Pat Cash was the defending champion but lost in the quarterfinals to Boris Becker.
Stefan Edberg defeated Becker in the final, 4–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–4, 6–2 to win the Gentlemen's Singles tennis title at the 1988 Wimbledon Championships.
Australian Open and French Open champion Mats Wilander came into the tournament on course to become the first man to win Grand Slam titles on hard court, clay and grass in the same calendar year, and attempted to become the first man to win Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles since Rod Laver in 1969. After losing to Miloslav Mečíř in the quarterfinals, it would not be until 2010 that hard court, clay and grass Grand Slam titles would be won by one man in a single calendar year, when Rafael Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. As of 2017, Rod Laver's record of winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in the same calendar year has not been broken.
John McEnroe competed for the first time since 1985, losing in the second round to Wally Masur. This tournament also featured the first appearance of future champion Goran Ivanišević.