Nadal, Murray lie in champ Federer's path

Nadal, Murray lie in champ Federer's path

Roger Federer faces a tough road to another Wimbledon final after Friday’s draw threw Rafael Nadal and home favourite Andy Murray into the champion’s path and cleared the way for World No 1 Novak Djokovic.

The third seed could face Spaniard Nadal, seeded only fifth to reflect his current ranking as he works his way back from injury, in what would likely be an epic quarterfinal on the grass of southwest London.

Federer and Nadal, the big danger in the draw, played three finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

If the Swiss seven-times winner gets through the quarterfinal, he faces a potential clash with last year’s finalist Murray in the semifinals.

Djokovic would be on course to face seventh seed Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals but will avoid any of his three main rivals until the final.

Djokovic plays Florian Mayer in his opening match and also has fourth seed David Ferrer in his half of the draw.

Nadal, the eight-times French Open winner who suffered a shock second-round defeat in London last year, starts out against Belgian Steve Darcis while Federer’s first opponent is Romanian Victor Hanescu.

In the women's draw, top seed and defending champion Serena Williams will begin her quest for a 17th Grand Slam title against Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella.

Paes seeded fourth

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, seeded fourth, were pitted against Daniele Bracciali of Italy and Jonathan Erlich of Israel in their first round match in the men’s doubles.
Purav Raja and Divij Sharan will make their Grand Slam debut against American Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler of Germany.

India’s Mahesh Bhupathi will be partnering Austria’s Julian Knowles while Rohan Bopanna will be teaming up with Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

In the women’s doubles competition, the sixth seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Liezel Huber have been pitted against Czech combination of Renata Voracova and Klara Zakopalova.