February 8, 2021
Wimbledon Champions Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep eased through their first-round matches at the Australian Open to the welcome sound of cheering crowds.
Spectator participation will feature strongly at Wimbledon 2021 too. The top players love nothing more than hearing the fans react to their brilliance.
Djokovic and Halep made that crystal clear as they thanked the supporters for coming back to the stadia.
Simona Halep beat Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera 6-2, 6-1 and soon expressed her feelings on the return of the fans.
She said: ‘It was very emotional before the match. It’s always nice to have people watching and I enjoy everything they give. I missed it so much on tour last year.’
Halep stunned Serena Williams with a magnificent performance to win Wimbledon 2019
She just loves being back in the limelight and we can’t wait to see her defend her title at the All England Club this summer.
As with the Aussie Open, Wimbledon will see reduced fan numbers. But Melbourne is already showing us that the Grand Slam atmosphere can still be fantastic. And there also is the added bonus of an increased intimacy in the arena.
So just imagine how special Wimbledon will be! The bond between players and fans has never been stronger.
Novak Djokovic beat Jeremy Chardy with his typical blend of agility and guile. The dominant Serb beat the Frenchman 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 and closed out with an ace to underline why he is favourite to take the Aussie Open title this year too.
Who can ever forget the last men’s final at Wimbledon, when Novak fought back from match points down to take a thriller against the great Roger Federer?
How we long for more classic moments between the greats at Wimbledon 2021!
Novak was more than content with his Aussie opener. He said: ‘It feels great. Good evening everyone. Great to see you back in the stadium. Makes my heart full to see the fans back in the stadium again. This is the most people I’ve seen on a tennis court for months!
‘I really appreciate your support. Sometimes we take these things for granted. But I’m really, really grateful to have the fans back, thank you very much. I’m so glad to be free and playing tennis.’
Federer isn’t in Melbourne this year but he wouldn’t miss Wimbledon 2021 for the world.
It’ll be his last chance for a serious title tilt before he retires. The Wimbledon stage will provide an emotional farewell in front of all Roger’s die-hard fans.
For now the limelight belongs to Djokovic and Nadal, who plays tomorrow.
But we mustn’t forget the gritty Brit Dan Evans either. Dan The Man won his first ATP title at the weekend by beating young gun Felix Auger Aliassime in a warm-up tournament in Australia.
He plays Cameron Norrie in his Aussie Open curtain-raiser. That promises to be an entertaining domestic battle on the other side of the world.
But the truth is, we just can’t wait for them all to return to the home of tennis.
Wimbledon 2021 will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss it. The players clearly want you to be right there with them!