Andy Murray in same half of Wimbledon draw as Rafael Nadal

Champion yet to learn first round opponent, Federer and Djokovic could meet in semis

Defending champion Andy Murray could meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Defending champion Andy Murray could meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

 

Andy Murray will begin his Wimbledon title defence against either a qualifier or lucky loser and has been drawn in the same half as French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

Murray will not find out his opening-round opponent until later on Friday but the Scot has been handed a potentially tricky first week.

He could face Dustin Brown in the second round, where the German knocked out Nadal two years ago, while big-hitting Italian Fabio Fognini may lurk in round three.

In the women’s draw, British number one Johanna Konta will start against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, whom she lost to in the first round at the French Open last month.

Konta withdrew from her Eastbourne semi-final on Friday with a spine injury but, assuming she is fit to play at the All England Club, the world number seven will reunite with Hsieh and could face two-time champion Petra Petra Kvitova in the last 16.

In between, Konta is likely to play Donna Vekic, to whom she lost in the Nottingham Open final two weeks ago, and then the crafty Italian Roberta Vinci in round three.

If Murray can navigate his way into the last-16, he might be fairly satisfied with his draw from then on.

Nick Kyrgios is a potentially dangerous foe in the fourth round but the Australian has been struggling with a hip injury and has never got the better of Murray in four attempts.

The world number one is then due to meet Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals but while the Swiss beat Murray at the French Open earlier this month, he is far less comfortable on grass.

Nadal would certainly be a formidable opponent in the semis although Murray would likely have preferred the Spaniard to the in-form Roger Federer, who was the other possible top four seed to land in his half.

Murray has also been struggling for fitness, having lost in the first round at Queen’s before pulling out of two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club this week due to a hip injury.

Federer is many pundits’ favourite to win a 19th major title at SW19 but the 35-year-old opens up against the awkward Alexandr Dolgopolov, while Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Milos Raonic could all block his path to the semi-finals. There, he is due to meet Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic plays world number 44 Martin Klizan in round one before a potential match-up with Juan Martin del Potro in round three. Nadal begins against Australian John Millman.

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