The draw for Wimbledon was relatively kind to defending champion Andy Murray. It was a lot more daunting for top-ranked Rafael Nadal.
Murray, who last year became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, was drawn Friday to open the defence of his title against 104th-ranked David Goffin of Belgium, who will be playing in the main draw of the grass-court tournament for only the third time.
In the women’s draw, top-ranked and five-time champion Serena Williams is in the same quarter as French Open champion Maria Sharapova. The two could face each other in the quarter-finals.
Murray, who is seeded third this year, has admitted he does not know how he will cope with the pressure of walking onto Centre Court as the defending champion on Monday.
At least he has a relatively smooth path in the draw until the quarter-finals, where he could play seventh-seeded David Ferrer or Grigor Dmitrov, who won last week’s warm-up at Queen’s Club. Then looms a potential semi-final against top-seeded Novak Djokovic – a rematch of last year’s final.
“It will be a proud moment to come back as defending champion,” said Murray, who is now coached by former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo after parting ways with Ivan Lendl earlier this season. “I don’t know I will feel, I have no idea, I’m sure I will be nervous and fell some pressure, but I’ll try to enjoy it, it’s a new experience for me.”
For Nadal, it’s a lot trickier. The Spaniard, who holds two Wimbledon titles, has not fared well on the grass the past two years, losing in the second round in 2012 and the first round last year.
The top-ranked Nadal, who is seeded No. 2, will start against No. 57 Martin Klizan of Slovakia. The Spaniard, who won his ninth French Open title earlier this month, could then face Lukas Rosol, who beat him here two years ago.
Nadal, the only man with at least one Grand Slam title in 10 consecutive years, could then be pitted against big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the third round. Looming in the quarter-finals could be another big hitter – eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada. The eighth-seeded Raonic will face Matthew Ebden of Australia in the first round.
Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil, the No. 31 seed who is in Djokovic’s section of the draw, faces Dutchman Robin Haase. Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., who entered the main draw as a lucky loser, opens against No. 29 seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.
Friday’s draw put Murray in the top half with Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in 2011. Nadal is in the bottom half with seven-time champion Roger Federer.
Federer will start against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy and Djokovic will play his first match against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Djokovic could meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round and former finalist Tomas Berdych in the last eight.
Federer, who has lost before the quarter-finals at three of the last four Slams, might face third-ranked and Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss encounter in the quarters.
In the absence of defending champion Marion Bartoli, who retired less than six weeks after winning her sole Grand Slam title, last year’s runner-up finalist Sabine Lisicki will open Centre Court play on Tuesday against Julia Glushko.
Sharapova, who defeated Serena Williams in the 2004 final at the age of 17 to win her only Wimbledon title and first Grand Slam championship, will open against Samantha Murray. Williams will take on Anna Tatashvili.
Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal, who is seeded 13th, could end up facing the top ranked Williams in the Round of 16. She opens against Slovak veteran Daniela Hantuchova while Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., takes on 10th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova. Toronto’s Sharon Fichman will face Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.
The other potential women’s quarter-finals are: Simona Halep vs. Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka vs. Agnieszka Radwanska, and Petra Kvitova vs. Li Na.Report Typo/Error