The 131st edition of the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Tennis Championships – better known as Wimbledon for the London suburb it is located in – opens on July 3, 2017. Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam tennis tournament played on grass, is considered the “holy grail” of tennis, a tournament with so much tradition and history that it has become legendary in status. Because of this status, it only makes sense that one of its main sponsors has been Rolex since 1978. These days, however, there are a multitude of fine watches sported by players within the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Here’s a preview of some you might be able to spot if you happen to be on location or watching the tournament on television.
Three-time Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic remains one of the favorites to take home the 2017 title. Seeded second despite being ranked 4 by the governing body of the men’s tour, the ATP, the tournament organizers obviously expect great things of the Serb at the 2017 edition. He is currently wearing a limited edition Seiko Astron SSE143 (see Serving An Ace: Novak Djokovic’s Limited Edition Seiko Astron SSE143) as a Seiko ambassador, but not on court.
Rafael Nadal, though a clay-court specialist, is also a favorite to win this title, even if he is only seeded fourth here despite being ATP-ranked 2. Coming fresh off his tenth title at Roland Garros, the Spaniard is wearing his brand-new new good luck charm, the Richard Mille RM 27-03 (see Rafael Nadal Vies For Historical 10th French Open Win With $725,000 Richard Mille RM 27-03 On Wrist and Nadal Defeats Wawrinka To Win Historic 10th Roland Garros In Epic Battle Of Luxury Wristwear) on and off court.
Third seed Roger Federer (ATP ranking 5), Rolex ambassador, is the odds-on favorite to take the 2017 title, coming off a massive win at the 2017 Australian Open (see Roger Federer Wins 2017 Australian Open, Clinches 18th Grand Slam Title With Rolex At Side), though having to sit out Roland Garros thanks to injury. The record-holding winner at Wimbledon with seven championships under his belt, who also came out victorious at warm-up grass-court tournament in Halle, proving that he is still one of the best grass-court players in the world, will likely show off his Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR after matches and should he get to lift the cup as the tournament winner.
Richard Mille ambassador Alexander Zverev (ATP ranking 12), seeded tenth at Wimbledon, had a fabulous clay-court season up to Roland Garros, where he lost a bit disappointingly (and showed his frustration, see above). He also lost at the warm-up grass court event, the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, but to Federer in the finals, which may bode well for him at the Wimbledon Championships. Zverev, a German national, is currently sporting the RM 27-01, the first “Nadal watch.”
Another Swiss countryman, Stan Wawrinka (ATP ranking 3), currently wears his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Dream Team even on court, a limited edition piece worn only by the brand’s ambassadors and not for sale at retail (see Nadal Defeats Wawrinka To Win Historic 10th Roland Garros In Epic Battle Of Luxury Wristwear). Wawrinka may have an outsider chance at the title as the fifth seed, but it would be a long shot as he is much better on clay than grass.
Ninth seed Kei Nishikori is a TAG Heuer ambassador. He is very likely wearing the Professional Golf Watch, even on court. Defending champion Andy Murray, previously a Rado ambassador, is currently without a watch sponsor. Though suffering a hip injury before the tournament opened, Murray will fortunately be able to play. Seeded first and ranked number one on the ATP World Tour, if Murray can stay fit he might put up real resistance to the bids of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. Look for Rolex models on the wrists of other Rolex ambassadors playing in the tournament: Dominic Thiem (ATP #8), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (ATP #10), Grigor Dimitrov (ATP #11), and Milos Raonic (ATP #7).
On the women’s side, world number one and Audemars Piguet ambassador Serena Williams must sit out the 2017 edition of Wimbledon due to her high-profile pregnancy. Former TAG Heuer ambassador Maria Sharapova, who returned to tennis at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgartafter sitting out 18 months for doping, is currently injured. Rolex ambassador and 2016 finalist Angelique Kerber has not had the best 2017 season thus far, losing in the first round at Roland Garros. Despite her high ranking of number one on the WTA and number one seeding position, she is not considered a real contender at Wimbledon this year. While Williams has taken to wearing her watches on court, Kerber does not.
Elina Svitolina, currently number 5 on the WTA singles rankings, has never progressed past the second round at Wimbledon. The Ukrainian player is still something of an unknown quantity at big tournaments – perhaps sponsor Ulysse Nardin got in just in time to make a big splash with her. Svitolina wears the very attractive Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Lady, but not on court.
Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded ninth, Rado ambassador, was a finalist at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. The WTA #10 wears the Rado HyperChrome chronograph off court.
Rolex ambassador Caroline Wozniacki, seeded fifth (WTA-ranked sixth), has never progressed past the fourth round at Wimbledon, and I have a hard time believing she will in 2017 – but it would be nice to be surprised as the women’s field is fairly open right now. Garbiñe Muguruza, also a Rolex ambassador and #15 on the WTA rankings, was a finalist here at Wimbledon in 2015, so she may have an outsider chance.