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Wimbledon draw: Djokovic’s tricky path to major title No.20

  • Matt Trollope

At Wimbledon, Ash Barty is the world No.1 and top seed, Simona Halep is the reigning champion, and Barbora Krejcikova is the most recent major winner, thanks to her victory at Roland Garros.

Novak Djokovic is all four of these things.

The superstar Serb begins his quest for a men’s record-equalling 20th Grand Slam singles title when he takes on young British wildcard Jack Draper, a match set to open the Centre Court schedule on Monday at 1pm in London as is tradition for the men's defending champion.

The women’s draw received a blow when, just before it was to be unveiled, Halep announced she would not defend her Wimbledon title, with the same calf injury that forced her out of Roland Garros ruling her out of a second straight major.


A post shared by Simona Halep (@simonahalep)

As a result, Aryna Sabalenka was elevated to the second seeding behind Barty, who opens her campaign against popular Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.

It’s a tough draw for the Australian, who could meet British No.27 seed Johanna Konta in the third round before a clash in the last 16 with Krejcikova.

READ MORE: Barty's Wimbledon dream could become reality, says Dokic

Krejcikova, in what will be her first competitive match since winning her maiden major singles title in Paris, takes on Danish teen talent Clara Tauson in round one. 

In other notable outcomes from Friday’s draw, Roger Federer faces a tricky opener against grass-court whiz Adrian Mannarino, but benefits from landing in the opposite half of the draw to Djokovic, who has thwarted the Swiss in three Wimbledon finals.

READ MORE: Stars have to align for Federer at Wimbledon, says Woodbridge

Serena Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion chasing a record-equalling 24th major singles title, has drawn Aliaksandra Sasnovich in round one and could meet Angelique Kerber in a thrilling third-round clash – a rematch of their 2016 and 2018 Wimbledon finals.

Djokovic’s path to glory

The early rounds could see Djokovic meet resistance, given Draper’s recent run to the ATP Queen’s Club quarterfinals and what will be a passionate crowd behind the 19-year-old lefty. 

The world No.1 could then meet former world No.5 Kevin Anderson in the second round – a rematch of their 2018 final at the All England Club.

Should Djokovic continue to progress, he is projected to meet fifth seed Andrey Rublev – a recent finalist in Halle – in the last eight. 

DRAW: Wimbledon men's singles

He finds himself in the same half of the draw as fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom he beat in the Roland Garros final; Tsitsipas opens against Frances Tiafoe in one of the best first-round matches.

Djokovic is also in the same half a two-time champion Andy Murray, the British wildcard who faces No.24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

In the opposite half, sixth seed Federer could meet in the third round in-form Brit Cameron Norrie, who is seeded 29th after his run to the Queen’s final.

Beyond that for Federer could be No.2 seed Daniil Medvedev, who is currently racking up wins in Mallorca and who is projected to meet the Swiss legend in the quarterfinals.

But that’s if Medevdev can get past dangerous German Jan-Lennard Struff in his opening match, or former finalist Marin Cilic, the No.32 seed and Stuttgart champion who is projected to meet Medvedev in round three.

Also looming as a threat in the bottom half is seventh seed Matteo Berrettini, the Queen’s champion who has drawn Argentine Guido Pella in the first round. 

Former champs dot women’s draw

While a potential Serena-Kerber clash highlights the top half of the draw, several other Wimbledon champions have landed in the bottom half. 

One is Petra Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 winner who is seeded 10th and perhaps features in the best of the tournament’s first-round matches when she takes on 2017 US Open champ Sloane Stephens.

Should Kvitova continue her way through the draw, fellow Czech and No.8 seed Karolina Pliskova – who first faces Roland Garros semifinalist Tamara Zidansek – looms as a potential fourth-round opponent.

DRAW: Wimbledon women's singles

No.11 seed Garbine Muguruza, the 2017 Wimbledon winner, headlines a fabulous wedge of the draw in the bottom quarter that could see her play Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round and seven-time champion Venus Williams in the third. 

But Venus, a wildcard who opens against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, faces the prospect of a second-round meeting with 21st seed Ons Jabeur, who broke through for her first WTA title last week on the lawns of Birmingham. 

The player emerging from that quarter is projected to meet No.7 seed Iga Swiatek in the last 16. 

Projected quarterfinals

[1] Novak Djokovic v [5] Andrey Rublev
[3] Stefanos Tsitsipas v [8] Roberto Bautista Agut
[7] Matteo Berrettini v [4] Alexander Zverev 
[6] Roger Federer v [2] Daniil Medvedev

[1] Ash Barty v [5] Bianca Andreescu
[3] Elina Svitolina v [6] Serena Williams
[8] Karolina Pliskova v [4] Sofia Kenin
[7] Iga Swiatek v [2] Aryna Sabalenka

Best first-round matches

[1] Novak Djokovic v [WC] Jack Draper
[19] Jannik Sinner v Marton Fucsovics
[3] Stefanos Tsitsipas v Frances Tiafoe
[22] Dan Evans v Feliciano Lopez
[15] Alex de Minaur v Sebastian Korda
[WC] Andy Murray v [24] Nikoloz Basilashvili
Kei Nishikori v Alexei Popyrin
[21] Ugo Humbert v Nick Kyrgios
[6] Roger Federer v Adrian Mannarino
[18] Grigor Dimitrov v Fernando Verdasco
[2] Daniil Medvedev v Jan-Lennard Struff

[1] Ash Barty v Carla Suarez Navarro
[27] Johanna Konta v Katerina Siniakova
[17] Kiki Bertens v Marta Kostyuk
[5] Bianca Andreescu v Alize Cornet 
[20] Coco Gauff v Francesca Jones
[8] Pliskova v Zidansek
[10] Petra Kvitova v Sloane Stephens
[7] Iga Swiatek v Su-Wei Hsieh
[18] Elena Rybakina v Kristina Mladenovic