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Federer & Nadal On Wimbledon Semi-final Collision Course

June 20, 2014


One of tennis’ most celebrated rivalries could be reignited in the semi-finals at The Championships, Wimbledon, as seven-time champion Roger Federer and second seed Rafael Nadal find themselves on a collision course in the bottom half of the 2014 draw. 

The draw, which was made at the All England Club on Friday morning, pits defending champion Andy Murray in the top half with No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.

Looking to win his eighth Wimbledon crown, Federer is set to open his campaign against Paolo Lorenzi, with the prospect of Julien Benneteau or Gilles Muller in the second round. The Swiss, who suffered a shock second-round exit at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky last year, is projected to meet No. 30 seed Marcel Granollers in the third round.

The 32-year-old Federer could meet old foe Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round. The 2002 Wimbledon champion opens against Michal Przysiezny, with the likelihood of 2013 semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz in the second round, though the Pole has won just two matches since February. 

In what would be an all-Swiss quarter-final, Federer is seeded to meet Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the last eight. Wawrinka, who has endured first-round exits in three of the past four years at Wimbledon, opens against Joao Sousa. His first seeded opponent would be Dmitry Tursunov in the third round, while the in-form Feliciano Lopez or Wimbledon marathon man John Isner are likely fourth-round challengers. 

Nadal, the champion at Wimbledon in 2008 and ’10, has tricky opposition from the start. The Spaniard faces Martin Klizan in the first round and could meet Lukas Rosol, who famously beat the Spaniard in the 2012 second round, once again in the second round. He is seeded to meet the towering Ivo Karlovic in the third round and could face the returning Richard Gasquet, into the Eastbourne semi-finals, or Gael Monfilsin the fourth round. Nadal is bidding to win the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double for the third time.

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Eighth seed Milos Raonic looks to make an impact at Wimbledon for the first time, following his first major quarter-final at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic), and is projected to meet Nadal in the quarter-finals. The Canadian begins against Australia’s Matthew Ebden and could potentially face fellow rising star Kei Nishikori in the fourth round. Japanese history maker, Nishikori has a testing opener in the form of Kenny De Schepper, the Frenchman who made a surprise run to the fourth round last year.

Murray, who became the first British man in 77 years to lift the Wimbledon singles trophy last year with victory over Djokovic, opens his title defence against Belgium’s David Goffin. The Scot would then face either Pablo Andujar or Blaz Rola, with a seeded third round against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. Lurking as potential fourth-round opponents for Murray are No. 20 seed Kevin Anderson or No. 16 Fabio Fognini.

Last week’s Aegon Championships winner Grigor Dimitrov is looking to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final, potentially against Murray. The Bulgarian opens against American qualifier Ryan Harrison and, in a section packed with some of the ATP World Tour’s most promising young guns, could challenge Dominic Thiem in the second round and Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round.

Dimitrov is projected to meet seventh seed David Ferrer in the fourth round. The Spaniard, who comes into The Championships lacking grass-court match practice after withdrawing from the Topshelf Open due to illness, faces his talented countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in the first round. Marcos Baghdatis and Dustin Brown clash in the pick of the first rounds, with the winner a possible third-round opponent for Ferrer should they overcome No. 25 seed Andreas Seppi in the second round.

Djokovic is looking to add to his 2011 Wimbledon triumph and opens his bid against Andrey Golubev. The Serbian, who was runner-up at Roland Garros two weeks ago, would meet either in-form Radek Stepanek – conqueror of Murray at The Queen’s Club – or Pablo Cuevas in the second round and is seeded to take on No. 31 Vasek Pospisil in the third round. No. 14 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a likely fourth-round opponent for Djokovic. Tsonga, who was a semi-finalist in 2011 and ’12, faces Jurgen Melzer in the first round, with the winner of an all-American clash between Sam Querrey and Bradley Klahn in the second round.

Sixth seed Tomas Berdych is on course for a quarter-final duel with Djokovic. The Czech, who was runner-up to Nadal in his first major final at Wimbledon in 2010, faces Victor Hanescu in the first round and potentially 2011 quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic in the second round. In a tough section of the draw, Berdych is seeded to meet Marin Cilic in the third round and Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round.

Murray will open The 2014 Championships at 1pm on Centre Court on Monday, with the top half of the draw in action. Federer, Nadal and the rest of the bottom half will play Tuesday. 

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