London | The Men’s Wimbledon draw has been made

With just three days to go before the men’s defending champion walks out on Centre Court at Wimbledon to officially open, as tradition demands, this year’s, the draw for the men’s event has been announced.

British hopes in the draw will be carried by 12 men and they all have tricky opening rounds, not least Andy Murray who, if he is fit enough, will play Tomas Machac, the Czech he was competing against in Miami last March, when he ruptured his ankle.

He is currently expected to play on Tuesday and no doubt there are a number of players who lost in the final qualifying round, lining up in the hope of filling any possible vacancy!

That could also apply to the seven-time champion Novak Djokovic, last year’s finalist, who underwent knee surgery after withdrawing from the French Open at the quarter final stage.

He has bene practicing at Wimbledon but has said he will not play unless he feels he can win the title for an eighth time so won’t participate just to make up the numbers.

Novak Djokovic arrives at the AELTC to test out his knee

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The British challenge will be led by Jack Draper whose recent run of success on grass has seen him take over as the national No.1 and as a result of his improving world ranking, is the only home player seeded for the event, at 28.

He is in the bottom half of the draw and is amongst a clutch of four Brits.

Jack Draper will lead the British charge

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

His first hurdle is Sweden’s Elias Ymer which he could well follow with a meeting with Cameron Norrie, a semi-finalist in 2022, and Henry Searle in round three followed by Dan Evans.

Norrie has to clear Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta while Searle, a wildcard, has the trickiest of the opening matches when he takes on America’s Marcos Giron before facing the fourth seed Alexander Zverev in round two!

Meanwhile Evans, with his grass court experience, should be able to cope with the 24th seed, Alejandro Tabilo of Chile and then a possible clash with Italy’s Flavio Cobolli or Ausie Rinky Hijikata to reach the fourth round where all being well, Draper awaits.

However, he has also been injured recently at Queen’s so there are a few question marks over his ability to participate.

Wildcard Jacob Fearnley could face Djokovic in the second round – if he beats Spanish qualifier Alejandro Moro Canas.

Charles Broom, another wildcard entry, starts his Wimbledon debut against three-time grand slam champion, Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

Of the remaining wildcards there are now high expectations from Billy Harris and Paul Jubb who at the time of writing, were in the semi-finals of the warm-up events at Eastbourne and Mallorca respectively.

The 29-year-old Harris from the Isle of Man takes on Spain’s Jaume Munar while Jubb, aged 24 from Hull, has the trickier task of getting past Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Meanwhile, Jan Choinski faces Italy’s Luciano Darderi; Arthur Ferry the German Daiel Altmaier and Liam Broady, the experienced Dutchman Boltic van de Zandschulp.

And turning to the main contenders, Djokovic begins his campaign against Vit Kopriva of the Czech Republic who will be making his debut in the main draw having come through Qualifying where he beat the French veteran Richad Gasuet in the final round.

Should Djokovic’s knee stands up to the strain, the Serb is seeded to meet Denmark’s Holger Rune in the fourth round and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter finals.

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, will begin the defence of his title against another qualifier, Estonia’s Mark Laial the 21-year-old qualifier with a world standing of No.262,while the only high seed he is expected to face is the eighth seeded Casper Ruud from Norway before taking on his arch-rival Jannik Sinner and world No.1 in the semis.

Jannik Sinner takes a break from his preparations.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Sinner, in turn, begins against Yannik Hanfmann from Germany who has yet to win a match at Wimbledon. However he could have a very tricky second round when he faces his compatriot Matteo Berrettini, the 2021 finalist, in the second round.

And Russian Daniil Medvedev, a semi-finalist last year, or Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov could face him in the quarter finals.

There are plenty of other matches which will attract attention but that is the beauty of Wimbledon.



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