Wimbledon warriors discover their first opponents


Second seed Novak Djokovic will play Martin Klizan from Slovakia while third seed Roger Federer faces a tricky tie against the mercurial Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in his opening match.

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal, fresh from collecting his 10th French Open title, will play the Australian John Millman.

The top four men’s seeds have monopolised the Wimbledon crown since 2003. Federer is the king of the clutch with seven wins. Djokovic, who beat Federer in 2014 and 2015, has three while Nadal and Murray both have two victories.

The preparations for their respective assaults on the trophy have varied. Murray lost his opening match at the Queen’s grass court tournament in west London on 20 June to the Australian journeyman Jordan Thompson.

That setback has been compounded by a sore hip which has forced him to miss two exhibition matches.

Nadal opted to rest following his win in Paris, Federer lost his first match on the grass in Stuttgart on 14 June before surging to a ninth title in Halle on 25 June while Djokovic decided to play at the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

Kerber out at Eastbourne

The women’s top seed Angelique Kerber was also in action in Eastbourne where she went out in the quarter-finals to the British number one Johanna Konta.

Kerber, who lost last year’s final to Serena Williams faces a qualifier or lucky loser, as does Romanian second seed Simona Halep.

Third seed Karolina Pliskova will play world number 83 Evgeniya Rodina from Russia and fourth seed Elina Svitolina will take on the Australian Ashleigh Barty.

Unlike their male counterparts, none of the top four women’s seeds have claimed a Wimbledon trophy.

The only former champions in the women’s draw are 11th seed Petra Kvitova, who won in 2011 and 2014 and 10th seed Venus Williams who has claimed five titles. But the last of those victories came in 2008 when she beat her sister, Serena, in straight sets.

Nine years later and at the age of 37, seven wins on the trot in two weeks, would make hers the unlikeliest of triumphs.

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