Goran Ivanišević was the defending champion, but he did not compete this year.
World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt won the title, defeating David Nalbandian in the final. It was Hewitt's second Grand Slam title, after winning the 2001 US Open.
The 2002 Championships made history due to the unprecedentedly poor results of the top players. With the exception of Lleyton Hewitt and world no. 4 Tim Henman, the top 17 seeds were knocked out before the fourth round. This granted relatively unknown players an unusually high chance of success, especially as Hewitt and Henman were in the same half of the draw and played each other in the semi-finals.
Seven-time champion Pete Sampras was eliminated by unseeded George Bastl of Switzerland in the second round. It would be Sampras' final match ever at Wimbledon. Also, Andre Agassi suffered a second-round defeat to unseeded Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, while future seven-times champion Roger Federer was defeated in the first round by Croatian qualifier Mario Ančić. 1996 champion Richard Krajicek also made his final appearance at Wimbledon, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Xavier Malisse of Belgium.