Wimbledon: ‘Kind’ draw presents opportunity for Andy Murray

BIG CHANCE: British No 1 and world No 2, Andy Murray. Picture: AP/Alastair Grant
BIG CHANCE: British No 1 and world No 2, Andy Murray. Picture: AP/Alastair Grant
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Andy Murray will play fellow Briton Liam Broady in the first round at Wimbledon and has been drawn in the same half as Stan Wawrinka.

Murray has never faced Broady, who is ranked 234th in the world and was given a wild card to enter the tournament.

The world No 2, bidding to win his third grand slam title, is due to meet Wawrinka in the semi-finals while the gifted Australian Nick Kyrgios is a potential last-16 opponent.

Third seed Roger Federer, who demolished Murray in the last four 12 months ago, is in the same half as Novak Djokovic, meaning the Scot cannot meet either until the final.

Djokovic will open up against Britain’s James Ward while Federer will play Argentina’s Guido Pella.

It represents a relatively kind draw for Murray, who cruised past Wawrinka in the French Open semi-finals last month and is yet to lose to Kyrgios in four competitive meetings.

Richard Gasquet, a potential foe in the quarter-finals, has also lost his last six successive matches against the British No 1.

Murray’s opener against Broady continues his recent spurt of all-British clashes.

The 2013 Wimbledon champion had not faced a compatriot at tour level in almost 10 years at the start of the month but after playing two at Queen’s, this will be his third in as many weeks.

There were more fiendish propositions for Britain’s other male contenders.

Ward has the daunting prospect of facing Djokovic, the reigning champion and current holder of all four grand slam titles, while British No 2 Aljaz Bedene fuinds himself up against seventh seed Gasquet in round one.

Kyle Edmund, the talented 21-year-old from Yorkshire, has a tough opener against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino and if he wins will face the winner of Djokovic and Ward.

Alex Ward, meanwhile, plays Belgium’s world No 11 David Goffin, Brydan Klein is tasked with overcoming French grass-court specialist Nicolas Mahut and Dan Evans was drawn against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In the women’s draw, Britain’s Johanna Konta was handed a tricky first-round match against Puerto Rican world No 43 Monica Puig.

Konta has surged up to 18th in the rankings following a superb 12 months but she will be wary of Puig, who arrives in good form after reaching the semi-finals in Eastbourne this week.

Laura Robson, a wild card and desperate to kick-start her resurgence after injury, was handed a difficult opener against Germany’s Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber.

Heather Watson drew another German in Annika Beck while the promising 17-year-old Katie Swan faces Hungarian Timea Babos.

Tara Moore plays Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium and Naomi Broady will take on Ukraine’s world No 19 Elina Svitolina.

Top seed Serena Williams, who is gunning for a record-equalling 22nd major title, will face a qualifier in round one and could be set for two testing reunions en route to the final.

British No 2 Watson memorably pushed her to three sets on Centre Court last year and could be her opponent in the third round while Italy’s Roberta Vinci is a potential obstacle in the last eight.

Vinci, seeded sixth, caused one of the biggest upsets in tennis history when she knocked Williams out of the US Open semi-finals last year.

The American’s French Open conqueror and second seed, Garbine Muguruza, was given an awkward opening test. The Spaniard is up against Italian Camila Giorgi.