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Wimbledon 2022 Draw: Djokovic and Nadal avoid draw dangermen Murray and Kyrgios

By John Skilbeck

London, June 24: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal avoided the looming threat of Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios in Friday's Wimbledon draw.

With both Murray and Kyrgios unseeded, they could have been drawn to face any of the top seeds, but it did not work out that way, most likely to everyone's satisfaction.

Instead, top seed and tournament favourite Djokovic drew South Korean Kwon Soon-woo, while Nadal was pitted with 23-year-old Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo.

Djokovic will be bidding for a seventh Wimbledon title and a fourth in succession following triumphs in 2018, 2019 and 2021, after the cancellation of the 2020 championships.

For second seed Nadal, who has won the Australian Open and French Open already this year to reach a record 22 men's grand slam singles titles, there is the possibility of a rare calendar Grand Slam.

He must carry off the title at Wimbledon for the first time since 2010 to stay in the hunt for that elusive clean sweep, last achieved in men's singles in 1969 by Rod Laver.

Murray, who like Nadal is a two-time former Wimbledon champion, was paired with James Duckworth of Australia and could face big-serving American John Isner in round two. Murray has been troubled by an abdominal strain in the past fortnight, and it remains to be seen whether the 35-year-old is in shape to be a contender.

Duckworth's countryman Kyrgios has been in fine form of late, reaching consecutive semi-finals in Houston, Stuttgart and Halle before he too suffered an abdominal twinge this week and withdrew from the Mallorca Championships. Kyrgios will start against Britain's Paul Jubb at Wimbledon.

A notable first-round clash saw three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka, in the draw on a wildcard, paired with Italian 10th seed Sinner, while Matteo Berrettini, runner-up to Djokovic last year, will play Chile's Cristian Garin.

Powerful Italian Berrettini, who has won the Stuttgart and Queen's Club titles on grass this year, features on Nadal's side of the draw, while in the top half Djokovic has the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Hubert Hurkacz for company.

Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spanish revelation who has won four titles already this year, was drawn to face the experienced German Jan-Lennard Struff in round one.

Men's third seed Casper Ruud has never won a singles match at Wimbledon, losing in the first round on his previous two appearances. The recent French Open runner-up will look to get off the mark on the SW19 grass against 34-year-old Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

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Story first published: Friday, June 24, 2022, 16:40 [IST]
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