LONDON (Reuters) - Tournament favourite Roger Federer will have to do things the hard way if he is to win a record eighth Wimbledon title, after he was handed the toughest draw of the big names at the All England Club on Friday.
But defending champion Andy Murray, struggling to reach 100 per cent fitness because of a sore hip, was given a boost as he will avoid most of the more dangerous opponents in the first week.
The 35-year-old Federer, who is also trying to become the oldest winner in the Open era, is the bookmakers' favourite, having won the warm-up event in Halle last weekend.
To win his eighth title, though, he may have to beat Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, last year's finalist Milos Raonic and three-time champion Novak Djokovic just to get to the final.
Murray will open his title defence against a qualifier on Monday and could play Dustin Brown of Germany in the second round, with the big-hitting Nick Kyrgios a potential fourth-round opponent.
If he gets through that, Stan Wawrinka, who beat him to reach the French Open final earlier in the month, would be his likely seeded quarter-final opponent, followed by fourth seed Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
Nadal, the winner in 2008 and 2010, has not been past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011 but will fancy his chances.
The Spaniard plays Australia's John Millman, ranked No. 137, in the first round, with Russia's world No. 34 Karen Khachanov his first seeded opponent in round three and seventh seed Marin Cilic a potential quarter-final foe.
Djokovic plays world No. 44 Martin Klizan in round one. The Serb could play Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round, Gael Monfils in round four and eighth seed Thiem, who ended his French Open title defence in the quarter-finals, again in the last eight.