Doubles tennis matchAP Photo/Ben Curtis
AP Photo/Ben Curtis

FAQ: Canadians at Wimbledon

As the 133rd edition of Wimbledon draws near, Canadian’s get ready for their first match of the tournament.

With the first serves coming on Monday, here are some fun facts about the tournament and answers to some of your most frequently asked questions:

When is Wimbledon?

Wimbledon is held annually during the first two weeks of July, a time period often referred to as the fortnight. The 2019 tournament will take place July 1-14.

Which Canadians are competing in Wimbledon?

There will be five Canadians in the men’s singles draw: Milos Raonic, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil and Brayden Schnur.

Five Canadian men in the lineup ties the record for the most Canadians in a draw at a Grand Slam. This has only happened twice in Canadian tennis history – the 2018 U.S. Open and the 1990 Australian Open.

As for women, Eugenie Bouchard is the lone Canadian entry in women’s singles.

Gabriela Dabrowski will partner Xu Yifan in the women’s doubles and is expected to compete in mixed doubles as well. That draw will be announced on July 3.

Raonic (ranked 17th in the world) withdrew from his semifinal at the grass court warm up tournament in Stuttgart, where he had been scheduled to play compatriot Auger-Aliassime, due to a reoccurring back injury. Raonic also missed the French Open last month with a knee injury.

However, despite only playing in a handful of tournaments, Raonic has had some deep runs including one to the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and two ATP semi-finals.

He was previously a Wimbledon finalist in 2016 and he’ll be hoping to find the same success this year. Raonic is currently seeded 15th in the tournament and will face India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the opening round. 

RELATED: Raonic reaches Wimbledon final with semifinal win over Federer

Update July 1: In the first round at Wimbledon, Raonic beat Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-2. Raonic will face Robin Hasse of the Netherlands in the second round.

For 18-year-old rising star Auger-Aliassime (ranked 21st), the Stuttgart Open was the third ATP final he played in this season, despite it being his first ever grass court tournament. He also made it to the semifinals at his second grass court warm-up at Queen’s Club.

Seeded 19th in the tournament, Auger-Aliassime will face fellow Canadian Pospisil in the first round. The Canadian duo have only met each other on the court just once before, where Auger-Aliassime got the better of his compatriot in the first round at the BNP Paribas Open last year.

Update July 1: Felix Auger-Aliassime beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round at Wimbledon. Auger-Aliassime will face the winner of a match between Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Corentin Moutet of France in the second round.

Related: Félix Auger-Aliassime falls in Lyon final

Related: Félix Auger-Aliassime lands the finals at Queen’s Club

Pospisil is returning to the tennis court for the first time this year after undergoing surgery in January to repair a herniated disc. The 29-year-old will also be competing in the men’s doubles draw alongside Australia’s Matthew Ebden.

He will be playing on a protected ranking.

Shapovalov (ranked 27th) is playing in Wimbledon’s main draw for the third time. He will be facing Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in his opening match. The 20-year-old faces a tougher draw than the rest, having a potential meeting with Rafael Nadal in the third round. This past year, Shapovalov reached the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami and secured two important wins for Team Canada at the Davis Cup.

Shapovalov has a good history on the grass court of Wimbledon, claiming the junior singles title in 2016.

Update July 2: Denis Shapovalov fell in straight sets in the first round of Wimbledon against Ricardas Berankis.

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Brayden Schnur claimed the lucky loser spot to enter the men’s singles draw after Croatian tennis player Borna Coric withdrew from the tournament with an injury. The Pickering native will be starting his Wimbledon run against Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

Update July 2: In Brayden Schnur’s Grand Slam debut he looses 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 against Marcos Baghdatis in the first round of Wimbledon.

In her breakout season in 2014, Bouchard advanced all the way to the Wimbledon final. Her hopeful journey to the top this year will begin against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek in the opening round – marking the first time these two players have met.

Battling injuries all season long, Bouchard has not played in any grass court warm ups prior to this tournament. Her last competitive match was a couple of weeks ago on the clay court at the French Open.

Update July 2: Bouchard looses a heart breaker 6-4, 5-7, 8-6 to Tamara Zidansek in the first round of Wimbledon.

Dabrowski is a two-time Grand Slam champion in mixed doubles (2018 Australian Open, 2017 French Open). She and Xu have one tournament victory in women’s doubles so far in 2019. The pairing will be facing Ons Jabeur and Fanny Stollar.

How can I watch Canadian matches at Wimbledon?

TSN is the official broadcaster of the tournament and will carry the matches on the TSN app, TSN website and some of its channels. Check out the list here.

The Wimbledon Channel, featured on and on social media, will also provide live video and radio coverage of the championships from 9am to close of play.

What is the 2019 Wimbledon schedule?

The schedule of play for each day will be posted here the day prior.

What is the time difference between England and Canada?

England is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Time and 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time.

This means that when play begins around 11:00 a.m. in England, it is 6:00 a.m. in Toronto and Montreal and 3:00am in Vancouver. There’s a reason people in North America often enjoy breakfast with Wimbledon!

Why is Wimbledon so special?

Photo of Wimbledon court with fresh greens

Views of the centre court at Wimbledon before the matches. Photo credit: @Wimbledon

Wimbledon is held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, at a district in southwest London.

The first Wimbledon tournament took place in 1877 and has since been recognized as the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It has become known for protecting this tradition.

What surface is on the courts at Wimbledon?

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event that is played on outdoor grass courts. Roofs have been added to Centre Court (2009) and Court No. 1 (2019) but most of the courts at Wimbledon still have no cover.

The grass courts are particularly famous as the type of grass has been experimented with throughout the years. Since 2002, the courts have been sown with 100% perennial ryegrass in attempt to maintain the durability and strength of the courts throughout the tournament.

Unique to Wimbledon, there are usually no matches scheduled for the first Sunday of the championships. This is in an attempt to give the grass a break for the second weeks of matches, although occasionally this tradition is sacrificed to make up for rain delays.

Why is everyone dressed in white?

Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon all dressed in white after returning the ball.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada returns a ball to Ashleigh Barty of Australia during their women’s singles match on the fourth day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

During Wimbledon, competitors must be dressed in appropriate tennis attire that is almost entirely white. This “predominately in white” rule was introduced in 1963 and was later changed in 1995 to the “almost entirely in white rule”.

The rule is so strict that it does not include any off-white or cream colours and also applies to accessories.

Applied in both practices and matches, this rule is in full-effect from the point at which the player enters the court surroundings and, if not followed, the organizers have the authority to disqualify the athlete.

What is Wimbledon known for?

Rufus the hawk at Wimbledon on trainers hand with court in the background.

When Rufus isn’t busy at Wimbledon, he can also be found bouncing birds at Westminster Abbey. Photo: PA Images/Alamy

We know that Wimbledon is famous for the colourful greens but they also have become known for the unique ways they maintain those greens.

Because most of the courts have no cover, Wimbledon has acquired a feathery friend named Rufus to assist with upkeep. This harris hawk visits the Club to impose fear to local pigeons to force them to avoid the courts.

Rufus comes once every couple weeks but during the tournament he flies one hour prior to the opening of the front gates.

Strawberries for sale on display, on day five at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Friday, July 7, 2017. Green grass, tennis whites and big red strawberries. It can only be Wimbledon – even though nobody really seems to know how the seasonal fruit became ubiquitous at the All England Club. The annual tennis tournament is among the most traditional of sporting events in the world and it certainly has its customs and peculiarities. And strawberries and cream is one of them. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Wimbledon is also become known for its concession food. Strawberries and cream and a Pimm’s cocktail have become signature staples to the Wimbledon experience for both athletes and spectators.

READ: The story behind Wimbledon’s legendary snacks and history

What are the four Grand Slams?

Wimbledon is one of the four major tennis tournaments known as the Grand Slams.

These tournaments are played each calendar year, starting with the Australian Open in January, followed by the Roland-Garros (commonly called the French Open) in May, Wimbledon in July and then concluding with the U.S Open in August.

These four tournaments offer the greatest prize money and the most ranking points, leading them to become the most prestigious tennis matches for a player’s career.