LONDON • Andy Murray's hopes of breaking Novak Djokovic's monopoly of the Grand Slams and winning a second Wimbledon title have been given a notable boost, with tennis' world No. 2 yesterday receiving what is nearly the most benign draw he could have hoped for.
The Briton, the second seed, is not only placed in the opposite side of the draw to Djokovic, the top-ranked defending champion, but he will also avoid another potential confrontation with Roger Federer, the seven-time champion.
Other dangerous contenders such as Milos Raonic, the sixth-seeded Canadian who troubled Murray in the final at Queen's last Sunday, and Marin Cilic, the former US Open champion, are on the same side of the schedule as Djokovic and Federer.
The decorated champions could also meet the distinctly off-form Grigor Dimitrov, who was still good enough to end Murray's title defence two years ago, and potentially the most dangerous non-seeded floater, Nicolas Mahut of France.
Murray's most testing opponents would appear to be the distinctly talented but unpredictable Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round and Stanislas Wawrinka, the former Australian and French Open champion, in the semi-final.
Djokovic, who is bidding to take another step closer to the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969, has defeated Federer in the last two finals at the All England Club. The 29-year-old Serb begins his campaign against British wild card James Ward and could meet big-serving Raonic in the last eight.
WIMBLEDON: PROJECTED ROUTES TO MEN'S FINAL
Round 1: James Ward (Gbr, 177th in world)
R2: Adrian Mannarino (Fra, 54th)
R3: Sam Querrey (USA, 28th)
R4: David Ferrer (Esp, 13th seed)
Quarter-final: Milos Raonic (Can, 6th seed)
Semi-final: Roger Federer (Sui, 3rd seed)
Final: Andy Murray (Gbr, 2nd seed)
Round 1: Liam Broady (Gbr, 234th)
R2: Lu Yen-hsun (Tpe, 70th)
R3: Benoit Paire (Fra, 26th seed)
R4: Nick Kyrgios (Aus, 15th seed)
Quarter-final: Richard Gasquet (Fra, 7th seed)
Semi-final: Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui, 4th seed)
Final: Novak Djokovic (Srb, 1st seed)
Federer, seeded third but enduring an injury-hit season, starts against Argentina's Guido Pella, ranked No. 51 in the world.
The 34-year-old Swiss legend, the holder of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, could face Japan's Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.
If the seedings play out, Swiss Wawrinka would come up against in-form Dominic Thiem of Austria for a place in the last four.
Defending women's champion Serena Williams, chasing a seventh Wimbledon title to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, was drawn to face Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who made the final in 2012, in the penultimate round.
French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, who beat Williams in the Roland Garros final but lost to the American in the Wimbledon championship match last year, could face Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber in the last four.
Rising Spanish star Muguruza begins against Italy's Camila Giorgi.
The women's draw held out the tantalising prospect of an all-Williams final with sister Venus in the opposite half of the draw.
Venus, a five-time champion, is seeded to face Muguruza in the last eight, while Serena could come up against Italy's Roberta Vinci, who beat her in the US Open semi-finals last year.
THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE