Wimbledon 2016: Schedule, Dates, Times, Live Stream and Predictions

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2016

Novak Djokovic is a clear favorite to win at Wimbledon again this year.
Novak Djokovic is a clear favorite to win at Wimbledon again this year.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

There's little doubt that Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis tournament of the year, featuring the best players in the world competing for the sport's grandest prize.

Novak Djokovic was victorious a year ago, and he is the top seed on the men's side as the tournament gets set to begin Monday.

The fortnight will conclude July 10 with the men's singles final.

While none of the first-round matches have been assigned specific times yet, the outside-court matches will begin Monday at 6:30 a.m. ET, and Centre Court and No. 1 Court matches will get underway at 8 a.m. ET.

On the women's side, defending champion Serena Williams comes in as the No. 1 seed, and she needs to play with a sense of urgency. Since winning last year's title, she has failed in her last three Grand Slam events.

Garbine Muguruza took the French Open title at Roland Garros with a victory over Williams in the final, and she is the No. 2 seed. If she can also come up with a victory over Serena on grass, a power shift in the women's game could finally begin.

ESPN tennis analyst Chris Evert spoke about Williams' recent troubles in the Grand Slam events during a conference call and noted Serena may be feeling some nerves, per Tennis Panorama

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I think it has gotten to her a little bit nerve-wise, no doubt about it. Especially against [Angelique] Kerber and against Muguruza, she wasn’t able to dig herself out of the hole like she has in past years, which was surprising to see that, because that’s what she is infamous for.

When she’s down, she can get that next gear, that next level, play some great tennis. We didn’t see that in both those matches when she was in trouble. That tells me something is holding her back, and it could be nerves.

If Djokovic is going to win his third consecutive Wimbledon title and fourth overall, he is going to have to overcome his usual rivals.

If the seeding holds up, Djokovic and third-seeded Roger Federer would face each other in the semifinals, with the winner getting a chance to try his luck with Andy Murray, the No. 2 seed.

Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

Federer put up a good fight last year before losing the final to Djokovic in four sets.

Djokovic has completed his own version of the single-year Grand Slam, having won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2015 as well as the Australian Open and French Open this year.

Djokovic is at the point in his career where it would take a major upset to beat him at any stage of the tournament as long as he remains healthy.

It looks like Murray will be his primary competition, since Federer has struggled with back and knee injuries.

Djokovic is a powerful 2-3 favorite, according to Odds Shark, while Murray is the second choice at 7-2. Federer, who last won at Wimbledon in 2012, is the third choice at 12-1, while Milos Raonic is the fourth choice at 14-1.

No one else on the men's side of the draw has odds lower than 20-1.

On the women's side, Williams is the 3-2 favorite, followed by Muguruza at 11-2 and Petra Kvitova at 6-1.

No other woman in the draw has odds lower than 10-1.

Wimbledon will be televised in the United States by ESPN and the Tennis Channel, and it can be live-streamed at Wimbledon.com and on WatchESPN.

Garbine Muguruza is a major threat to knock off Serena Williams.
Garbine Muguruza is a major threat to knock off Serena Williams.Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Predictions

Djokovic and Williams are the clear favorites in the tournament, but a repeat victory for both No. 1 seeds may not be in the cards.

Djokovic should have things his way up until the championship round, when he will most likely face Murray. It appears that Murray has a better chance of beating Djokovic than Federer does at this point in his career. However, if Federer can win a set from Djokovic in the semifinals, the crowd will get behind him enthusiastically.

We expect Djokovic to find a way to beat Federer and outlast Murray to win his third straight Wimbledon title.

It may not be as easy for Williams. She has not been the same player since losing at the U.S. Open, when she was going for the calendar-year Grand Slam, and her loss in New York appears to have deflated her.

Look for Muguruza to follow up her French Open victory with a huge win at Wimbledon.