Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have
combined for nine of the last 10 Wimbledon championships, but could meet as
early as the quarterfinals this year after the draw for the season's third
Grand Slam event was revealed Friday.
Federer enters as the defending champion and a seven-time winner on the famed
lawns of the All England Club. He is the third seed this year and also claimed
his first title of 2013 just last week at the grass-court tune-up in Halle.
Nadal lost to Federer in the 2006 and 2007 finals before finally beating the
Swiss star the following year for his first Wimbledon crown. He also won the
2010 championship, but despite seven titles -- and two finals -- in nine
events this year, is seeded only fifth because of his low ranking following a
lengthy injury layoff.
That will leave the two icons in the same quarter of the draw. They've never
played each other before the semifinals in any Grand Slam event. Federer will
open his stay in the London suburb against Romania's Victor Hanescu, while
Nadal will face Belgium's Steve Darcis in the first round and could meet
former Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt in round four.
Nadal opted to skip a grass-court tune-up after capturing his eighth French
Open title earlier this month. He was a second-round loser at Wimbledon last
year before taking seven months off because of a knee issue.
The two great champions are also in the same half of the draw as British crowd
favorite Andy Murray. Seeded second this year, Murray lost to Federer in last
year's Wimbledon finale before beating Federer just a few weeks later to
capture Olympic gold on Centre Court at last summer's London Games.
Murray, coming off his third title at the Queen's Club tune-up, will face
Germany's Benjamin Becker in the first round and could meet Spaniard Tommy
Robredo in the third round. The Scot's potential quarterfinal opponents
include sixth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 10th-seeded Croat Marin
Cilic. Murray beat Tsonga in the semifinals at the Queen's Club before topping
Cilic in three sets for the title.
The top half of the draw is headed by 2011 Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic. The
top-seeded Serb will take on Germany's Florian Mayer to start the fortnight
and could meet resurgent German Tommy Haas in the fourth round, while a
possible quarterfinal foe could be seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych -- the
2010 Wimbledon runner-up.
Spain's David Ferrer tops the other quarter in the top half of the draw. The
fourth seed is coming off a first-round loss at the Den Bosch tune-up after
reaching his first-ever Grand Slam final a few weeks back at the French. He
will square off against Argentina's Martin Alund in the first round and could
play another Argentine, eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, in the quarters.
First-round play begins Monday.
The Sports Network