Hear former British No. 1, World No. 4 and 6 time Grand Slam semi-finalist Tim Henman OBE and Sally Bolton OBE, CEO of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, discuss the upcoming championships with Stuart Fraser, tennis correspondent at The Times.
Despite the various difficulties surrounding international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 tennis season has still provided some memorable moments as players hop from one biosecure bubble to another. Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka both started the year on a high note by winning the Australian Open, while we have also witnessed the admirable efforts of veterans Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the twilight of their respective careers.
Now the attention turns to Wimbledon. After the cancellation of the championships last year for the first time since the Second World War, the grass courts of the All England Club will reopen to the world's best players from June, 28 to July, 11. As a staple of the British sporting summer, it will help restore a sense of normality as the likes of Rafael Nadal and Johanna Konta don their whites and do battle in front of Pimms-swilling spectators.
Sally Bolton OBE has been working in sport since 1996. Having been Chief Executive of Wigan Rugby League and Orrell Rugby Union clubs she then delivered numerous events at major stadiums such as Wembley, Old Trafford, Millennium Stadium and Murrayfield. Bolton went on to lead the delivery of the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 following which she was awarded the OBE. She then spent two years as the Managing Director of the Organising Committee for the London 2017 World Athletics Championships, before joining the AELTC as Head of Corporate Affairs in 2016. Taking on the position of Strategic Planning and Operations Director in February 2018, Bolton has been part of four Championships at Wimbledon, and played a significant role in the acquisition of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club. She has been a Board Member of UK Sport since March 2018 where she is the Board’s diversity champion and has been a member of the Major Events panel since 2013. Sally began as Chief Executive at the AELTC on 1 August 2020.
Tim Henman OBE, former British No. 1, World No. 4 and 6 x Grand Slam semi-finalist is one of the most popular sporting personalities in the UK and continues to remain at the forefront of elite sport in various roles. A member of the AELTC Committee of Management, Tim is also a key presenter and expert analyst. Tim founded his own charity, the Tim Henman Foundation in 2000, which aims to enhance the lives of students, teachers and families through their outreach, scholarship and special needs programmes.
Sally Bolton photo credit: AELTC/Thomas Lovelock