Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer Placed On Opposite Sides Of Wimbledon Draw
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer were placed on opposite sides of the Wimbledon bracket in Friday’s draw, meaning they can’t meet until the final — a potential rematch of their epic 2019 final won by Djokovic.
After winning the French Open earlier this month, the 34-year-old Djokovic stands at 19 Grand Slam titles and can tie Federer and Rafael Nadal atop the all-time men’s list with 20. Djokovic is also halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, having won the Australian Open in February. No man has won the calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. Nadal is not playing Wimbledon this year.
In the top half of the draw, Djokovic is drawn to face big-hitting Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals and French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis.
Federer, 39, blew two match points against Djokovic in their 2019 final, which would have given him a 21st career major. He withdrew from the French Open ahead of his fourth-round match with Matteo Berrettini to focus on the grass court season, which marks his best chance of adding another major.
In the bottom half, Federer could have to face world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Sascha Zverev in the semis.
Simona Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon champion, withdrew just before the draw, citing an injured left calf that also forced her to sit out Roland Garros. That means two of the top three players in the WTA rankings are missing from the field; No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdrew last week and is focusing on winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
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No. 6 seed Serena Williams is seeking her record-tying 24th major title and could benefit from the absence of Halep and Osaka. She is drawn to face No. 3 Elina Svitolina in the quarters and world No. 1 Ash Barty in the semis in the top half of the draw.
In the bottom half, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka is drawn to meet No. 7 Iga Swiatek and No. 4 Sofia Kenin would face No. 8 Karolina Pliskova.
Among the noteworthy first-round men’s matchups are Djokovic against wild-card entry Jack Draper, a 19-year-old from England who was the Wimbledon boys’ runner-up in 2018; two-time champion Andy Murray against No. 24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili; and No. 21 Ugo Humbert against Nicky Kyrgios.
Women’s first-rounders of particular interest include Barty against Carla Suarez Navarro, a 32-year-old Spaniard who recently returned to competition after being treated for cancer; 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams against 100th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who reached Wimbledon’s fourth round in 2018; French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova against 18-year-old Clara Tauson; and two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova against 2017 U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens.