Murray drawn in Djokovic’s half at Wimbledon
Originally published on 20/06/14
As defending champion, Murray, who was the first British man in 77 years to win the singles title at the All England Club last summer, has the honour of opening play on Centre Court on Monday.
He will take on world No.104 Goffin, who memorably reached the French Open fourth round as a lucky loser in 2012 – upsetting Radek Stepanek, Arnaud Clement and Lukasz Kubot en route to the last 16, where he was eventually beaten in four sets by Roger Federer. As a wildcard at Wimbledon that year, he stunned 2011 quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic before losing to No.10 seed Mardy Fish in the third round.
Should Murray, who is currently ranked No.5 in the world but is seeded No.3 thanks to his grass court results over the past two years (he reached the Wimbledon final in 2012 and won the title at Queen’s and SW19 last season), navigate his way past Goffin, he will meet either Pablo Andujar or Blaz Rola in the second round, with Roberto Bautista Agut a likely third round foe.
Fabio Fognini, who beat Murray on the clay in Naples during Great Britain’s Davis Cup defeat to Italy in April, could be the Scot’s fourth round opponent, while David Ferrer or Queen’s champion Grigor Dimitrov could await in the quarter-finals. Murray is in the same half of the draw as top seed Novak Djokovic, who won his sole Wimbledon title in 2011. Djokovic opens against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev, and could face Tomas Berdych in the last eight.
World No.1 and nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who suffered a shock first-round defeat to Steve Darcis last year, will hope to avoid a similar fate against Martin Klizan. He potentially faces a tricky quarter-final against Milos Raonic.
Off the back of his seventh Gerry Weber Open title at Halle last week, seven-time champion Roger Federer will hope to improve on his second-round exit last year. Federer, who opens against Paolo Lorenzi, could face Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss quarter-final.
Other notable first-round clashes include British No.3 James Ward against 2012 quarter-finalist Mikhail Youzhny, while British No.2 Dan Evans will face Andrey Kuznetsov, with Ferrer a likely second round opponent for the winner of that match.
Grass-court specialist Dustin Brown, who upset Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon last year and beat Rafael Nadal in Halle last week, will take on Marcos Baghdatis in the first round, in what promises to be a highly entertaining encounter.
Meanwhile in the women’s draw, world No.1 and top seed Serena Williams has been drawn in the same quarter as French Open champion Maria Sharapova.
Five-time champion Williams will meet Anna Tatishvili in her opening match, while 2004 champion Sharapova faces Britain’s Sam Murray.
Williams’ projected route to the final includes a possible fourth-round clash against Eugenie Bouchard, while there is a possible all-Serbian clash between Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic in the last 16. Ivanovic, a winner at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham last week, faces fellow former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in her first match.
With last year's champion Marion Bartoli not defending her title having retired in August, 2013 runner-up Sabine Lisicki, who has defied her ranking to reach the quarter-finals or better on her last four appearances at SW19, will face Julia Glushko in the first match on Centre Court on Tuesday.
British No.1 Heather Watson, who is through to the semi-finals of the Aegon International in Eastbourne this week, is up against Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round, while Jo Konta will face China's Peng Shuai.
Other notable first-round clashes include Sloane Stephens against Maria Kirlenko, while last year's Birmingham champion Daniela Hantuchova takes on Bouchard, who has reached the semi-finals of both the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2014, and scored an upset against Ivanovic in the second round at Wimbledon last year.