Wimbledon begins on Monday without Roger Federer and Venus Williams for the first time in 26 years.
Federer, Venus, and Serena Williams were all noticeable exclusions from the official entry lists for the grass-court grand slam earlier this month.
Serena later disclosed that she had been offered and accepted a wildcard, but Venus and Federer were not in the same situation.
Federer has always stated that he will not be ready for Wimbledon after undergoing a third knee surgery last year.
The 20-time grand slam champion hasn’t played since losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, after which he underwent surgery.
The Swiss champion has committed to playing alongside Rafa Nadal at the Laver Cup in September, but there was never a realistic opportunity for him to compete at Wimbledon this year.
Venus supporters were hoping to see the 41-year-old return to action at the All England Club following a 12-month sabbatical.
The oldest Williams sister hasn’t played in about a year after injuring herself against Ons Jabeur in the second round of Wimbledon in 2021.
Her return to the tour is unknown, with many assuming that she may retire rather than make a comeback like Serena.
What isn’t a surprise is that when Wimbledon begins on Monday, Federer and Venus will be absent for the first time since 1996. (excluding the cancelled edition in 2020).
Venus made her major slam debut in 1997 at the French Open, while Federer’s was two years later in 1999.
The only other time one of Venus or Federer has missed Wimbledon was in 2013, when Williams was unable to compete.
Wimbledon was won by the tennis champions twice in the same year, in 2005 and 2007.
Fans were disappointed that they would not be able to see the tennis greats on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon for the first time in 26 years.
Serena Williams is in great shape ahead of Wimbledon.
Serena Williams’ presence will provide some solace to fans who are missing Federer and Venus.
The 23-time grand slam champion is in Eastbourne playing doubles with Jabeur before of a much anticipated return to Wimbledon.
The 40-year-old played her first competitive match since suffering an injury in the first round of Wimbledon last year.
And on Wednesday, she and Jabeur moved to the Eastbourne semi-finals after defeating Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching 6-2 6-4.