Wimbledon draw: Andy Murray to face qualifier in first round at SW19

"I'm just hoping here that I'm even coming to that stage to compete with them".

Given the way preparations have gone for his title defense, Murray probably could not have wished for a better draw.

Other former men's winners who could be worth betting in addition to Murray (who also won in 2013) include fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal (+400) and second-seeded Novak Djokovic (+600). Providing he is OK, Murray should not be troubled too much before the fourth round, where Nick Kyrgios, the colorful Australian, could be waiting. The Spaniard, who is among the title favourites, might face seventh seed Marin Cilic or ninth seed Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final before a potential semi-final clash against Murray.

While he remains the world No. 1, he is fighting hard to fend off the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer among others. Federer, eyeing his first title since 2012, could face Milos Raonic in quarters and if he beats him, Djokovic or Dominic Thiem await in the semifinals.

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It's the first time since Wimbledon three years ago that the Big 4 have been named top seeds for any Grand Slam. The Swiss, who won the warm-up event in Halle, is seeded to face 27th seed Mischa Zverev of Germany in the third round, with Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (13) likely to be waiting in the last 16. Kvitova, the No. 11 seed, was out the first five-plus months of 2017 due to an injury suffered in an attack in her home but returned for the French.

And on paper he could hardly have asked for a kinder draw against a lucky loser ranked 134 who has only ever won one grand slam match.

On the women's side, Czech countrywomen Petra Kvitova (+500) and Karolina Pliskova (+550) are very close at the top of the board. If she gets through that, she'll be increasingly risky, even though world No. 2 Simona Halep and No. 5 Elina Svitolina might be in her way.

In the absence of defending Ladies' singles champion Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber will star as the top seed. If the top seeds avoid upsets through the first two weeks, the tennis world could be treated to The Big 4 running roughshod over the semi-finals.

Konta withdrew from a grass-court tuneup in Eastbourne on Friday after hurting herself during a fall a day earlier, when she pulled off two big victories in one day after rain had jumbled the schedule, beating Kerber and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. Meanwhile, Venus was just found at fault as the driver in a auto accident on June 9 that killed a 78-year-old man, who was a passenger in the other vehicle.

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