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Jon Wertheim: At last, Wimbledon is back with surprises in store
1:28 | Tennis
Jon Wertheim: At last, Wimbledon is back with surprises in store
Sunday June 26th, 2016

Wimbledon gets underway on Monday with the top half of the men's and bottom half of the women's draw in action. Play begins at 6:30 a.m. ET and coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET on ESPN. The full television and broadcast schedule can be found here. Full order of play for Monday can be found here.

Matches and storylines to watch on Day 1:

Sticking with Wimbledon tradition, the defending champion will open play on Centre Court on Monday, as Novak Djokovic returns to action for the first time since winning the French Open to face British wildcard James Ward. The No. 1 will be looking to win his third consecutive Grand Slam title—and third consecutive Wimbledon title—at the All England Club. Djokovic's chase at history also marks the first time since Jim Courier in 1992 that a men's player has come to Wimbledon after winning titles at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The Serb should have no trouble with No. 177th-ranked Ward; the two have never met in their careers. 

2016 French Open champion and 2015 Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza will also kick off her campaign on Centre Court on Monday. She'll face Camila Giorgi. The Italian is always dangerous and leads their head-to-head 2–1, but Muguruza won their most recent meeting at the 2015 French Open and the pair has never played each other on grass.

After missing the French Open due to injury, Roger Federer will return to Grand Slam action against Argentina’s Guido Pella to round out the matches on Centre Court on Day 1. The No. 3-seed is coming off a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 loss to Alexander Zverev in the Halle semifinals.

Breaking down Roger Federer's difference-making stat at Wimbledon

17 Americans in marquee match-ups on Day 1: Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams leads the pack of Americans on Day 1, facing Donna Vekic in the opening round on Monday (No. 1 Court, 8 a.m. ET). New World No. 9 Madison Keys has a tough test against Laura Siegemund, who has won their only career match-up in April on clay in Charleston.

French Open darling Shelby Rogers will face Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, a powerful server and 2013 Wimbledon finalist (Court 18, 6:30 a.m. ET). Lisicki lost in the third round to Timea Bacsinszky last year; Rogers is looking to get her first career win at Wimbledon (second match, No. 2 Court). 

American women are on the rise heading into Wimbledon 2016 

Most are used to seeing Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands on the same side of the net for doubles, but the pair will face off in the opening round of singles on Monday. Though the American leads their head-to-head 2-1, the two haven’t faced each other in a single match since 2010.

After making his Grand Slam debut at the U.S. Open last, 22-year-old Bjorn Fratangelo is into his first main draw at Wimbledon after beating countryman Austin Krajicek in qualifying. He’ll face Grigor Dimitrov on Monday (second match, Court 16). Another young American, 20-year-old Vicky Duval, will make her return to Wimbledon for the first time since 2014 against Daria Kasatkina (Court 4, 6:30 a.m.). After battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer-free Duval returned at the 2016 Australian Open, but underwent knee surgery shortly after in February. She just started playing again in June, on grass in Nottingham and Birmingham.

Other Americans in action include: No. 9 seed Marin Cilic vs. Brian Baker (Court 12, 6:30 a.m. ET); Jack Sock vs. Ernests Gulbis (third match, Court 8); Misaki Doi vs. Louisa Chirico (fourth match, Court 8); Nicole Gibbs vs. Kirsten Flipkens (second match, Court 9); Samantha Crawford vs. Paula Kania (second match, Court 11); Irina Falconi vs. Marina Erakovic (fourth match, Court 14); Damir Dzumhur vs. Denis Kudla (Court 14, 6:30 a.m. ET); Lukas Rosol vs. Sam Querrey (Court 5, 6:30 a.m. ET); Kurumi Nara vs. Madison Brengle (Court 17, 6:30 a.m. ET); Malek Jaziri vs. Steve Johnson (fourth match, Court 6); Teliana Pereira vs. Varvara Lepchenko (third match, Court 7)

• Wimbledon preview roundtable: Predictions, top storylines

2016 Australian Open champ returns to Grand Slam stage: After an early, first-round exit Roland Garros at the hands of Kiki Bertens, Germany’s Angelique Kerber will try to find her Melbourne form and make another deep Grand Slam run, this time at the All England Club. She’ll have to get through hometown favorite Laura Robson, as the Brit looks to find the form that saw her make a run to the third round in 2013. The 22-year-old has battled injuries since then, but she will certainly have the crowd behind her (third match, No. 1 Court). No. 4-seed Kerber leads their head-to-head 2-1, but Robson defeated Kerber in the first round at Wimbledon in 2011.

• Here's what the top players will wear on court at Wimbledon 2016

Quality matches on No. 2 Court: Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund will take on France’s Adrian Mannarino to start the day on the No. 2 Court, followed by Siegemund-Keys. No. 6-seed Milos Raonic, a favorite to take the 2016 Wimbledon title, will put his new coaching partnership to the test against Pablo Carreno Busta and No. 5-seed Simona Halep will close out the day against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

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