Potential for Fab Four to face off in the semi-finals
Murray fighting to be fit and Djokovic gets better seeding
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.
From left: Andy Murray could meet Rafael Nadal, while Novak Djokovic might run into Roger Federer in the last four.