Friday 21 June 2013
Rafael Nadal with a No.5 next to his name. The top four will claim they haven’t scoured the draw for that name, but rest assured, their respective entourages will know exactly whose quarter the Spaniard landed in when the Gentlemen’s Singles main draw was released on Friday.
For seven-time winner and defending champion Roger Federer, there will be no repeat of the 2006-2008 finals between the two, with the third seed drawn to meet two-time champion Nadal in the quarter-finals at this year’s Championships.
Federer, who will open his campaign on Monday against Romanian Victor Hanesecu, is coming off his sixth title on the grass at Halle, while Nadal, rested after stamping his mark on the Roland Garros crown for an eighth time, will face Belgian Steve Darcis.
For Nadal, it may mean having to beat three Wimbledon champions to reclaim the title he snared in 2008 and 2010, with Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all potentially standing in his way.
Federer and Nadal find themselves on the same half of the draw as British No.2 seed Andy Murray, who is looking to go one huge step further than his run to the final last year.
While Murray comes off an impressive build-up of his own, having become the first British man since 1925 to lift a third Queen’s Club trophy, there is one statistic he would love to shake more than any – the first man since Fred Perry in 1936 to hold the Gentlemen’s Single trophy at SW19. He begins against German Benjamin Becker.
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is projected to meet Murray in the quarter-finals and will play Belgian David Goffin first up. Tsonga enters The Championships following his best result at his home Grand Slam, a semi-final finish at Roland Garros.
Top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic is still the 2013 pick in most pundits’ eyes. The Serb takes on German Florian Mayer in Round 1 with a potential quarter-final against Czech seventh seed and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych.
Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, fresh from making his first Grand Slam final at the French Open kicks off against Argentinian Martin Alund with another Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro, in his quarter of the draw. Del Potro will square off against Spaniard Albert Ramos.
For 2002 Champion Hewitt, it will be another torrid opener. Having drawn Tsonga first up last year, the Australian – a semi-finalist at Queen’s last week – has drawn 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka first. The Swiss No.2 has found his feet on grass in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, this week and will start favourite.
Other notable openers include former Grand Slam semi-finalists Xavier Malisse, of Belgium, taking on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and Serbian Janko Tipsarevic taking a 2-1 head-to-head lead into his clash with Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki.
British wild cards Kyle Edmund and James Ward begin against Polish 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz and Yen-Hsun Lu, of Taipei, respectively.
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