Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Murray sees route to Wimbledon final

Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from Wimbledon has meant a reshuffle of the draw in readiness for the start of the tournament on Monday.

Number five seed Juan Martin Del Potro moves up to replace Nadal while America's James Blake replaces Del Potro.

The next seed, Nicolas Kiefer, takes over Blake's position at 33rd seed and Thiago Alves is the lucky loser who comes into the draw.

Andy Murray will face America's Robert Kendrick in the opening round of this year's championship.

The 22-year-old Briton was paired in the same half of the draw as former top seed Nadal, who would have faced Arnaud Clement of France if he had not withdrawn due to his knee injury.

Nadal's withdrawal also opens up the chance for Murray to make it all the way to the final. His first round opponent is 76th in the world and has never been beyond the second round at Wimbledon.

Murray, the third seed, has won all three previous meetings with serve-volleyer Kendrick, who led Nadal by two sets to love in the second round at Wimbledon in 2006 before losing in five.

Number two seed Roger Federer will take on China's Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round and has an easier run towards the final.

The Swiss ace could face Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round and Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals.

Andy Roddick, featured in the top half of the draw, could have met Nadal in the quarter-finals before the Spaniard's withdrawal.

Other British participants in the men's singles face difficult opening games.

Josh Goodall was paired against Michael Llodra of France while Jamie Ward will be up against Verdasco — the seventh seed.

Dan Evans faces 12th seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and Alex Bogdanovic is up against Czech Tomas Berdych, who is seeded 21.

The women's singles saw Venus Williams included in the same side of the draw as top seed Dinara Safina.

Defending women's champion Venus will play Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele in the first round, while 15-year-old British wildcard Laura Robson takes on Daniela Hantuchova.

Serena Williams will begin her campaign against qualifier Neuza Silva while British number one Anne Keothavong will face Austria's Patricia Mayr.

Jelena Jankovic plays Julia Goerges while Vera Zvonareva is set to take on Briton Georgie Stoop.

Among the other British women, Mel South plays Mathilde Johansson, Katie O'Brien faces Iveta Benesova and Elena Baltacha meets Alona Bondarenko.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre