agence france-presse
LONDON, 21 JUNE: Seven-time champion Roger Federer and two-time winner Rafael Nadal were lined-up for a potential Wimbledon quarterfinal blockbuster when the draw for the season’s third Grand Slam was made Friday.
The draw was good news for world number one Novak Djokovic, the 2011 champion, after second-seeded Andy Murray was also placed in the same half as Federer and Nadal.
That would leave Australian Open champion Djokovic free from facing any of his major rivals until the final.
Third seed Federer and Nadal, who have met 30 times in their careers, were placed in the same quarter of the draw after the Spaniard was only seeded five having lost in the second round in 2012.
Federer defeated Nadal in the 2006 and 2007 finals before Nadal, who still admits he is concerned over the staying power of his knees, avenged those losses for his maiden London title in 2008.
If the seedings play out, then the quarterfinals would see Djokovic tackle Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, the fourth seed, would meet Juan Martin del Potro, Nadal would face Federer while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would take on Murray.
Djokovic starts his campaign against Germany’s Florian Mayer while Murray, the runner-up to Federer in 2012, starts against another German, Benjamin Becker, who he beat in the quarterfinals at Queen’s last week.
Federer, bidding to become the first man to win Wimbledon eight times and celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first triumph at the All England Club in 2003, starts against Romania’s Victor Hanescu.
Nadal, the champion in 2008 and 2010 but whose second-round loss to Lukas Rosol last year put him on the sidelines for seven months, is fresh from his record eighth French Open win. He begins against Belgium’s Steve Darcis. Murray, Federer and Nadal will all play on Monday, the opening day of the tournament. In the women’s draw, five-time champion and overwhelming favourite Serena Williams, the top seed, was drawn in the same half as Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, who she beat in the 2012 final.
Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, the third seed and 2004 champion, are scheduled to meet in the semifinals in the bottom half of the draw. Williams, who captured her 16th major at the French Open earlier this month, starts on Tuesday against Luxemburg’s Mandy Minella and could face China’s Zheng Jie in the second round.
Zheng pushed Williams all the way in the third round last year, only losing out 9-7 in the final set.
Williams is scheduled to face Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the last eight, Radwanska is seeded to meet China’s former French Open champion Li Na, Sharapova would face Sara Errani of Italy, while Azarenka is seeded to face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova.
Sharapova starts against promising French player Kristina Mladenovic.