Wimbledon: Andy Murray To Face Qualifiers In First Round

A strong show from Murray is a prerequisite if he has to defend his world number one tag.

And there have been no better performers on the surface this season than Federer, who won Halle, Gilles Muller (Rosmalen victor, Queen's semi-finalist) and Feliciano Lopez (Stuttgart runner-up, Queen's champion).

"It's the same for Novak and the same for Rafa".

The 30-year-old Scot, who is the top seed for the first time in his career at Wimbledon, is battling a niggling hip problem which forced him to withdraw from playing a couple of exhibition matches this week.

The pair, who won the Australian Open and the US Open a year ago, are now looking ahead to Wimbledon, where they reached the quarter-finals in 2016.

Roger Federer is the big name and the favorite, and he was drawn into the same half as Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic. Everybody has their own little story right now. But the Swiss, who last won the title in 2012, must play his best tennis if he is to do it. He can play himself into shape for week two. And he might just win another.

"I experienced very negative moments when I was trying to play, and I was not in great shape, like past year in Roland Garros, or like here in 2012".

"Rafael Nadal on the other hand is the 5/1 second favourite following a return to his usual dominance at the French Open". He will begin his campaign against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round before a possible clash with either veteran 27th seed Mischa Zverev or Australia's Bernard Tomicin the third round.

"I don't want to think about that now".

"I would love to be playing in Queen's, obviously", he said.

Serena Williams will not feature at this year's tournament because of her pregnancy, but sister Venus, who reached this year's Australian Open final, sits 10th.

"I'm very excited to play the first event, to open up the stadium with Andy".

"I was so down", he said.

Wimbledon's seeding formula rewards grasscourt performances on a sliding scale over this season and past year. But I had my chances, too. I'm already so long the number one, I will try, of course, to keep it.

"I've done that without making any compromises about the grass-court season". Even two-time champ Petra Kvitova is in bottom half.

Nadal has been limited with injuries since winning the French Open.

"You would need to feel like you could play for 14 days, if you feel you can only play one match it isn t good enough", Federer said.

"I find out what's important and what is not".

  • Angelo Rivera