Welcome back, Wimbledon. A year after having been canceled because of the global pandemic, The Championships return to the All England Lawn Tennis Club next week.

Here's what you need to know:

When does the tournament start?

Singles main-draw play begins Monday, June 28. Doubles begins Wednesday, June 30, with Mixed Doubles kicking off Friday, July 2.

Play is provisionally scheduled to start on the outside courts at 11:00 a.m. local, on No.1 Court at 1:00 p.m., and Centre Court at 1:30pm. This changes on Championship Weekend when play will begin on Centre Court at 2:00 p.m.

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This is the 134th Wimbledon Championships. The event was first held in 1877, with the first women’s singles championship being staged in 1884. This is the 127th staging of the Wimbledon women’s singles championship and the 53rd of the Open Era, which began in 1968.

Wasn't the French Open just two weeks ago?

Indeed. For the first time since 2014, there was just a two-week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. This was due to Roland Garros being rescheduled to take place one week later. 

It's a quick turnaround and makes the already difficult "Channel Slam" even more difficult to pull off. 

READ: The most difficult challenge in tennis? The French Open-Wimbledon double

When are the finals?

The women's singles final will be played on Saturday, July 10.

The women's doubles final and the mixed doubles final will be played on Sunday, July 11.

READ: One the ground at SW19: Colombian energy, the Nick and Venus show, and Media Roundup

Photo by AELTC/Jon Super

What does the draw look like this year?

The singles and doubles draws were made at the All England Club on Friday, June 25. Click here for a quarter-by-quarter breakdown. 

The tournament saw seven withdrawals before the start of play: Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Jennifer Brady, Wang Qiang, Zheng Saisai, Kirsten Flipkens, and Margarita Gasparyan.

Eight players used their special ranking to enter Wimbledon: Elena Vesnina, Carla Suárez Navarro, Andrea Petkovic, Samantha Stosur, Coco Vandeweghe, Mona Barthel, Kateryna Kozlova, and Mihaela Buzarnescu.

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The bottom half of the draw, led by No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, No.4 Sofia Kenin, No.7 Iga Swiatek, and No.8 Karolina Pliskova will play on Monday.

The top half, led by No.1 Ashleigh Barty, No.3 Elina Svitolina, No.5 Bianca Andreescu, and No.6 Serena Williams will play on Tuesday.

Click here for the current orders of play. 

Photo by AELTC/Thomas Lovelock

What is the prize money?

The total prize money for The Championships in 2021 will be £35,016,000. The singles champion will win £1,700,000, which is approximately $2.4 million.

Winner: £1,700,000 / 2000 points
Finalist: £900,000 / 1300 points
Semifinalist: £465,000 / 780 points
Quarterfinalist: £300,000 / 430 points
Fourth Round: £181,000 / 240 points
Third Round: £115,0000 / 130 points
Second Round: £75,000 / 70 points
First Round: £48,000 / 10 points

Will there be fans allowed on the grounds? 

Wimbledon will be staged in front of a minimum 50% capacity crowd across the grounds until the singles final will be played with a full crowd of 15,000 in attendance on Centre Court.

"Stadium capacities for Centre Court and No.1 Court will open at 50 percent capacity, while the smaller Show Courts will be permitted to open at 75 percent capacity," the AELTC said in a press release.
"For the fourth round and quarterfinals, the club aims to increase Centre and No.1 Courts allocations, along with a number of Grounds Passes, and for the semifinals and final, the club hopes to have 100 percent capacity on Centre Court, with a small number of tickets on No.1 Court and Grounds Passes." 

READ: Venus teams with Kyrgios for mixed doubles at Wimbledon

UPDATE: On Middle Sunday, the All England Club announced there will be full capacity stands allowed from the quarterfinals through the end of the tournament.

"Following the successful staging of the first week of The Championships, as agreed with the Government’s Events Research Programme and in consultation with our Local Authority in Merton, the AELTC is pleased to confirm that Centre and No.1 Court will feature 100% capacity crowds for the Quarter-Finals, with Centre Court also at 100% capacity for the Semi-Finals and Finals," the club said in a press release. "This marks the first full outdoor stadiums at a sporting event in the UK since the pandemic began.

