Po­ten­tial for Fab Four to face off in the semi-fi­nals

Mur­ray fight­ing to be fit and Djokovic gets bet­ter seed­ing

The National - News - Sport - - TENNIS -

LON­DON // De­fend­ing cham­pion Andy Mur­ray was drawn to po­ten­tially face fel­low twotime win­ner Rafael Nadal in the Wim­ble­don semi-fi­nals yes­ter­day while Roger Fed­erer, chas­ing a record eighth crown, was lined up to face three-time win­ner Novak Djokovic.

Top seed Mur­ray will start his cam­paign on Mon­day against a qual­i­fier while sec­ond seed Djokovic tack­les Slo­vakia’s Martin Kl­izan be­fore a tricky pos­si­ble third-round clash with old ri­val Juan Martin del Potro.

Fed­erer, seeded third, starts against Alexan­der Dol­go­polov of Ukraine while fourth-seeded Nadal, fresh from a 10th French Open tri­umph, has Aus­tralia’s John Mill­man in the first round.

Mur­ray is des­per­ately try­ing to shake off a hip in­jury which played a part in his Queen’s Club ti­tle de­fence com­ing to an end in the first round last week.

If Mur­ray, 30, ne­go­ti­ates the first round, he would then pos­si­bly face Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa with Dustin Brown a po­ten­tial third-round ri­val. Ger­man show­man Brown de­feated Nadal at Wim­ble­don in 2015 when he was ranked at 102.

Mur­ray could face France’s Lu­cas Pouille in the last 16.

Djokovic, seeded sec­ond de­spite his world rank­ing hav­ing slipped to four af­ter a slump which has seen him lose pos­ses­sion of all four ma­jors, has a fourth-round meet­ing lined up with Gael Mon­fils. Djokovic’s meet­ing with Del Potro could prove the high­light of the first week.

The Serb de­feated the gi­ant Ar­gen­tine in a mem­o­rable five-set­ter in the semi-fi­nals in 2013 while Del Potro tri­umphed over the Serb at the Olympics last year.

Fed­erer has a pos­si­ble last-16 duel with Grigor Dim­itrov and quar­ter-fi­nal against ei­ther 2016 run­ner-up Mi­los Raonic or Alexan­der Zverev who was swept aside by the Swiss in the Halle fi­nal last week where the veteran claimed a ninth ti­tle. Nadal, mean­while, has big-serv­ing Gilles Muller as a pos­si­ble last-16 foe and Japan’s Kei Nishikori or for­mer US Open win­ner Marin Cilic in the last eight. It is pos­si­ble that Nadal and Fed­erer could meet in the fi­nal for the fourth time af­ter 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The Spa­niard won their clash nine years ago in five sets and over al­most five hours in a fi­nal widely re­garded as one of the finest ever at the ma­jors.

Getty Im­ages (2); AP (2)

From left: Andy Mur­ray could meet Rafael Nadal, while Novak Djokovic might run into Roger Fed­erer in the last four.

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