four finals since that title.

That includes back-to-back trips to the Wimbledon final in 2018 and 2019. She's won the event seven times. So this is a golden opportunity for her to break the drought with no clear favorite in the field.

Beyond Barty and Williams, there's a large group of second-tier contenders all with a realistic chance of making a championship charge. Petra Kvitova, Aryna Sabalenka, Garbine Muguruza, Bianca Andreescu and Iga Swiatek are just a handful of the players from that group.

Coco Gauff is another player to keep tabs on throughout the fortnight. The 17-year-old American reached the quarterfinals of a major for the first time at the French Open, and her game should be even better suited for the grass courts of the All England Club.

"I'm excited to go back for sure. I think my most memorable thing I remember from Wimbledon is just the crowd experience," Gauff said earlier this month after reaching the fourth round in her first appearance at the tournament in 2019.

A possible fourth-round clash between Williams and Gauff would have Match of the Year potential if both players are at their best.