Rafael Nadal will be man to avoid at SW19
All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal's name today as the draw for Wimbledon is made at the All England Club.
The mathematical procedure used to calculate seedings means that despite being a 12-time Grand Slam champion, Nadal is seeded fifth for the tournament.
Unfortunately for the likes of British No 1 Andy Murray, and the other top three seeds Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and David Ferrer, that means they could have to play the Spaniard in the quarter-finals.
Murray has lost all three meetings against Nadal at SW19, but the Scot insists too much emphasis is placed on the draw — and he has a point. After all, this time last year the talk was of Murray having received a nightmare draw.
After being handed Nikolay Davydenko in the first round, Murray was then given a possible route to the semi-finals that included 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic, 6ft 8in Kevin Anderson and Canada’s rising star Milos Raonic and Ferrer.
Despite the tough route that looked to have been mapped out ahead of him, Murray actually looked relatively untroubled last summer as he reached the final where he was defeated by Federer.
The tears that followed that defeat were quickly forgotten as Murray returned to the All England Club to win Olympic gold and the following month he ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam singles champion as he lifted the US Open.
Despite missing the French Open with a back injury, Murray is in a buoyant mood ahead of Wimbledon and former champion John McEnroe thinks either the Scot or Djokovic will win the title this year.
“It’s a tough call but I would pick Djokovic as the favourite and Murray would be the second,” said the three-time Wimbledon champion. “I think Murray will be hungrier not playing the French, maybe a little fresher.
“Then Roger, because he still has such a great game for grass. It’s tough to win it back-to-back at his age. Rafa having come back so great... maybe I’m wrong, because I thought he would be a little tired. That would be the order if I had to pick 1 to 4.”
The bookmakers have Djokovic (2/1) as the favourite, although Murray and Nadal are not far behind in the betting at 15/4. While the men’s singles could seemingly be won by four or five players, exactly the opposite is the case in the women’s draw.
For when the names are drawn out, the one woman every female player will be looking to avoid is Serena Williams. The only person who seems able to stop Williams winning Wimbledon for a sixth time is herself.