"The capacity of Centre Court is 14,979, and the capacity of No.1 Court is 12,345. Capacity across the rest of the Grounds will be reduced according to the number of courts in play. Ticket-holders will continue to be required to show proof of their COVID-status on arrival, and are asked to observe the guidance around wearing face coverings on the move and supporting any additional mitigation measures in place."

Photo by AELTC/Jed Leicester

Out with the old: Enjoy Middle Sunday and Manic Monday while you can

The All England Club will end the tradition of no play on Middle Sunday next year, meaning this is the last edition of The Championships that will have "Manic Monday" in which all Round of 16 matches are played on the tournament's second Monday.

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In addition to Manic Monday being one of the most exciting days on the tennis calendar, the day also allows the halves to reset and play on the same day. That means the singles quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday, July 6, and the semifinals on Thursday, July 8. 

In with the new: Electronic line-calling on all courts

All Championship Courts will feature electronic line calling, with Courts 4-11 being installed this year. The technology will not replace linespeople.

A serve clock will also be introduced for both main draw and qualifying. 

The pre-match warm-up will follow the 1-4-1 format, allowing for one minute after walk-on to be ready for the coin-toss, followed by a four-minute warm-up, then one minute to be ready to start the match. This is the same format used on the WTA Tour.

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Who are the defending champions?

World No.3 Simona Halep is the reigning Wimbledon champion. The Romanian played a near-flawless match to defeat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the 2019 final. Unfortunately, Halep was forced to withdraw due to a calf tear she sustained in Rome. With the defending women's champion traditionally tapped to open Centre Court play on Day 2, top seed Barty, who faces Carla Suárez Navarro, will be scheduled in her place.

Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova are the reigning doubles champions. They defeated Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan in the final. Since that triumph, Strycova announced her retirement and Hsieh has paired with Elise Mertens. 

The reigning mixed doubles champions are Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig. 

Who are the Top 32 seeds?

The AELTC announced the seeds on Wednesday, June 23. In July 2020, the club announced it would follow the WTA's rankings for the singles draw.

READ: Krejcikova, Swiatek, Andreescu ready for uncharted waters at Wimbledon

With the withdrawals of No.2 Naomi Osaka, No.3 Simona Halep, and No.15 Jennifer Brady, No.35 Ekaterina Alexandrova is the last seeded player. 

For a full breakdown of the seeds, click here.

Who is playing well heading into Wimbledon?

The Top 8 players on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen who are playing Wimbledon are:

1. Ashleigh Barty
2. Barbora Krejcikova
3. Aryna Sabalenka
4. Iga Swiatek
5. Garbiñe Muguruza
6. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
7. Maria Sakkari
8. Coco Gauff

There have been five grass-court tournaments over the past three weeks. Here's a look at the best performers at each:

Viking Open Nottingham (WTA 250)
Champion: Johanna Konta d. Zhang Shuai, 6-2, 6-1
Semifinalists: Lauren Davis, Nina Stojanovic

Champions Corner: Konta ends British drought with Nottingham title

Viking Classic Birmingham (WTA 250)
Champion: Ons Jabeur d. Daria Kasatkina, 7-5, 6-4
Semifinalists: CoCo Vandeweghe, Heather Watson

Champions Corner: Jabeur makes history with Birmingham victory

Bad Homburg Open (WTA 250)
Champion: Angelique Kerber d. Katerina Siniakova, 6-3, 6-2
Semifinalists: Petra Kvitova, Sara Sorribes Tormo

Champion's Reel: How Angelique Kerber won Bad Homburg 2021

2021 Bad Homburg

Bett1Open (WTA 500)
Champion: Liudmila Samsonova d. Belinda Bencic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
Semifinalists: Victoria Azarenka, Alizé Cornet

Champions Corner: Samsonova goes 'Boom Boom' in Berlin breakthrough

Viking Classic Eastbourne (WTA 500)
Champion: Jelena Ostapenko d. Anett Kontaveit, 6-3, 6-3
Semifinalists: Elena Rybakina, Camila Giorgi

Champions Corner: Inside the mind of all-surface threat Ostapenko