The Wimbledon starts this Monday and this time there are a few changes. Five changes to be specific,” started Scorch. The Gifted Four were playing tennis in the backyard of their dorm room.

Wimbledon Championships is a tennis tournament. It is named so as it is held in the suburbs of Wimbledon in London, England. First played in the year 1877, this is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the only to be played on a grass court. A grand slam tournament is a major competition in that sport. In tennis, the other three grand slam tournaments are the Australian Open, US Open and French Open.

“Oh, that sounds interesting,” said Verum as she delivered another serve.

“I am curious too,” flew in Felix from the other side.

“To begin with, first, the Russian and Belarusian players are not allowed to participate in the tournament. This is due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But Russian player Natela Dzalamidze was allowed to play because she holds Georgian citizenship. Daniil Medvedev will not be playing,” said Scorch.

“Oh! That’s interesting. This ban must have received flak,” remarked Orak.

“Yes, a severe one. After the ban, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have decided to take away ranking points from the Championships.

Ranking system in tennis helps classify players based on their experience and knowledge. It also is a deciding factor for a player to enter big events like Wimbledon.

Third, Wimbledon has an official Championships’ towel. It is one of the best-sellers in the shops. Every year it has a new design. This year it features the original design of the main court, Centre Court. It marks 100 years this summer.

Fourth, for the first time, the play is planned for all 14 days between the Championships’ start and end. Earlier, Sunday between the first and the second week’s play was not included. But this year, matches are scheduled on ‘middle Sunday’,” said Scorch.

“We should go then! School is off for us, we can enjoy some tennis,” said Orak, swaying his racket in the air, as if he is about to serve.

“Great idea!” replied the other three.

“Are there any more unique things,” asked Verum.

“Yes! Legendary player Serena Williams returns to tennis after staying away for 12 months and among the most successful players, Roger Federer will be missing the Wimbledon for the first time since 1998. Federer is recovering from knee surgery.

Lastly, Alexander Zverev will also miss the Wimbledon due to an ankle injury,” concluded Scorch.

“Quite an eventful Wimbledon,” remarked Orak as he stood up for another game.

“We must keep a track,” said Scorch as the other nodded in agreement and continued with the game.