With Serena & Venus Williams unable to take part in the Ladies’ Doubles at Wimbledon, due to Serena missing from the tour because of pregnancy; this meant there would be new Ladies’ Doubles champions at the All-England Club in 2017.
The top seeds were Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, and they won their first round match with ease. Unfortunately, Mattek-Sands had a terrible fall in the singles and dislocated her knee, meaning she could take no further part in the Championships, handing a walkover to their next opponents.
The highest seeds left in the ladies side of the doubles are the second seeds Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina. Under normal circumstances, they would now be the favourites for the title, however nothing can be taken for granted. Especially when you consider what has been happening on the ATP and mixed doubles sides.
On the men’s side of the draw, the defending champions were the second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut. After Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares excited at the second round stage in a five set thriller against Sam Groth & Robert Lindstedt, British interest in the second round focussed on the Wild Card pairing of Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis.
Already having a British pairing into the third round in the shape of brothers Neal & Ken Skupski, the Brits had another underdog pairing to cheer on at their home Slam. Clarke & Willis had already had a five set epic in the first round, before finding themselves against the French.
Clarke & Willis actually had match points in the fourth set against the second seeds, but were ultimately broken, to force the match into a thrilling fifth set. The Brits got off to a flying start in the final set, breaking the defending champions early.
The French were unable to pull this back and the Brits scored a huge win to knock out the defending champions. The favourites would now be the top seeds of John Peers and Henri Kontinen, but once again anything can happen in the doubles.
The defending champions in the mixed doubles are still in the event. Heather Watson and Kontinen have made good progress so far. They have hit the third round without dropping a set.
After taking out the 13th seeds in the last round for the loss of only four games, their confidence will be high. Last year Watson and Kontinen took part in the mixed to enjoy themselves, and there were certainly lots of smiles and giggles, which seems to have continued this year so far.
The top seeds are Murray and Martina Hingis. They have only played one match so far, but only lost three games in the match. The second seeds are Soares & Vesnina, this means that Murray & Soares could effectively make the final but will be on opposite sides of the net.
From a British point of view, I’d like to see Murray & Hingis against Watson & Kontinen in the final. The defending champions have the fourth seeds in the next round, Ivan Dodig & Sania Mirza; this will be a tricky match, but so was their route last year.
Of the three doubles events, the only defending champions still left in SW19 are Watson & Kontinen, who are playing on a Wild Card again this year. The doubles is wide open as to who the champions will be this year.
British viewers are also able to see a lot of doubles (and the juniors too) as the BBC have the rights to Wimbledon, they have multiple courts available to view on television, via the online app, and also the BBC website.
The second week will be very exciting for the doubles.