Andy Murray left his decision to play this year’s Championships to the last minute and as the deadline drew near, he agreed to let his name be included in the Wimbledon draw. Despite that, he is still undecided as to whether he will actually play leaving that again, to the last minute when he could pull out to let in a ‘lucky lost’ to replace him in the draw.
Until Murray actually steps on court, no one can be certain that he will play so Benoit Paire, his first-round opponent and his fourth-round victim last year, is as much in the dark as to who he will be facing!
Murray made his long-awaited comeback from hip surgery at Queen’s Club last week and this week defeated Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne before losing to Kyle Edmund in straight sets.
Meanwhile Roger Federer is once again seen as the favourite and is gunning to win the title for a ninth time. He will start his 20th Wimbledon campaign against Dusan Lajovic who has never gone beyond the second round.
The Swiss beat Marin Cilic in last year’s final and the two could meet again in the last four this time, the Queen’s champion having been drawn against Yoshihito Nishioka for his opener.
Apart from that Federer has a relatively easy draw, but could come up against his Halle conqueror Borna Coric later in the tournament. The other dangerous seeded players in his half are Milos Raonic, Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson.
World number one Rafael Nadal, seeded two, starts his campaign against Dudi Sela and could potentially face Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals in what is seen as a tougher half of the draw. This could be a vital match as DelPo is showing signs of his best from in recent years. In addition there is the potential of the Spaniard having to face Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, David Goffin, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem at some stage!
Novak Djokovic, finalist at Queen’s, begins his quest for a fourth title versus Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren.
Meanwhile Wawrinka will meet world number six Grigor Dimitrov in arguably the standout tie of the opening round.