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Wimbledon: Djokovic may meet young star Alcaraz in QF; Nadal has Auger-Aliassime in his way

Djokovic is aiming for his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and will have Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis or Pole Kamil Majchrzak awaiting in the second round.

SNS | New Delhi |

Defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia will start his men’s singles campaign at Wimbledon 2022 against South Korea’s Kwon Soon-Woo on the Centre Court on Monday (June 27) and faces a possible clash with NextGen ATP winner Carlos Alcaraz in a blockbuster quarterfinal.

With men’s World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev banned from the event along with other Russian and Belarus competitors because of his country’s attack on Ukraine. Djokovic is the top seed in this edition of the grass-court Grand Slam, which incidentally will not offer him any ranking points, thus preventing him from overtaking the Russian in the rankings.

Djokovic is aiming for his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and will have Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis or Pole Kamil Majchrzak awaiting in the second round.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal anchors the bottom half as the second seed and will start his bid for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam crown against Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, according to a report on the ATP website. He has 2017 finalist Marin Cilic as a potential fourth-round opponent.

Nadal, who lifted the trophy in 2008 and 2010, is seeded to meet Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals in a rematch from this year’s Roland Garros. Canadian Auger-Aliassime, who advanced to the last eight in 2021, faces a tricky opening test against American Maxime Cressy.

Italian Matteo Berrettini and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas could clash in the other quarterfinal in the bottom half. Last year’s finalist Berrettini, who triumphed on the grass in Stuttgart and London this month, opens against Cristian Garin, while fourth-seeded Greek Tsitsipas plays Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard.

In the tough top half, fifth seed Alcaraz is making his second appearance at Wimbledon and starts against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, with third seed Casper Ruud playing Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Ruud, who has yet to win a main draw match at Wimbledon, is likely to face Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Roger Federer en route to the semis in 2021, in the quarters. The Pole reaches London on the back of his maiden grass-court title in Halle and begins against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Local hope and two-time champion Andy Murray starts against Australian James Duckworth while 10th seed Jannik Sinner meets former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in a tough first-round match.

Murray, Sinner and Wawrinka are all in six-time champion Djokovic’s quarter alongside 15th seed Reilly Opelka, who starts against Spaniard Carlos Taberner.

Other intriguing first-round matches include Nick Kyrgios against British wild card Paul Jubb, last year’s semifinalist Denis Shapovalov against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech and Indian Wells champ Taylor Fritz against NextGen ATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

(Inputs from IANS)