Wimbledon fans prepare for action under sunny skies

Novak Djokovic will begin the defence of his 2018 Wimbledon title on Centre Court as this year’s tournament gets under way in south-west London.

Fresher temperatures and sunny spells are expected as the Serbian’s bid for a fifth championships in SW19 kicks off against German Philipp Kohlschreiber at 1pm.

British number one Kyle Edmund will also play his first match of this year’s grand slam against Spain’s Jaume Munar on Centre Court.

On No.1 Court, five time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams will go head-to-head against Cori Gauff, who is not only a fellow American but also the youngest player to come through qualifying in the Open era.

At just 15, Gauff is 24 years younger than her opponent.

Fan favourite Andy Murray will also be returning to the hallowed grass courts for the first time since 2017 later this week, but only as a doubles player.

After fears his tennis career could be over, hip surgery has allowed the Scot to gradually return to action.

He will join French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert against Romania’s Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert of France as the men’s doubles competition gets under way.

There is a chance that Murray could face his brother Jamie, playing with fellow Briton Neal Skupski, in the third round.

After scorching temperatures of up to 34C on Saturday, the hottest day of the year so far, there will be cooler conditions for the first day of play at the All England Club, the Met Office said.

Meteorologist Marco Petagna told PA: “Tomorrow is a dry day with some cloud bubbling up through the day – so fairly sunny first thing and turning hazier with sunny spells.

“There will be a much fresher feel… with a high of 22C – which is about where it should be for the time of year.”

Mr Petagna said temperatures “will warm up a little bit through the week” – up to around 25C – with sunny spells and some cloud each day, and “fairly clear skies” by Thursday.

“Pretty good for playing I would have thought – gentle winds,” he added.

But, he warned that pollen counts would be “generally very high for the next few days”, and that meant UV levels would also be high.

“People certainly need sun cream, plenty of water, hats and sunglasses,” he added.

But if rain does threaten to fall this year as the tournament progresses, the new retractable roof over No. 1 Court could be called into action.

Unveiled in May, it joins the All England Club’s other movable roof over Centre Court.

Other changes at this year’s championships include a bid to improve its green credentials through the introduction of 100% recyclable water bottles, more recycling bins and on the ground “eco champions”.

Other Britons in action at Wimbledon this year include Johanna Konta, the 19th seed, who will start her campaign against Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan on Tuesday.

Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan are also playing in the women’s singles draw.

In the men’s singles competition Jay Clarke, Paul Jubb, Dan Evans, James Ward and Cameron Norrie are in action at the start of the week.

According to Sunday’s odds from bookmaker Paddy Power, Australian Ashleigh Barty is 5/1 to win the women’s singles competition, followed by Karolina Pliskova at 6/1, with Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber at 8/1.

For the men’s singles, Djokovic is placed at 5/4 to win, with Roger Federer at 11/4 and Rafael Nadal at 7/1.