There is something about Roger Federer and Wimbledon. The Swiss loves playing on the grass, and his seven Wimbledon titles are a testimonial to the fact. Federer is gunning for his eighth title, and the former world number one gets the ball rolling against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the first round of the competition on Tuesday.
Federer, who is one of the hot favourites to win Wimbledon 2017, did not start the grass court season well, losing to Tommy Haas in the second round. But the Swiss ace roared back, playing some sublime tennis to win the Halle Open. He did not drop a single set in the competition, and Federer will be eager to continue that same form in Wimbledon as well.
Talking about form, this year has seen the best of Federer, winning titles in the first half of the season including the Australian Open. He did not feature in the clay court season, and is fresh compared to other players, who have been involved in the first six months of the year without any major break.
However, Federer cannot bank of his 2017 first half record, and play consistent tennis in Wimbledon, which comprises some world class players. Federer should not have much trouble in the first round against Dolgopolov, but there are some experts, who are looking this as a tricky affair.
Can the Ukrainian come with his best tennis to stun Federer in his favourite grand slam? Dolgopolov has it in him, as one has seen him play some exemplary tennis at times, but then one has to remember Federer's 3-0 record will always be in the Ukrainian's head.
Dolgopolov has a good game, where he dishes out some lovely winners from the baseline, but in the process, also hits a number of unforced errors, leading to his downfall. He has to be at his best in all departments to compete with Federer.
One understands the daunting task ahead of Dolgopolov, who has not won a single set against the former world number one. It was in the Australian Open 2016, where these two players last met in any professional competition.
Federer, of course, is the favourite, and will be keen to use this match as perfect preparation for the future rounds, where the competition is going to get intense. If Federer shows the form he showed in the first half of the season, it would be quite difficult for any player to stop him from clinching his eight Wimbledon title.
Where to watch live
Roger Federer vs Alexandr Dolgopolov is the third scheduled match on Centre Court, with the first match at 1 pm BST, 8 am ET, 5.30 pm IST. TV and live streaming information is given below.
India: TV: Star Sports Select 2HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: BBC One and BBC Two. Live Streaming: BBC iPlayer.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
France and Middle East: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Canada: TV: CTV and TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Asia: TV: Fox Sports Asia. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Play Asia.