Wimbledon 2017: Andy Murray to start title defence against qualifier
|Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST|
|Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app.|
Britain’s Andy Murray will begin the defence of his Wimbledon title against a qualifier or lucky loser on Monday.
The 30-year-old Scot, who won the tournament for a second time last year, is the top seed and will begin on Centre Court at 14:00 BST.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer faces Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in his opening match.
British number one Johanna Konta, seeded sixth, plays Hsieh Su-wei in the first round on Monday.
Konta, who withdrew from her semi-final at Eastbourne with a back injury on Friday, was surprisingly beaten by the Taiwanese player in the French Open first round earlier this month.
Defending women’s champion Serena Williams is absent as she awaits the birth of her first child.
The men’s draw put Murray and fourth seed Rafael Nadal of Spain in the same half as potential semi-final opponents, with Swiss third seed Federer and second seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia together in the opposite half.
Kyrgios and Wawrinka in Murray’s path
Murray must wait for the conclusion of the qualifying tournament on Friday to learn who he will face on Monday, with Britain’s 855th-ranked Alex Ward a possible opponent.
The world number one and two-time Wimbledon champion will head into Wimbledon without a win on grass this year.
Murray lost to world number 90 Jordan Thompson of Australia in the first round at Queen’s Club, and then pulled out of two exhibition matches with a hip injury.
His coach, Ivan Lendl, has suggested the Briton will be fit for Monday and Murray was practising at the All England Club on Friday.
If he makes it through his first match, Murray will face German Dustin Brown or Portugal’s Joao Sousa in round two, with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios potentially waiting in round four and Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
Del Potro looms for Djokovic
Federer is seen by many as the favourite for the men’s title after a stunning start to 2017 that included an 18th major title at the Australian Open, followed by back-to-back wins at Indian Wells and Miami.
The 35-year-old Swiss warmed up for Wimbledon with a record ninth victory in the grass-court event at Halle, Germany.
Serbia’s three-time champion Novak Djokovic, who has struggled for form since losing in the third round last year, will play Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in round one, and could meet former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro as early as round three.
Rafael Nadal is hopeful of a strong showing after several lean years at Wimbledon as he struggled with injuries.
The two-time winner from Spain, fresh from a record 10th French Open title, will play Australian John Millman in round one.
In the women’s draw, top seed and last year’s runner-up Angelique Kerber of Germany opens against a qualifier or lucky loser, as does Romanian second seed Simona Halep.
Czech two-time champion Petra Kvitova, who returned last month following a knife attack, plays Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka returns to a Grand Slam for the first time since giving birth to her son Leo, and plays American teenager Cici Bellis, while five-time champion Venus Williams of the US takes on Belgian Elise Mertens.
Qualifier Ward kept waiting
There are 12 British players in the singles draws – seven of them wildcards, four there through their rankings, and Alex Ward – the world number 855 – having come through qualifying.
The 27-year-old from Northampton, who slipped down the rankings last year after six months out with a wrist injury, must wait for qualifying to end on Friday before finding out who he will play.
It could be British number two Kyle Edmund, who has drawn a qualifier or lucky loser, while British number four Aljaz Bedene plays Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.
Among the wildcards, Cameron Norrie will face France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, James Ward plays Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, Brydan Klein plays Yuchi Sugita of Japan.
Katie Boulter takes on American Christina McHale, Naomi Broady will face Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, Laura Robson plays Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, and Hetaher Watson is up against Ukraine’s Maryna Zanevska.